Flyover cities top LinkedIn’s list of best places to launch a career


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New research by LinkedIn confirms what we’ve been shouting from the rooftops: Flyover country is full of great places to live and work. In its new “Top 15 Cities to Launch Your Career” list, none of the top coastal cities are anywhere to be found. Instead, Midwestern cities like St. Louis, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis take the top five spots, with Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Columbus, and Houston rounding out the top ten.

With median salary starting jobs paying around $60,000 and median monthly rent about $1,000, the Midwest is perfect for young professionals beginning their careers. While New York, D.C., the Bay Area, and Los Angeles typically offer higher salaries, the cost of living is often prohibitive, meaning flyover cities offer a much better overall deal. In fact, rent alone costs about 40% of salary on the coasts vs 20% in the Midwest.

LinkedIn looked at 3 million open positions over a three-year period, taking into account “career starter” positions, job title, geography, median salary, and median housing rent data on Zillow for the same time period. Top jobs included software engineers, nurses, salespeople, teachers, project managers, and analysts.