With diplomas in hand, college grads across the nation are flocking to big cities in pursuit of glamorous jobs and an exciting culture.

Almost all of America’s big cities have increased their population of college graduates over the past 30 years, even though most of their overall populations have decreased, according to a study by the Associated Press.

Big cities offer a condensed and sizeable job market for graduates looking to put their degrees to use immediately. It is also hard to ignore the enticing social life and culture that these metropolitan areas offer young adults.

“I can’t wait to move to the city,” said Katherine O’Neill ’06, who accepted a job in New York City that will start in June. “After spending a semester abroad in London, I’m really looking forward to living in a fast-paced city again, especially coming from suburban Fairfield.”

Allison Emde ’06 also plans on moving to New York City after graduation.

“I spent a year studying in New York as a freshman, and I loved the experience,” said Emde. “I’m excited about living in Manhattan again.”

The cities themselves benefit from this influx of educated inhabitants. According to the article by the Associated Press, a city’s economic success partially stems from the percentage of college graduates working and living within its borders.

Cities with educated adults generate high-paying jobs, which in turn attract more degree-holding adults to contribute to a city’s well-being, Richard Vedder an economics professor at Ohio University, told the Associated Press.

Seattle was ranked the best-educated city as of 2004 (over half of its adults hold bachelors degrees), with mostly southern and western cities following close behind, according to the Associated Press. Meanwhile, many cities of the northeastern area are lagging, indicating that Fairfield graduates are not necessarily following the trend.

Northeastern states have some of the highest percentages of college graduates; Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey are included among the top five states in the nation. Yet these graduates are not necessarily living in the region’s cities, leaving the list of top 10 cities with the highest percentage of college graduates void of any northeastern representatives.

Dennis Amrine, interim director for the Fairfield University Career Planning Center, said that he thinks Fairfield’s seniors are more focused on pursuing jobs in the tri-state area rather than specifically chasing city-based jobs.

“We’ve always had a core group that has wanted that experience of the city,” said Amrine. “But I wouldn’t say that group has necessarily grown.”

However, the idealized picture of city life in place of college life still holds strong for many students.

“I have two more years to go, but I already know that I’d love to find a job and live in the city,” Jackie Mautone ’08 said. “Aside from the work, the city has so much else: museums, shopping [and] clubs.”

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