July 1, 2014; Forbes

Where might a new college graduate find good job prospects? Forbes has an analysis ranking states by relatively low increases in college tuition for four-year public colleges and universities, high increases in income, and consistently low unemployment. In the table below, states shaded in green show conditions that Forbes considers the most promising (yellow reflects changes that are roughly commensurate with the nation’s, and pink conditions are below average). Based on this analysis, it’s a good thing to be in college getting ready to graduate in North Dakota. 


While North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Wyoming look promising for grads, other states offer grads less promising employment prospects. According to Forbes, “California, Rhode Island and Georgia reside in the nation’s basement, with large decreases in median income, high unemployment rates, and rising tuition since 2006.”

Interestingly, many of the pink states are high in the number of nonprofit employers that might be looking for graduates. GuideStar’s map of nonprofits of all kinds (searchable on its website) suggests some states have lots of nonprofits that might be good employers:


It isn’t hard to imagine that on a per capita basis, states such as Rhode Island, Delaware, and New Jersey probably rank very highly in their nonprofit density. How would the Forbes list change if there were a column for measuring the job environment for college graduates in the nonprofit sector?—Rick Cohen