The best cities for graduates looking for careers in finance

For graduates searching for finance jobs, geography can be nearly as important as skills and talents. Some cities are extremely welcoming to those searching for careers in finance, offering attractive job opening rates and high median salaries. Others, however, are experiencing a drought, and offer few jobs within the field.

Luckily, the Accounting Principles branch, relying primarily on internal data, has analyzed the job opening rates and determined the top ten cities for individuals searching for finance jobs. The report notes that finance careers are spread across numerous industries, such as the non-profit sector, healthcare facilities and more. The cities where these jobs are present are also spread out across the country, with some of the top metropolitan areas for finance jobs located in the south, others in the northeast, and others on the west coast.

"It is encouraging to see the nation is filled with opportunities that can suit to any jobseeker's tastes," said Jodi Chavez, senior vice president for Accounting Principles, in a statement attached to the report. "As the economy improves and most sectors are seeing improvement, finance professionals' options are also growing."

The top ten cities for individuals on the hunt for for finance jobs are listed below.

  • Dallas, TX
  • Houston, TX
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Irvine, CA
  • New York City & Long Island, NY
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Richmond, VA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Phoenix, AZ

The report noted that the list changed notably when compared with the top ten published previous years, suggesting rapid growth in the industry. The release cites numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, stating that unemployment rates in the finance industry stood at 4.7 percent during June 2013, down significantly from the 7.7 percent recorded during the height of the recession.

This is in stark contrast to many other sectors of the economy, suggesting that finance grads have good reason to be confident about their job prospects. Only 21 percent of Americans across all sectors of industry think now is a good time to search for a job, according to a report from Gallup – representing the lowest such percentage this year. 

"By doing this list annually, we are able to see that there are a variety of opportunities for job seekers outside of the typical 'finance hubs,' which is great news for finance and accounting professionals who don't want to be limited to certain geographic regions," said Chavez. "As employers become more confident in hiring, we hope to see continued success across varying industries and states as the economy improves."