Colleges and Universities

Atlanta: The College Grad’s Best Friend

Atlanta: The College Graduate's Best Friend

When it comes to reasons why Atlanta is a top city for college students and young professionals, the evidence is in the accolades. Forbes ranks Atlanta on its “Best Cities and Neighborhoods for Millennials” and third “Best City for Young Entrepreneurs.” Quality, competitive education and high quality of life for young professionals is what’s earned it so many titles. Students benefit from a wealth of educational options at 66 higher-education institutions across the metro area and enjoy some of the lowest cost of living in the country, as well as a diverse and open job pool.

Atlanta has ranked high on Kauffman’s list of best metros for entrepreneurial activity; the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s list of top cities for starting a business;’s top 10 cities for new graduates; Nerdwallet’s best cities for recent college grads to find jobs; and much more. The IT workforce in the metro area has boomed with the city being highlighted by Forbes, Site Selection, TriNet and more as a place where information jobs are abundant and well-paid. Atlanta has made it’s name not only as a major tech hub, but also as a place where the arts are celebrated in the Southeast; ranked Atlanta the No. 1 city in the country to be an artist and it’s the third top city for highest number of museums and galleries.

Beyond that, FDI’s Global Cities of the Future for 2014-15 saw Atlanta seventh on the worldwide list of 10 overall major cities of the future. Atlanta ranked first of all “major” cities in the FDI Strategy category.

The City’s Got It All

Some of what makes Atlanta a city of the future is its education. “Many people come to Atlanta because it’s unique: it offers big city appeal while still being a city of close-knit neighborhoods; it balances Southern food, culture and ideals with the latest technology; its career opportunities in major Fortune 500 companies are coupled with low cost of living, making it a great city for young professionals,” says Shelly Batcher, director of marketing at Life University in Marietta. “Life University is similarly unique: our chiropractic students educate the community on whole-body health; our nutrition students create nutrition recipes, swaps and plans for the modern diet; and our psychology students focus on the emerging branch of positive psychology, which focuses on pro-social behaviors instead of disease and diagnosis. Many of our graduates proudly go on to become practicing professionals in the city of Atlanta, bringing their skill sets to both the economy and the community.”

With low cost of living and a wealth of major Fortune 500 companies, Atlanta is the perfect city for a recent Life graduate to start a career. Atlanta is an excellent place for these professionals to impact social change, practice their skills, grow their businesses and become involved in the community. Specific to chiropractic, Atlanta is a significant hub of chiropractic conferences, seminars and practices. “Life University graduates highly skilled chiropractors, dietitians, psychologists and more who go on to become practicing professionals in the city of Atlanta, not only adding their specialized skill sets to the economy of the city, but also bringing their health-conscious, wellness-oriented mindsets to the communities they serve,” says Batcher.

Responding to the Job Market

Ranked as the seventh best public university according to U.S. News & World Report, Georgia Tech in Midtown Atlanta provides a focused, technologically based education to more than 21,500 undergraduate and graduate students. Tech has been ranked third public college with the smartest students by Business Insider, as well as ninth grad school for computer science and sixth grad school for engineering by U.S. News and World Report.

Engineers thrive in Atlanta with an abundance of job opportunities, low cost of living and high salaries. Due to this, there’s no surprise that in fiscal year 2014, Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering had 1,977 degrees conferred (between master’s and Ph.D.s); the second highest amount of degrees conferred in that year was Tech’s Scheller College of Business with 392, followed by the College of Sciences with 314. A few of the top interviewing companies that fiscal year were Microsoft, Airwatch, ExxonMobil, Deloitte, Siemens, Accenture and IBM.

Through a number of world-class programs at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, students have the opportunity to grow into engaged and globally connected leaders. “The Michael J. Coles College of Business provides a central connecting point with top executives in the business world, and faculty provide a wealth of expertise in training undergraduate and graduate students to be the next generation of leaders, says Tammy DeMel, executive director of strategic communications with KSU. “Whether they learn in the business college classrooms, with internships or through the research efforts of more than a dozen centers, institutes and labs, the students of Kennesaw State have educational opportunities related to nearly every aspect of business.”

Faculty, staff and alumni throughout the university are continually cultivating relationships with members of the business community in Georgia, as well as at the national and international levels. These connections provide new opportunities for investment and foster new research avenues in economic development. “Corporate involvement and support is more crucial than ever to help empower and prepare students with the ability and vision to transform the future,” DeMel says. “Kennesaw State is well-placed to offer a number of opportunities for corporate organizations to help shape Georgia’s future and enhance their initiatives.” Some of the largest corporations have headquarters in the metro area and consistently recruit graduates from KSU.

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  • No. 1 metro for industrial/manufcaturing/operations engineering bachelor’s degrees awarded
  • 3rd highest growth in bachelor’s degrees awarded to international students
  • No. 1 city for new college graduates, 2013 (Forbes)
  • No. 2 metro for biomedical/bioengineering bachelor’s degrees awarded
  • VentureLab at Georgia Tech ranks No. 2 University Incubator in the World (UBI Index)
  • No. 6 for total physical science degrees awarded (bachelor’s and higher)
  • No. 3 animation program in North American – Savannah College of Art and Design (3D World magazine)
  • No. 5 metro for bachelor’s degrees awarded in computer and information sciences

Source: Metro Atlanta Chamber