Expensive rent, low job availability: Rethink staying in New Haven post-grad

Jene Thomas – General Assignment Reporter 

Some students, like Dylan Gillis, senior psychology major, said that upon graduation, they’re considering living locally because it’s easier finding affordable rent, especially when graduate school is an option.

“It’d be much easier stay around here and go to grad school,” Gillis said.

There is a common belief that by staying in the New Haven area, students will find more success in finding cheap rent and more access to jobs by commuting locally. However, Connecticut may not be the best option for students after all.

According to Forbes, New Haven is the worst city in the country to be a renter.

“With a low rental vacancy rate of 4.5 percent, average rent in New Haven is up $57 over last year to $1,504 per month, exceeded only by notoriously pricey markets like New York City, San Francisco and Boston,” Forbes said.

Connecticut is one of the major states losing the amount of jobs available for the year of 2015. Its unemployment rates, as of February, stand at 6.4 percent, over the national average of 5.5 percent, and down by 3700 jobs, according to National Conference of State Legislatives.

Whether it was by common misconception or self-assurance, students seemed set on staying around the area because of a more affordable quality of life but branching out of the area may be what is needed in order to succeed.


New Haven apartments. Photo Credit: Brooke Williams

At the moment, senior Louise Tsafack who is currently studying math, has graduate school as a goal, with University of New Haven and Central Connecticut State University in mind. However, the idea of staying locally has not completely shot down ideas of relocation.

“I’m not sure of where I’m going,” she said. “I might stay in the area. It depends if other cities are cheaper for school and rent.”

While finances primarily drive where a student lands after he or she graduates, it would be smart on the part of the student to pick an area that proved to be both economically stable and fiscally responsible.

Approximately 435 miles away is an option for many students as Buffalo was named one of America’s most affordable cities to live. Its average apartment was listed around $860, according to Rent Jungle and Bloomberg Business named it the seventh strongest job market, especially in finance and manufacturing industries.

Students owe it to themselves to at least do the research and find the opportunities, despite being unsure of where they might be.

Though Washington D.C. has an average rent of is $1700, it may be a better option for students in terms of job placement and higher salaries.

Unemployment rests at 4.9 percent according to Forbes. Students will have more access to jobs, and with the average salary at $90149, in comparison to New Haven’s $58571,according to the Department of Numbers as of 2013, they will more likely to afford their rent.

For many people, it is leaving a comfort zone. However, studies show that areas outside of New Haven prosper in the job market. Assuming that staying locally is the best or only option for students will prove regrettable when it comes time to finding a steady job and consistent living arranges.

The career services at Southern Connecticut State University will meet with students one on one with to discuss possible paths. Jordan Williamson, a secretary at career services said that the office has helped students with résumés and cover letters, as well as working with them to find internships, both locally and nationally.

“I’d want to go into a marketing firm and I would probably want to set for doing that outside of Connecticut,” Williamson said.

Photo Credit: Michel G.


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