: 7 percent Median annual income
: $66,000 Average rent
: 1bd, $763/mo.; 2bd, $987/mo.
It's no wonder Houston is on the list. Twenty-four Fortune 500 companies have headquarters here, including Conoco Phillips (COP), Sysco (SYY), and Halliburton (HAL). The city is also known for its competitive cost of living and diverse mix of jobs, making it a great choice for grads looking to strike out on their own. The energy industry is a major player in Houston's economy, but opportunities also exist in fields including financial services, education, trade, transportation, and utilities.
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