San Francisco, CA
Winner: Best Place to Launch a Career
Young hopefuls have swarmed to San Francisco for the Gold Rush, for the Summer of Love, and now for the new Tech Boom. The tech industry shifted in recent years from Silicon Valley up to S.F. proper, as giants like Salesforce, Twitter, Pinterest, Zynga, Dropbox, and Yelp established headquarters in the city. (Google and Facebook have growing branch offices there as well.)
Last year, there was more venture-capital investment in S.F. than in any other place in the country, including Silicon Valley. But the city’s tech boom has downsides. Housing costs are at an all-time high, and competition for landing a lease is fierce.
The boom also introduces more opportunities; it’s estimated that every high-tech job creates another 4.3 jobs throughout the community—in health care, education, hospitality.