Move over, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. CNBC recently ranked Houston among the best cities for young professionals based on job potential and affordability. As if that wasn’t motivation enough, any native Houstonian would also be quick to point out several other reasons why our city is the best place to live, work and build a business. So, if you’re a recent graduate looking for a new place to work, listen up – here are ten reasons to start packing your bags for H-town.
Metro Houston’s economy would rank 24th in the world if it were a country. Fortunately for us, that kind of economic productivity attracts talent and companies from all over the globe. Houston is home to 26 Fortune Global 2000 and 20 Fortune 500 companies. Of the world’s 100 largest non-U.S.-based corporations, 58 have a presence in Houston. It’s no secret that Houston is the Energy Capital of the World. But did you know that our city is also a major hub for a variety of other sectors, including health care, manufacturing, engineering and finance? No matter the industry, Houston is sure to have plenty of opportunities for you to explore your passion in a market of limitless potential. Remember: employment=$$=more tacos.
They say that everything is bigger in Texas, and thanks to the affordable cost of living, your bank account is no exception. Houston is one of the most affordable major cities in the U.S. In fact, the 2017 C2ER Cost of Living Index shows the region has the fifth lowest cost of living among the nation’s 20 most populous metropolitan areas. With no income tax in a state that also ranks 8th for lowest individual taxes according to CNN Money, average living costs after taxes are roughly 1.8 percent below what you’d find in other large urban areas. This means you can spend less money on rent and more on the social scene. Score!
Houston is more than just a great economy – it is one of the few cities with resident companies in drama, ballet, opera and symphony orchestra. Visit the Theater District to see world-class productions by the Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera and the Houston Ballet – all critically-acclaimed professional companies whose members have toured the world. Take advantage of Houston’s 500+ institutions devoted to the visual and preforming arts, science and history. And don’t forget, Houston gave the world Beyoncé.
Whether you would enjoy spending an evening at one of Houston’s highly-acclaimed performing arts venues or exploring the bars in the Market Square Historic District, you will never find yourself bored on a Saturday night. Get dinner at one of the city’s world-class restaurants before attending a show in the Theater District, learn to two-step at a dance hall like Goodnight Charlie’s, or go bar-hopping in one of the region’s popular areas such as Midtown, Downtown, or Montrose – with 650 bars and clubs there will always be a new place to explore.
Festival enthusiasts rejoice: Houston’s event calendar has something for every taste. Celebrate Mardi Gras in Galveston, dust off your cowboy boots for the world’s largest rodeo, or kick-off summer with tickets to the In Bloom Music Festival, just to name a few. From the Original Greek Festival to the Japanese Festival Festival to Houston Black Heritage Music and Arts Festival and beyond, attendees of the many annual heritage celebrations can experience the beauty and diversity of the cultures that make up the Houston region. There are tons of events to explore year-round, so you will always have something to look forward to.
Houston is the most diverse city in the nation, a fact that enriches not just the culture, but the economy as well: last year, Entrepreneur Magazine ranked it the #1 city for minority entrepreneurs. Houston also placed fourth in economic opportunities for minorities and fifth for the number of minority-owned firms. The city’s 2000 census noted for the first time that Houston has no racial or ethnic majority. You can also experience Houston’s rich diversity through the numerous mosques, synagogues, Hindu temples, and even a Zoroastrian cultural center spotted across the region. No matter your culture, religion, race or orientation, you can be sure Houstonians will welcome you with open arms.
Ask any native Houstonian what they enjoy most about their city, and “food” is an answer you are likely to receive. In 2017, Yelp.com listed Houston restaurants as having more than 75 national categories of cuisine, 600 vegan-friendly restaurants, more than 150 farm-to-table restaurants and more than 700 food trucks. Whether you’re looking for a taste of home or you simply have an adventurous palate, Houston offers the best authentic cuisine from around the world. And once you have a taste of our barbecue, you will understand why we host an annual festival in its honor. Bon Appetit!
Get your travel bags ready, y’all – Houston is your gateway to the world. One of the largest transportation hubs on the planet, the Bayou City is the international gateway to the south/central United States, and all of Latin America. Houston is the only city in Texas with two international airports, and only one of eight such cities nationwide. You can kiss tedious layovers goodbye because the city’s airports offer nonstop service to 109 domestic and 68 international locations, meaning you’re only one stop away from your dream vacation. So, go buy that ticket! What’s stopping you?
Houston has been the energy industry’s innovation hub for many years, and the Texas Medical Center has been at the forefront of the fast-growing biotech sector. The city has also seen a surge in the launch of co-working spaces and accelerators like Station Houston, TMCx, UH's RED Labs, Rice's OwlSpark and JLabs. One of Houston’s biggest advantages is our large supply of young talent and strong university systems. And there’s more on the way including the construction of a new Innovation District in Midtown and TMC3, a new part of the Medical Center campus dedicated to next-generation life sciences work.
Burn off stress and lower your blood pressure after work by taking advantage of the 545 developed parks and 220 green spaces within Houston city limits. Despite what you might think, Houston is one of America’s greenest cities: it ranks first in total park acreage among U.S. cities with more than one million residents. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy the 200 golf courses and three TopGolf locations in the region; dog lovers can take their fur-baby to one of nine dog parks; cyclists can participate in the annual BP MS150 ride from Houston to Austin and the 345-mile interconnected bikeway network; and tennis players have access to more than 200 tennis courts. If spectating is more your style, there are plenty of opportunities to attend world-class sporting events without ever leaving town. Houston hosted its first Super Bowl in 1974, its second in 2004 and Super Bowl LI in 2017. In 2016, the city hosted the NCAA Final Four Basketball Tournament.
Come see why Houston is one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities. Diverse in culture and limitless in opportunity, the region is the perfect fit for recent grads who seek something beyond just a job– Houston is a place you can truly call “home.” And did I mention we have great tacos?
For more interesting facts about Houston, visit Houston.org/Economy.