5 fast facts for why Shelby County is one of the TOP areas to launch a career


City life meets green space throughout Birmingham. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

In a generation raised by media, I feel like the only choices we saw if we wanted to launch a successful career in a fun city included an idealized version of New York City (looking at you Gossip Girl). The facts speak for themselves, however, that when it comes to affordability, fun and opportunities, Shelby County is begging to be looked at as a jumping-off point for young professionals.

But, did you know Shelby County recently ranked near the TOP of areas in Alabama to launch a career?

Smartasset listed Shelby Count as #2 on a list of counties across the country that are best for beginning a career. Purchasing power, annual college costs, unemployment rate and income growth all contributed to the high listing.

So why does this pertain to young professionals exactly? Well, the study measured these factors for those under 25. According to the study, the tech company said, “To find counties that offered favorable employment opportunities for entry-level or newly graduated employees, we considered data on unemployment rates for individuals ages 20-24 years old in each county. Each county’s unemployment rate was then ranked on an index.”

There’s a lot more than that for why the entire county is appealing to fresh job hunters. Let’s dive into what’s drawing the under 25 crowd into the ‘Ham.

1. It’s leading in several industries, including medicine + tech

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Photo courtesy of Children’s of Alabama

Named one of the top job markets for 2020 by Forbes, despite the craziest of times Birmingham continues pushing forward.

Constant innovation in medicine

If you didn’t know by now, Birmingham is home to some of the top hospitals and medical care facilities for patient care and groundbreaking research. The award-winning Children’s of Alabama‘s programs rank some of the best in the nation and UAB was recently named one of the best hospitals in the U.S.

The Southern Silicon Valley

This ain’t no rinky-dink town with one phone booth and a shared tablet. Tech startups are thriving in Birmingham, meaning not only continued progress for our city, but that the demand for jobs in this area is growing.

It’s not just beginning startups who are taking hold in the Magic City, even Apple’s CEO Tim Cook chose Birmingham to launch his own initiative, Ed Farm. Not to mention, massively successful companies like Shipt continue to lead their industries from right here in Birmingham.

Creatives have plenty of room + opportunities to practice their art (even through COVID-19!)

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Darter not scaled to size. Photo via merrileechalliss.com

If you’re on the creative side of things like me, you probably wouldn’t think of Birmingham as a place to launch your vision. However, our city creates kind of a perfect storm for doing just that. We’re not oversaturated like NYC or San Fran, but there’s big enough artistic community, including musicians and writers, to form connections and get your foot in the door.

Plus, whatever your medium may be, there are so many ways to exercise it whether it’s showcasing at one of our many art fairs, collaborating to paint a mural, trying out your poetry, and more.

2. The culture, nightlife + amazing eats promise no boredom in sight

Let’s just admit it, we want to live someplace fun. Rising young professionals are realizing there’s more to life than work and where you live is just as important as what kind of job you fall into.

Award winning + nationally recognized restaurants and bars

This section could easily get out of hand because Birmingham is consistently being recognized for its incredible culinary scene. Seriously, go look on our website and there’s pretty much an article on it every week.

3. More affordable housing than other cities

Forest Park is one of the best places to live in Birmingham, but that’s just my opinion. Photo via Bham Now

In a 2020 study analyzing the best cities for post-grads to move to, which, duh, includes Birmingham, Smart Asset listed housing affordability in favor of the Magic City. Where our median rent is $619, cities such as Nashville teeter around nearly $1000 on average for a one-bedroom.

4. There’s no easier city to make professional connections

Sidewalk Film Cinema
Many organizations in Birmingham are dedicated to helping you network, you just have to pick the one that’s right for you! Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Moving to a new city is hard, but trying to network at the same time can be overwhelming and intimidating. Pretty much anytime you hear someone describe Birmingham, it’s a variation of, “big city perks with a small-town vibe.” What this means is although we have so many opportunities and resources like large cities, our community is tight-knit enough where it’s easy to make connections.

5. Continue revitalization means you’re going to want to stick around

Rotary Club of Birmingham
Image courtesy of Picture Birmingham

Birmingham can’t stay off people’s radars and it’s because our secret of a city is quickly being found out. Revitalization throughout Birmingham translates into bringing in new interest from companies and fresh jobs. Don’t you want to see who will be talking about us next?

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