SAN DIEGO — Two San Diego-area cities were considered among the worst places to start a career in a new study of nearly 200 cities across the country.

Oceanside and Chula Vista were ranked among the worst cities for recent college graduates to enter the job market for the first time, according to the study conducted by personal finance company WalletHub.

Oceanside came in at the 154th spot, while Chula Vista came in at 167th. According to the study, both were given low scores in the two key dimensions analyzed: “Professional Opportunities and “Quality of Life.”

The City of San Diego fared slightly better, ending up in the 72nd spot on the best cities to start a career list.

The highest-ranked California city on the list was Sacramento, which came in at 38th. Santa Clarita was the lowest positioned city from the Golden State in the 178th spot, in part due to less entry level jobs among those of working-age, according to WalletHub.

Other California cities’ positions can be found below:

  • No. 58 – San Francisco
  • No. 70 – Irvine
  • No. 100 – Modesto
  • No. 106 – Riverside
  • No. 108 – San Bernardino
  • No. 112 – San Jose
  • No. 124 – Ontario
  • No. 135 – Fremont
  • No. 136 – Oakland
  • No. 137 – Bakersfield
  • No. 138 – Fresno
  • No. 143 – Fontana
  • No. 145 – Los Angeles
  • No. 147 – Rancho Cucamonga
  • No. 157 – Huntington Beach
  • No. 159 – Santa Rosa
  • No. 161 – Santa Ana
  • No. 162 – Stockton
  • No. 164 – Garden Grove
  • No. 168 – Anaheim
  • No. 169 – Glendale
  • No. 172 – Long Beach
  • No. 174 – Oxnard
  • No. 175 – Moreno Valley

While San Diego-area cities were ranked fairly low in the study, WalletHub stresses that recent college graduates are entering the job market at a good time: a projection from the National Association of Colleges and Employers estimated that employers planned to hire about 4% more new graduates than they did last year at this time.


In order to determine the best and worst cities to start a career, WalletHub compared 182 cities — 150 of the most populated U.S. cities, plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state — across two dimensions, using 26 metrics.

These metrics included the availability of entry-level jobs, monthly average starting salary, annual job growth, unemployment, job satisfaction, housing affordability, median annual income and share of young newcomers to the workforce.

Data for these metrics came from a variety of sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Housing and Urban Development,, Glassdoor, the Pew Charitable Trusts and the United States Conference of Mayors among others.