You’re done. It’s over. College. Defeated.
It’s one of the best feelings there is in life to accomplish what you have. As much fin as college hopefully was, the next chapter is an important one. Your degree can offer you so many options in life and plenty of them are right here in the Ozarks. So, while you’re planning your next chapter, here are some great reasons to keep it local after graduation.
It’s an easy thing to forget when you’ve lived here for a long period of time, but Springfield is incredible affordable when compared to the national average. In our world of real estate, our city’s affordability really shines at 25% below the national average. With interest rates under 4% to pair with low cost housing, first time homebuyers in Springfield are in one of the best positions they’ve ever been in before.
Our friends at liveinspringfieldmo.com have calculated that a home valued at $195,000 in Springfield would cost $1,434,407 in San Francisco! At that rate, you could buy seven homes in Springfield for the same amount in San Francisco. Unless it’s the actual home from Full House, we’d take the seven homes in SGF.
The unemployment rate in Springfield is a full percentage point below the national average right now, coming in at a paltry 2.8%. The Springfield metro area’s workforce is outpacing both Kansas City and St. Louis in terms of growth and is also above the overall national average. With so many opportunities, you can be selective and find a place with a great career path instead of just a starting job.
Springfield has been a top five city to start a business for several years in a row, according to sites like Inc.com, Forbes.com and WalletHub.com. We earn top marks for access to resources and cost of doing business. Organizations like the eFactory and the Small Business Development Center assist small business owners and entrepreneurs in getting their ventures off the ground. This isn’t just a recent revelation either. Titans of industry like Jack Henry & Associates, Bass Pro and O’Reilly Autoparts all started right here in Springfield.
The Average commute is just 17 minutes, which is 8 minutes faster than the national average. For comparison, the average commute in Chicago is just under one hour. Springfield has some of the most cutting edge roadways in the nation. We were the first city in the United States to implement the diverging diamond, and our average commute is much shorter than national averages.
Springfield has a wide variety of neighborhoods and communities to call home. If you want to be at the heart of the city, you can score a sweet loft on Commercial or Walnut. If you’re looking for a classy older home, Rountree and University Heights have a lot to offer. If you’re looking for something brand new look to Nixa and Ozark. Whatever you’re looking for, Springfield has it! If you’d like to learn more about any of the fine establishments in our city, just take a look at our subdivisions and communities pages.
In addition to the companies mentioned earlier, great local businesses like Positronic, Andy’s Frozen Custard, SRC Holdings, Prime, Loren Cook, BKD and so many more have become major players in their industries. Chase Card Services, Kraft and Expedia also have large offices in town. Nearly any industry you can think of has a major employer right here in town.
The emergence of groups like the Springfield Chamber of Commerce’s The Network, One Million Cups and the eFactory’s many different events all afford young professional with the networking opportunities they need to further their careers. These groups have fun and informative meetings that can help you learn about other industries, new technologies and potential landing spots for your future!
Springfield is one of the fastest growing cities in the state and it will require more leaders to step forward and help to shape the future. The people who are enacting that change now are largely folks who grew up here or hung around after graduation. The next generation of leaders will follow suit and craft the living experience for thousands of Springfield citizens in the future. New city council member Matthew Simpson is a great example of that. Simpson started out as an entrepreneur, opening Five Pound Apparel with his brother Brian. He then became the director of research, strategic planning and grant development at Ozarks Technical Community College. Since then he’s become President of the Foundation for Springfield Public Schools Board of Directors, a member of the Springfield-Greene County Library Board of Trustees, a member of Leadership Springfield and a member of the Downtown Springfield Association. All before the age of 35.
Our city is becoming a foodie hotspot in Midwest. We just wrote about 15 new restaurants in Springfield and the surrounding area and there are many more to come soon. It’s not just chains and diners anymore. We’re seeing bona fide chefs starting really cool conceptual restaurants right in our backyard.
There aren’t many cities that have such a great mix of urban life and nature in such a close proximity. The Springfield metro area is very unique because it’s surrounded on all sides by rolling hills of wooded acres just waiting to be explored. You can be immersed in nature in less than 15 minutes in any direction from Park Central Square.
Whatever you decide to do in your future, Springfield will always be here waiting, but we think it’s a great place to be as a young adult looking to build a career and have some fun. Plus, if your parents live here, it’ll make them really happy.