2 Bay Area cities top list of best for young professionals

New college grads and professionals in the early stages of their career could do worse than living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area.

While their cost of living will be on the higher side, they won’t be able to find a higher median salary anywhere else.

Forbes recently crunched the numbers to find the best cities for young professionals and three local metro areas made the list of top 20.

Not surprisingly, San Francisco topped the list, while Silicon Valley came in a close second. Oakland brings up the lead at number 16.

To find the top cities for recent college grads and workers with five years of experience or less, Forbes looked at job growth, unemployment rates, pay and cost of living in the country’s 100 largest metro areas.

Of course, with high median salaries and active job markets, both San Francisco and Silicon Valley took top marks. However, the cost of living is equally as high in both, Forbes notes. Silicon Valley had the highest cost of living compared to the national average — 60 percent higher.

“I think that everybody knows that San Francisco is an expensive place to live, but it also has high wages and a strong job market to help new workers support a lifestyle here,” Juliana Bunim, VP of strategic communications at the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce tells Forbes. “Besides the economic and professional implications for people, it’s an extremely beautiful place to live.”

As Forbes notes, college grads ultimately need to make decisions based on which factors are the most important to them. Higher pay is great, but not if a majority of your monthly income is going toward rent.

Read the full story on SFGate here.