Now that you’re an adult, pursuing that elusive graduate degree has grown in difficulty. This educational milestone often requires relocation and securing a new job to boot. The following are some of the best college towns bustling with cultural activity and rich with career opportunities to finally receive that coveted master’s degree!
1. West Lafayette, Indiana
Purdue University is nestled in the heart of West Lafayette, a brimming college community steeped in culture and history. In nearby Lafayette, 17.5 percent of residents have careers in the educational or medical fields, according to MSN.com. An array of Lafayette apartments are scattered throughout the college town for reasonable prices. History buffs are in for a treat with several noteworthy places of interest. A few miles southwest of West Lafayette is Fort Ouiatenon where re-enactors assemble for the Feast of the Hunter’s Moon in celebration of the French and Native American tradition. Visit the National Historic Landmark of Tippecanoe Battlefield and its museum for a crash course on Native American and settler conflict. Being one of the “Big Ten,” Purdue and the West Lafayette community takes its sports seriously. Top teams contend surrounded by avid fans — football and basketball are especially popular.
2. New Haven, Connecticut
The venerable Ivy League school, Yale University, rests in the eastern town of New Haven, Conn. — it also happens to be the city’s largest employer. New Haven’s major employment sectors are education and health service followed by trade, transportation and utilities, according to CityTownInfo.com. Most of New Haven’s cultural attractions revolve around the prestigious university. The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale Center for British Art and Yale University Art Gallery rank among the most popular. The translucent marble Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library is also not to be missed by lovers of literature and all things readable.
3. Champaign, Illinois
The University of Illinois keeps the Prairie state town of Champaign alive and galvanized. Nearly half of residents 25 years of age and older have bachelor’s degrees or higher. Education, healthcare, technology and software are Champaign’s most prominent employment sectors. Students and fans congregate to Memorial Stadium to watch the Fighting Illini play a game of pigskin with opposing teams. For the more culturally inclined, the Art Theater, as its name suggests, is a single screen art house showing art films and sleeper hits. The enormous Hessel Park provides a natural open space for the neighborhood with tracks for runners, tennis courts, pavilions and playgrounds — the perfect place for anything from a morning jog to family picnics.
4. Athens, Georgia
Home to the University of Georgia, Athens is located in the northeastern sector of the Peach State. Athens beckons up-and-coming medical professionals and educators; more than 20 percent of residents earn a living in education and medicine, according to MSN.com. Sports fans should be sure to visit Sanford Stadium, the on-campus football venue, to watch a Georgia Bulldogs game. Explore nature in the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, a beautiful 313-acre preserve open to the public and used by the university for horticulture study. You’ll have to witness the Green Acres/Crestwood area’s “Lawn Chair Brigade,” a quirky segment of the Independence Day parade involving marchers performing casual dance routines while twirling lawn chairs.