Five reasons to stay in Des Moines after graduation


by Blake Carlson, Staff Writer

Let’s face it. We all have one goal after walking through the gates of College Hall: get the heck out of Iowa as fast and as far as possible. But do not be too quick to jump to conclusions, there might be more opportunities in these Fields of Dreams than you think.  

Here’s our countdown of five reasons to stay in Des Moines after graduation:

5. Des Moines is among the best affordable place to live in the United States.

With a median salary of $47,170 and 23.8% spent on living expenses, according to a 2017 report published by U.S. News and World Report, Des Moines is a steal for the college graduate with student loan debt piling up.


4. The well-being of Des Moines residents ranks in the top 25 of U.S. cities.


Des Moines/West Des Moines comes in at number 23 (14 points higher than Minneapolis/St. Paul) with a well-being index score of 63.8 out of 100 in the 2016 Gallup/Healthways Well-Being Index. Entering the adult world can be an anxiety ridden experience for most, but Des Moines folks happen to be among the happiest.

3. We sell insurance. (The job market for young people is loaded.)

There are over 80 insurance businesses in greater Des Moines constantly adapting and growing with an ever changing job market who are in need of skilled labor in everything from accounting to computer programming. Insurance alone accounts for 16% of jobs in the region according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Even though it sounds dull, insurance might not be a bad gig.

2. Arts and culture are kind of a big deal to us.

With the Des Moines Metro Opera calling Simpson home, we are no strangers to quality performances. But other cities don’t have the luxury of a creative economy growing just as fast as the population. In a 2015 report from Americans for the Arts published in the Des Moines Register, the arts sector accounted for 5,677 full-time equivalent jobs.  From the Downtown Farmers Market (one of the 15 best in the nation) to the Social Club to the Willis Broadway Series at the Civic Center, the arts are alive and well in Des Moines.


1. It’s not just the Field of Dreams, but the American Dream.


MarketWatch just named Iowa the number one state in the U.S. to achieve the American Dream. According to a study by Zillow, 60% of millennials consider owning a home, a major part of the American Dream. You can do that for pretty cheap here.