For those of us who are fortunate enough to be young professionals living in Arizona, there’s no contest as to why we choose to make the desert our home. Between the great universities, sporting events, cuisine, night life, and perfect weather, what’s not to love about being in Arizona? This state offers what we millennials want most: the ability to live, work, and play. Governor Ducey often uses a similar phrase when asked what sets Arizona apart. He calls our state a place to “live, work, play, recreate, retire, visit and in so many places get an education.” I agree, Governor. With the nation’s sixth largest city in our backyard, the world seems to be at our fingertips.
That’s why earlier this week, the Phoenix Business Journal released an article that profiled the top cities for millennials seeking a place to live and work in Arizona. Among the top were Chandler and Scottsdale, followed by Tempe, Phoenix, and Flagstaff. The findings were originally obtained from NerdWallet, based on the criteria of available jobs, affordable rent, and number of other young professionals in the area.
In my personal experience, going to school in Tempe, working in Phoenix, and spending my downtime in Scottsdale has been a millennial’s dream come true. I can live, work, and play all in one place. And better yet- it’s extremely affordable. Forbes hit the nail on the head when they featured an article placing Phoenix, Arizona in the top ten happiest cities for a young professional.
And for many of my millennial friends who have an entrepreneurial spirit, Arizona has also been a great breeding ground. Our generation loves startups. And that’s great news, because Phoenix is sometimes referred to as the “Silicon Desert,” as many have noted the potential for Phoenix to become one of the major startup hubs. All three state universities have been making considerable efforts to foster this spirit in their students. As a perfect example, today (3/27/15) Arizona State University’s SkySong will be hosting the annual Arizona Collegiate Venture Competition, a yearly competition for the top student startups from Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and University of Arizona.
I won’t forget to mention that Scottsdale, Gilbert, and Chandler were just named among the top hardest working cities in America for 2015. On a list of hundreds, Arizona boasted three cities in the top 25, with Phoenix, Glendale, Mesa, and Tucson also making the full list. It’s no surprise that people are really excited about the future of business in AZ.
Having been born and raised in this great state, perhaps I am biased. But statistics such as the record-breaking number of students enrolled at Arizona State University for 2014-2015 make me think otherwise. Millennials are purposefully choosing to pursue their education and career in the desert, and it’s easy to see why.
We are among the lucky who live, work, and play in 300 days of sunshine.