Calgary: A Great Place For New Grads To Work (And Live!)


If you aren’t from Alberta, you probably haven’t thought about looking for work in Calgary.

No surprises there. When recent or soon-to-be graduates set out to find their first job, they usually look in their hometowns or in nearby urban centers.

However, if you’re struggling to find an entry level position in your chosen field or looking for a change of scenery, there are a few reasons you should consider a move to The Stampede City.

Calgary has jobs

Calgary has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, with its estimated 4.9% unemployment rate sitting well below the national average of 7.4%.

The city also has a demonstrated ability to weather economic shifts and downturn. Calgary boasts the second-lowest average unemployment rate of any city in Canada between 2001-2010, an honour shared with nearby Edmonton.

If you’re focused on the bottom line (your bottom dollar), Calgary can also lay claim to the highest average personal income in Canada, which might ease your fears about the cost of a cross-country move.

Calgary’s job market is growing

Alberta is projected to lead the nation in terms of medium-term economic growth and the benefits of this established potential are clearly visible in Calgary.

Calgary’s economic growth in 2012 will be among the highest in the province, prompting an increase in homebuilding, decrease in vacant business office space and a growing market for residential sales.

In addition to one of the highest rates of new job growth, Calgary’s booming job markets are well-suited to students looking for entry level work in a career field. Retail managers, IT analysts, accountants, sales clerks and registered nurses will all be highly sought after.

If these jobs include your chosen field (or one you’d like to pursue), Calgary might be right for you.

Calgary’s great after work

While choosing to search for work in an unfamiliar city might make you a little nervous, Calgary has a lot to offer beyond the 9 to 5 (it’s also one of the safest cities in Canada).

If you like the outdoors, Calgary is home to an abundance of natural urban spaces, including Nose Hill Park, the largest park of its kind in Canada. Whatever your favourite activity (skiing, boating, hiking) Calgary’s varied terrain has something to offer.

If you’re less adventuresome, Calgary’s arts and culture scene has gained national attention in recent years. The city was named the Cultural Capital of Canada in 2012, in no small part due to its hosting “The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth”—The Calgary Stampede, a rodeo and festival attended by over a million people annually.

If searching for entry level jobs in your hometown has started to feel stale, consider the opportunities offered in Calgary.

Though it’s true that home is where the heart is, Calgary is where the jobs are—accounting for 10% of currently active job postings on TalentEgg.

Photo credit: Downtown from McHugh Bluff by BillLongstaff on Flickr
About the author

Elias Da Silva-Powell is a Content, Marketing and Community Specialist at TalentEgg, as well as a two-time graduate of Queen's University. An avid bow-titan, he has been trying to bring whimsical neck wear back into the mainstream since 2008. He's around on Twitter: @EDSPowell and you can check out his profile on LinkedIn, and even G+.