By Blake Stewart
Finding the right city to live in after college can have an impact on the rest of your career, and according to Money Magazine, Brentwood is a good place to start out.
Recently, Money Magazine named Brentwood the third-best place in the United States to start a career, measured by job growth and salaries.
Brentwood’s location right outside Nashville, economic growth, a strong school system, quality of life, along with a variety of big-name employers to pick from, all are attractions. Companies like COMDATA, Tractor Supply Corp., and Delek US Holdings call Brentwood home, making the city an ideal destination for recent college grads to get momentum in their career.
“The key that makes Brentwood an ideal city to launch a career is that the economy is diverse, said Patrick Cammack, director of economic development with Williamson Inc., the county Chamber of Commerce. “You’re seeing different occupations, so no matter where you go study there will always be that opportunity because of the diversity.”
A recent trends report from the Williamson County Chamber of Commerce stated that Williamson County continues to lead the state in population growth and is among the leaders in job growth nationwide.
According to the Money ranking, workers who start their career in an area with a sluggish economy will likely fall short of their full potential; research has shown that your post-college salary can affect your pay over the rest of your career. But launching your journey in a place ripe for growth can give you the momentum you’ll need to point you toward that six-figure salary, C-suite role, or whatever professional goal you’ve set for yourself.
In the past five years, employment in the 10 Middle Tennessee counties grew 18 percent. Broken out by county, Williamson led the region with 33 percent job growth, followed by Maury and Rutherford, growing by 30 percent and 23 percent respectively. For 3 of 4 quarters in 2017, Williamson County held the distinction of the fastest-growing job market in the nation.
“Employment is growing rapidly with the increase in population, which fuels the workforce,” Cammack said. “Another factor making Brentwood an ideal location is the access to the Interstates. Brentwood has this advantage because of the proximity to the employment center of Cool Springs and Nashville.”
The economy is diversified across many industries with strong concentrations in headquarters and back office operations, and less employment in manufacturing and government, when compared with the nation as a whole.
“Employers are attracted to the business-friendly government in the county which helps when businesses are ready to expand,” Cammack said.
Williamson County is home to half of the Fortune 500 companies in the Nashville region and over 30 percent of the Inc. 5000 companies in Tennessee, representing both small start-ups and well established enterprise companies. Twelve of the top twenty-five largest publicly traded companies in the Nashville region call Williamson County home.
Industries expected to grow the most by 2027 in Williamson County are expected to be seen in management of companies and enterprises, administrative, healthcare, and professional, scientific, and technical services. Jobs in these four industries have average earnings of $87,918, well above the county and regional averages.
The area currently has a low unemployment rate of less than 3.5%, and is expected to see 12% job growth by 2021, according to Moody’s Analytics.
Data from Williamson, Inc., shows that the Middle Tennessee region has a cost of living 4 percent lower than the national average, and an average cost of housing for the Nashville Metropolitan area 13.1 percent lower than the national average.
57 percent of Williamson County residents were born outside the state of Tennessee, attracted both by the job growth and by the lack of a state income tax. And it is not just newcomers. People from the county are returning to city after college to find work.
Given the cost of living in Brentwood and a relatively older population, Brentwood is still an appealing destination for recent college grads. For the most junior employees, there are plenty of nearby housing options, and the nature of the jobs and potential salaries make pursuing a career path desirable.
Money said, “although home prices are relatively high, compared with many of our other winning towns, Brentwood delivers plenty of economic bang for your buck.”