St. George tops happiest careers post graduation list

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After going to school for the majority of life, students may be stressed about what comes after the final graduation day, but students, stress no more because St. George is one of the top 10 happiest places to find a job after college graduation.

According to the article “The 10 Happiest Cities For Job-Seeking College Grads” by Forbes writer Jacquelyn Smith, St. George tops the list with a ranking of 3.89 out of 5. The annual average salary in the sunshine city is $60,781, and it is known for its environment of beautiful scenery, outdoor recreation and friendly residents. The living cost is lower than larger cities, and it includes a metropolitan area with the rural feel.

Steve Bringhurst, executive director at the Dixie State University Career Center, said there are many things that would make St. George a happy workplace.

“I would assume the weather and location would be good to begin with,” Bringhurst said.

He also said the people of St. George make it a better working environment.

“They’re friendly with a good work ethic,” Bringhurst said. “They’re willing to help others.”

Lynzee Crosland, a DSU elementary education graduate, said St. George has many jobs with coworkers who are great to communicate and get along with. Also, the community has a lot to do with happy jobs because you are able to enjoy your surroundings.

According to the article, Washington County School District, DSU, Intermountain Health Care (Dixie Regional Medical Center), the City of St. George, and SkyWest Airlines are the largest employers in St. George.

Whitney Garrett, a DSU elementary education graduate, currently works as an elementary school teacher at Heritage Elementary and loves St. George because of all of the activities to participate in.

“There are always events going on to fit anyone’s hobbies and interests,” Garrett said. “I enjoy hiking, playing volleyball with family, swimming and being able to enjoy the nice weather. It provides great stress relief from the daily stressors of life. I think the nice weather has a huge impact on moods and happiness.”

Bringhurst said the employees in the Career Center are finding more students staying and working in St. George every year because of both the experience with the university and the experience in St. George.

Cameron Draper, a DSU psychology graduate, currently works at Dixie as an AV technician. He said he thinks St. George fully deserves the 3.89. 

“St. George has so many great reasons to be here, especially for someone who just graduated,” Draper said. “Any outdoor kind of person wants to go hiking, climbing, swimming, anything. They have so many different things that you can do here.”

Garrett agreed that there are plenty of reasons to stay in St. George to work.

“I have a lot of family in St. George, and I have fallen in love with the area over the last three years I’ve lived here,” Garrett said. “(There’s) such great people, amazing weather and outdoor activities.”

Draper has had experiences working in both Salt Lake City and Nevada, but he said he prefers working in St. George.

“Salt Lake is dirty, grimy, and people aren’t as happy there as we are here,” Draper said. “Nevada is just a dirt hole, and there’s nothing there.”

Crosland said she knows of many DSU graduates who stayed in St. George to work.

“The majority of the people I graduated with in elementary education have gotten teaching jobs here,” Crosland said. “A lot of my friends who have wanted to stay have found jobs as well. It helps that DSU has a really good nursing program and teaching program because those two professions are usually in high demand.”

Bringhurst said there are many job opportunities in St. George with the growing community, and the employees in the Career Center can help students find those connections.

Bringhurst said one of the biggest things to consider prior to graduation is an internship. If students go to the Career Center, the employees can help them create a resume, look over an existing resume, and search for internship and job opportunities. Bringhurst said experience is what will help you get the job you want.

To contact the Career Center, call 652-7737.