We all want to do work that we love, but before you can start implementing smart negotiating strategies, you have to land the job. And since more than 20.5 million students went back to college this fall, competition in the job market is getting tougher by the minute. Whether you’re looking for a corporate gig with flexible hours or are on your way to becoming a #girlboss, chances are, there’s someone just as talented knocking down the same door.

young woman at interview

So where should you go to have the best shot at post-graduation employment? According to the Job Application Center, you might want to consider a move to Colorado, which scored high in available jobs per capita and relatively low in competition. On the flip side, it might be smart to avoid Idaho, which scored super high in competition and low in available jobs.

jobs by state

Just because you found a dream job in a dream locale, doesn’t mean you should skip on reviewing the cost of living. This study found that New York, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Texas are the most expensive states to live in, thanks to a high cost of goods and services.

best to live

Geography might be one piece of the puzzle, but what industries have the most opportunity? Well, according to the data, job seekers should look for a gig in the communications field, which is expected to see a four percent increase from 2014-2024. If you’re not into communications, check out the support industry, like call centers and help desk services, which currently has about 1.5 million open positions.

most available jobs

If you’re still in school and trying to decide on a degree, this data shows it might be a good idea to avoid finance. Turns out, entry-level finance gigs are hard to find, with only 0.2 jobs per graduate available. Lesser competitive fields include purchasing, business development and, not surprisingly, communications.

job competition

Tweet us where you’re job hunting @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty and Job Application Center)