20 The Graduate’s Guide to Thriving in Colorado’s Growing Cities

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As you embark on life after Fort Lewis College, you may be thinking about your next destination. With so much on offer within Colorado, you might have decided to stay in the state without yet nailing down a specific city.

There are plenty of appealing candidates. The state has many growing urban centers that might be a great place to start your career. You’ve got Denver, with its diverse neighborhoods and plentiful opportunities, to the more scenic Colorado Springs, where the great outdoors meets greater affordability.

These cities, along with others like Boulder and Fort Collins, offer unique experiences, and that’s why we’ve created this guide – to help you find the perfect post-graduation destination.

Exploring Colorado’s Job Market: What Industries Are Driving the State’s Economy?

Colorado benefits from a thriving state economy, and several cities are still experiencing rapid job growth. For instance, The Denver metro area alone is projected to add more than 300,000 jobs through 2030, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

Industries experiencing significant growth in Colorado include tech, tourism, energy, retail, and healthcare. The tech and energy industries are particularly notable, with more than 248,000 people currently employed in tech-related jobs and a considerable increase in investment into renewable energy production.

So, how can you use your degree from Fort Lewis College to break into these thriving sectors?

Tips for Leveraging Your Degree to Secure Employment in Colorado

Here are some ways you can boost your chances of landing a job in one of Colorado’s vibrant urban centers:

  • Focus on industries showing stable and long-term growth, like tech, energy, and tourism.
  • Develop soft skills like customer service, which are highly desired across various industries.
  • Upskill in specific software applications and coding languages to stay competitive, especially in tech-related roles.
  • Research skills gaps in different cities to improve your chances of being successfully recruited.

No matter your chosen industry, by putting in the work before you send your first application, you can dramatically improve your chances of landing an ideal first position in one of Colorado’s thriving cities.

Navigating Housing in Colorado’s Cities As a Young Professional 

Of course, finding a job is only the first part of the equation as you transition from campus life to professional life. Finding somewhere to live is also critical. At this early career stage, the key will be balancing affordability with your desired lifestyle, especially in areas with higher living costs, such as Denver.

The good news is you’ll have plenty of options when starting your search. While you will likely rent initially, there’s something to be said for getting on the property ladder as soon as possible so you can start harnessing the benefits of homeownership.

When purchasing your first home, looking at new construction homes is a good idea. These properties offer modern amenities and are located in neighborhoods that cater well to the needs of young professionals like you. Some home builders, including LGI Homes in Denver, offer a move-in-ready solution, perfect if you’re relocating for work and need to settle quickly. You can often complete the purchase of these homes in as little as 30 to 45 days, offering a swift and stress-free transition into homeownership.

Of course, you need to weigh up your options. There are pros and cons to all types of homes, but the decision becomes less daunting when you stack up the long-term financial benefits (including equity-building) of owning a brand-new home over renting. Plus, you get to move into a community of young, vibrant, like-minded homeowners ready to put down roots and build a family-friendly living environment.

Embracing the Urban Colorado Lifestyle as a Recent Graduate

Of course, life is more than just work. Colorado’s growing cities offer massive cultural and recreational opportunities, and each has its own distinct charm. No matter where you end up, almost all of the state’s urban centers give you easy access to the state’s famed outdoor adventures. Whether it’s hiking, skiing, or exploring the Rockies, you’re never far from an outdoor escape.

Cities like Denver and Boulder offer thriving arts scenes, bustling cafes, and all kinds of neighborhood events. Places like Fort Collins and Colorado Springs are a little more laid back, and the focus here is more on the recreational opportunities.

Try to avoid merely living and working in our state’s great cities. Take your downtime as an opportunity to engage in your local communities. By exploring and engaging, you will not only grow your personal interests but also complement your professional aspirations. After all, you never know who you might meet at a community get-together, a sporting event, or a live music concert.

Charting Your Path in Colorado’s Urban Landscapes

As you make your way from Fort Lewis College out into the professional world, you may well be drawn to one of Colorado’s many thriving urban centers. Cities like Denver and Colorado Springs offer their own unique canvas for your professional and personal journey, with excellent career prospects and nature’s playground never too far away.

Across the state’s cities, the job market is as robust as it is diverse. That said, the booming tech and energy industries might catch your eye the most, with jobs available in either sector right across Colorado.

You should find plenty of options when the time comes to find a place you can call your own. However, nearly a third of homes for sale today are new construction homes*, and their popularity is due, in large part, to their suitability to first-time buyers just like you. With streamlined home-buying processes, upgrades included in the sale price, and community-only amenities, there’s a lot to like about the homes produced by LGI Homes and others across the state.

But remember, your life in Colorado is far more than your work and accommodation, as important as they both are. It’s a state that delivers an unparalleled quality of life. With the great outdoors on your doorstep and urban attractions and culture around the corner, dive into everything your chosen city offers to get the most fulfillment from the life you’re trying to build for yourself.

In that respect, consider Colorado’s urban areas not just as destinations but as launching pads for a rich and rewarding life. So go ahead and build a career, find a community, and enjoy a lifestyle that brings out the best in you.

*Additional sources: https://cdle.colorado.gov/


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