Alpharetta + Savannah Among the Top 100 Cities for a Career Switch, Finds Survey

Thursday, March 14th, 2024

  • Survey of 3,000 professionals considering a career switch.

  • Alpharetta was the 20th most popular; followed by Savannah (56th).

  • Infographic showing the top 100 cities for a career switch. 

As technology, especially AI, continues to disrupt the job market, the need for career adaptability has never been more pressing. White-collar jobs, traditionally seen as secure, face the threat of obsolescence. In response, many, particularly those in their 30s, are considering career pivots. Many experts are predicting that the job landscape is actually bursting with new opportunities that need people who are willing to adapt. The global outplacement and career development experts at surveyed 3,000 professionals considering a career switch, to ascertain which cities in the U.S. have the most appeal for their next chapter.

The top 10 cities for a career switch are as follows:

1. Asheville, North Carolina
Survey respondents rated Asheville as the premier choice for relocating in pursuit of a new career direction. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is known for its vibrant arts scene, historical architecture, and outdoor recreation opportunities. The city has a growing economy in healthcare, education, and tourism, supported by a strong community focus on sustainability and local businesses. Asheville's cultural diversity, along with its commitment to environmental initiatives, makes it ideal for families seeking a unique blend of urban amenities and access to nature.

2. Pasadena, California
Pasadena emerges from the survey as a top contender for those looking to make a career pivot. Just northeast of downtown Los Angeles, Pasadena is more than just the home of the Rose Bowl. It's a city with a vibrant cultural scene, historic architecture, and significant employment opportunities in education, healthcare, and technology. Pasadena is home to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), providing an environment rich in scientific research and innovation.

3. Oviedo, Florida
Oviedo was ranked as the 3rd most popular choice. Close to Orlando, Oviedo offers a suburban feel with access to the economic opportunities in the metropolitan area, including technology, healthcare, and entertainment sectors. Oviedo is known for its top-rated schools, family-oriented community, and outdoor activities. The city's mix of modern amenities and natural beauty, including nearby lakes and parks, appeals to those looking for a balanced lifestyle.

4. St. Johnsbury, Vermont
Known for its historic charm and cultural institutions, such as the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, St. Johnsbury offers a diversified economy with strengths in education, healthcare, and manufacturing. The town's quality schools, community events, and access to the Northeast Kingdom's outdoor recreation opportunities make it appealing for families looking for a mix of cultural richness and natural beauty.

5. Sugar Land, Texas
Sugar Land emerged as the 5th most popular among young professionals seeking a different career path. And with good reason - located in the Houston metropolitan area, Sugar Land boasts a diversified economy with strengths in healthcare, energy, and engineering. The city is known for its high standard of living, excellent schools, and master-planned communities, offering a range of cultural, recreational, and shopping amenities. Sugar Land's commitment to community and economic development makes it attractive for families looking for a balance between urban and suburban living.

6. Lee's Summit, Missouri
Part of the Kansas City metropolitan area, Lee's Summit is recognized for its high quality of life, excellent educational system, and strong economy, with growth in healthcare, technology, and manufacturing. The city features numerous parks, a vibrant downtown area, and community events, making it ideal for families seeking a mix of suburban comfort and economic opportunities.

7. Elko, Nevada
Surprisingly, Elko came in as the 7th most popular among professionals. Historically known as a hub for the mining industry, Elko also has growing sectors in logistics, healthcare, and tourism, thanks to its location along the I-80 corridor and proximity to natural attractions. Elko's cultural events, including the famous National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and its outdoor recreational opportunities, provide a unique setting for families interested in exploring Nevada's rural lifestyle.

8. Bellingham, Washington
Nestled between the Puget Sound and the North Cascades, Bellingham, which was the 8th most popular, offers a vibrant economy with strengths in healthcare, education (home to Western Washington University), and retail. The city is known for its commitment to sustainability, active outdoor lifestyle, and a thriving arts and music scene. Bellingham's community-focused atmosphere, quality schools, and access to outdoor activities make it ideal for families seeking a balance between urban amenities and natural beauty.

9. Loveland, Colorado
Loveland was highlighted as the 9th desirable place for career changers. Situated near Fort Collins, Loveland is known for its strong arts community, including a thriving sculpture scene, and its proximity to the Rocky Mountains. The city has a growing economy with opportunities in manufacturing, healthcare, and tech. Loveland's family-friendly atmosphere, good schools, and dedication to public art projects make it an attractive option for families seeking a balance of culture and outdoor living.

10. Eau Claire, Wisconsin
And rounding up the top 10 of most desirable locations for a career switch was Eau Claire. Known for its strong emphasis on arts and music, Eau Claire has a diversified economy with strengths in healthcare, education, and manufacturing. The city hosts numerous cultural events, including the Eau Claire Jazz Festival and the Eaux Claires music festival. Eau Claire's commitment to community development, along with its beautiful parks and recreational opportunities along the Chippewa River, make it ideal for families seeking a vibrant community with a high quality of life.

Two Georgia cities are considered among the most appealing for a career switch among professionals:

20. Alpharetta

Located in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, Alpharetta has become a tech hub, home to many technology companies and startups. The city offers a high quality of life, excellent schools, and a family-friendly atmosphere with numerous parks and recreational areas. Alpharetta's vibrant downtown, community events, and growing job market in tech and healthcare make it an attractive place for career-oriented individuals and their families.

56. Savannah

Known for its historic charm, beautiful architecture, and vibrant arts scene, Savannah also has a growing economy in logistics, manufacturing, and healthcare, thanks to its strategic port location. The city's tourism industry also offers opportunities in hospitality and retail. Savannah's rich cultural life, good schools, and coastal lifestyle appeal to those looking for a blend of career opportunities and quality of life.

Infographic showing the top 100 cities for a career switch

Rapid advancements in AI are reshaping the job market at an unprecedented pace, necessitating a new kind of career adaptability. Our survey underscores a growing movement among professionals to not only pivot in their careers but also to relocate to cities where innovation, community, and new opportunities flourish. These top cities are beacons for those who aim to stay ahead in a transforming landscape, offering dynamic environments where career growth goes hand in hand with a fulfilling lifestyle. It's more than a change of jobs; it's about finding new horizons where one's career and life can evolve together in the face of technological change," says Raymond Lee from

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