Study says Augusta one of worst places to start career

AUGUSTA (WJBF) — Augusta is one of the worst places to start a career, according to a new study by WalletHub.

Salt Lake City ranks as the best place for entry-level professionals, but Augusta ranks very low at 148 out 150.

“When you look at U.S. Army Cyber Command moving to Fort Gordon, the spinoff of that, the tech companies coming in, or even the homegrown ones, I just don’t believe that WalletHub is correct at all,” Former Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver said.

The current radio talk show host says he has issues with the study because for him, Augusta is booming with young people.

“There is a whole generation of young people that grew up here that have gone on to successful careers in New York, Los Angeles, Charleston, Atlanta, Dallas, that are actually now moving home and they’re single. Which is a trend that I’m seeing for the first time in my lifetime,” Copenhaver said.

Virginia Claussen is one of those young professionals.

She decided to move back to Augusta about a year and a half ago after working in California for a few years.

She also feels WalletHub’s study is off.

“There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to believe it. I’ve had so many friends that moved to other cities and moved back to Augusta and they’ve had no issues finding a career here,” Virginia Claussen said.

Copenhaver and Claussen feel as though the data for WalletHub’s study might be old, and in fact, it is.

WalletHub used data from the federal government from more than two years ago.

Both Augustans feel the Garden City has changed a lot since then.

“I would come back during Christmas and holidays, but the change of downtown that happened in the past 5 years was incredible,” Claussen said.

For those wanting to start a career in Augusta, both agree that downtown is the key.

“You hear so often about the work, live and play space for millennials. We just don’t have that right now,” Copenhaver said.

WalletHub came up with this list by looking at professional opportunities and quality of life.

Experts used data to grade each city on a 100-point scale.

Atlanta came in 6th place and Columbus, Georgia is number 133.

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