Life in Austin
Austin regularly racks up accolades as a great place to live and was crowned “Best City for the Next Decade” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine in 2010. The capital has it all: excellent education, top job growth, affordable cost of living, great weather, sport and world renowned live music. Here are some reasons why Austin is a great place to study and settle.
The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) consistently ranks as a top public university and helps fuel an innovative and educated local workforce. U.S. News and World Report placed UT Austin thirteenth among public universities in 2011. The same report ranked the Cockrell School of Engineering ninth among engineering schools and our own Department of Chemical Engineering fifth for undergraduate programs and sixth for graduate.
Austin ranked No.1 in Forbes’ 2010 list of cities where the recession is easing. Forbes also listed the city as having the best employment outlook for the next three years, with an expected growth rate of 8.09 percent. Texas Workforce Commission numbers show Austin continued to add jobs in 2010, with an unemployment rate three percent lower than the national average. Vice President for Research at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Beverly Kerr, reported the capital’s “growth rate is the highest among major cities in the nation.” Ninety five percent of UT Austin chemical engineering graduates find employment within six months after graduation, many landing a job before crossing the stage.
Austin won’t clean out your pockets. The city offers below national average living costs across the board. UT Austin mirrors this trend and prides itself on delivering one of the best educational values for money. Out of the most populous states, UT Austin is the fifth least expensive for resident students when compared to peer institutions.
Austinite’s enjoy more than 300 days of sunshine a year, offering plenty of time for outdoor activities. With gentle winters and warm summers, residents can enjoy outdoor live music, hit various jogging trails, visit nearby lakes or sit back with a cold drink on the porch all year round. The average daily temperature in Austin is 65.4°F (18.9°C).
Despite tremendous growth, Austin still has a “college town” feel and draws strong support for UT Austin athletes, known as the Texas Longhorns. Together, the Longhorns have earned more than 40 national championships and 88 Olympic medals. In 2002, Sports Illustrated named UT Austin No. 1 among the nation’s 324 Division I athletic programs. The magazine attributed the university’s overall success in athletics to high attendance at sporting events on campus and a participation rate around 90 percent in intramural and club sports programs.
Live music capital of the world
Austin has long been synonymous with music. In 1991 the city was declared the official “Live Music Capital of the World” with over 200 live music venues, more per capita than any other city in the world. The famous annual South by Southwest (SXSW) festival attracts thousands of music fans from across the globe for 10 days of interactive media, film and music events every spring. The influential and longest running American music series, Austin City Limits, is produced at the downtown Moody Theatre and inspired the ACL festival which brings over 130 music acts to Zilker Park every fall.