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It’s the time of year when college graduates celebrate, then hit the job market.

Diploma distributions at commencement ceremonies are a tradition, a rite of passage in life’s journey. It’s only one of many such passages.

Colleges have traditions associated with graduation, including the tossing of caps into the air after flipping the tassel from one side of the mortarboard to the other after receiving the diploma.

Here’s a tip — the tassel starts on the right side of the cap, then is moved over to the left side when the diploma is in hand. Whew!

Here are some other tips: The cap is worn flat on the head. The gown should fall midway between the knee and ankle. Men should remove their caps during the school song and the national anthem. Men generally choose to wear dark dress pants, a dress shirt and tie under their gowns. Women generally wear a dress or blouse and a skirt that is shorter than the gown so it does not hang below the gown. Of course, because of the nature of such a joyous event, those rules don’t always rule.

That’s all important stuff on one of the biggest days of a young person’s life, but here’s what really counts — finding a good job, and beginning what could be a career.

Deciding where to start can be daunting.

There are a lot of fast-moving parts to consider about each prospective landing spot. There is job-market saturation, housing affordability and commuter-friendliness. The unemployment rate is as low as it’s been in years. Some regions of the country are better than others considering all those factors.

According to a study by the personal-finance website WalletHub, California may not be the starting-a-career-magnate local grads wish it would be.

WalletHub’s survey points grads to places like Salt Lake City, Orlando, Atlanta, Charleston, S.C., and Tempe, Az., as the top spots for pay and opportunity.

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The first California city to appear on the list of the top 182 job markets in America is Sacramento — but you have to like living and working with a bevy of bureaucrats. San Jose ranks 42nd and San Diego comes in at 44th. The very last city on the list, at 182nd place, is sleepy little Santa Clarita.

In fact, for grads with a big career in mind, Texas and Florida seem like safe bets. Those places can present a certain degree of culture shock for a California kid, but they are the places to be if you want to follow the money.

Natural beauty doesn’t count for much in this discussion about optimizing a career choice. Honolulu and Pearl City, Hawaii, have the lowest monthly average wage of the 182 cities surveyed.

On the other hand, if you’re in search of workplace diversity, just down the coast in Oxnard is the place to start your career hunt. Oxnard’s workplaces are nearly three times more diverse than in New Haven, Conn.

If you base job opportunity on availability, you might check out a city’s jobless rate. South Burlington, Vt., has the lowest rate at 1.8 percent, while Detroit has the highest at just under 10 percent.

These are factors most of this year's grads will begin sifting through when the big graduation celebrations have calmed down. But there is something else to consider — money isn’t necessarily the end game for everyone. There are lifestyle factors in play, and frankly, we can’t imagine many places that offer what can be had by simply staying home here on the Central Coast.