The pomp and circumstance of graduation season is at its peak and will soon be over. After the diplomas are received and the gowns returned, thousands of college graduates will face the question of “Now what?” For many, the next step is to find a job.

One of the harshest realities of post-college existence isn’t the disappearance of summer break (as you feared in elementary schools), but that the cities with the best opportunities for employment and professional development are often also the most expensive places to live. Nowhere is that more true than in New York City.

Open studios in Bushwick

McKibben Lofts on Open Studio Day in Bushwick. (Source: Michael Tapp via Flickr Creative Commons.)

According to StreetEasy estimates, the median rent in NYC is predicted to rise to $2,700 in 2015 and the typical household will spend more than 60 percent of its income on rent. That’s a far cry from the golden rule of budgeting that says only 30 percent of your income should go towards your rent. The rental climate in this city is intense for anyone, but more so for recent grads trying to make it on entry-level salaries.

But let’s be honest, what better time to live in New York than when you are fresh out of college and you’re yet to be sapped dry of energy, optimism and ambition? Move to New York City, Class of 2015! Apartments will be expensive and your salaries may be low, but you can get by here — we promise!

Your college major often plays a large role in determining your job prospects and consequently, salary amount. Yeah, that BA in Puppetry probably isn’t looking so good right now, is it? Even if you did go a more traditional route and majored in one of the most popular programs, entry-level salaries across the board are low.

Rowhouses on Dean Street in Crown Heights

Rowhouses on Dean Street in Crown Heights. (Source: Jon Keegan via Flickr Creative Commons.)

So, where can NYC-bound grads afford to live? Based on starting income estimates for common occupations pursued by college graduates of various disciplines, StreetEasy calculated how much rent a recent grad could afford while still paying for all the other stuff life in NYC entails inlcude loans, phone bills, taxes and all that annoying adult stuff.

To help make ends meet in New York, that often means bunking up with a roommate – or two! – and choosing a neighborhood far from the madding crowd. (That’s a nod to all you English major out there.)

Find neighborhoods best for your budget with this interactive map:

To cut to the chase, we’ve taken five popular majors — Fine Arts, Business, English, Engineering and Psychology — and selected neighborhoods you and two roommates can find an affordable apartment, or at least one that will cost you only 30 percent of your salary.

Major: Fine Arts

In case you didn’t know it, you are not at the top of the pay scale. According to Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey data, your starting salary will be about $36K a year. Given the unpredictable work options and predictably low salary for art majors, you’ll want to find yourself two roommates to split the rent. But since you’re likely to be pursuing something in the arts — acting, music, dance — you won’t be bound by the typical 9-5 workday, so access to transportation may not be a major priority. Luckily, in most neighborhoods, you can trade the importance of subway access for square footage, which will come in handy for all those band practices and performance art shows you’ll likely to be hosting.

Here are our top picks for neighborhoods for Fine Arts majors:

  • Bushwick

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  • Astoria

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  • Crown Heights

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  • Bed-Stuy

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  • Bay Ridge

>> Search three-bedrooms in Bay Ridge

The N Stop at Astoria Boulevard. (Source: Jacques Lebleu via Flickr Creative Commons.)

Major: Business

If you’re graduating with a business degree, your starting salary is likely to be a little higher, approximately $55,150, which gives you a little more wiggle room when it comes to picking neighborhoods. If you’re heading to Wall Street, late nights and long hours are to be expected. You’ll likely want a place convenient to subways that gets you to the Financial District or Midtown easily.

Here are five Manhattan neighborhoods for business grads:

  • East Village

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  • Midtown West

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  • Carnegie Hill

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  • Central Harlem

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  • East Harlem

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7th Street and Avenue B in the East Village

7th Street and Avenue B in the East Village. (Source: Margotwood via Flickr Creative Commons.)

Major: English

You consider yourself a book person, don’t you? Where better for a recent English grad and budding novelist (or diligent editorial assistant, as the case may be) to live than Brooklyn, home to many local literary celebs and their bookshop tote-carrying acolytes.

Here are five Brooklyn neighborhoods that English grads (and two roommates) can afford.

  • Crown Heights

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  • Bed-Stuy

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  • Williamsburg

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  • Bushwick

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  • Bay Ridge 

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Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard and West 120th Street in Central Harlem

Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard and West 120th Street in Central Harlem. (Source: Jennie-o via Flickr Creative Commons.)

Major: Engineering

If you have a degree in engineering, you’re smart to come to New York where there has been a lot of private and public investment recently in developing the tech scene. Parts of Union Square, Flatiron, SoHo, Dumbo and the Brooklyn Navy Yards are becoming burgeoning tech hubs, housing tons of start-ups and employing engineers of all stripes. As an engineer with a starting level salary, you’re unlikely to find an affordable place in SoHo or Dumbo.

Here are five neighborhoods within a direct commute of these tech hubs with apartments to share with two roommates:

  • Williamsburg

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  • Bushwick

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  • Greenpoint

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  • Bed-Stuy

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  • Crown Heights

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Bedford and North 7th in Williamsburg

Bedford and North 7th in Williamsburg. (Source: erin via Flickr Creative Commons.)

Major: Psychology

Unless you have a doctorate in psychology, you will likely be making a starting salary of just over $36K. Perhaps you’ll be working in a hospital or social services setting where some of the city’s largest hospitals and research centers are located, such as New York-Presbyterian in Washington Heights, Albert Einstein in the Bronx, Mount Sinai in East Harlem and Weill Cornell on the UES.

Here are five neighborhoods within an easy commute of these medical centers that have apartments you can split with two roommates.

  • Washington Heights

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  • Hamilton Heights

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  • Central Harlem

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  • East Harlem

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  • Astoria

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Washington Heights at sunset

Washington Heights at sunset. (Source: Tom Thai via Flickr Creative Commons.)

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