Expats vote Switzerland as the best country for careers

by Ray Clancy on February 9, 2016

Switzerland is the best country in the world for a career abroad thanks to its high earning prospects, job security and enjoyable work culture, according to expats.

Some 65% of expats in Switzerland say the country offers higher salaries than at home, while 53% praise the working culture and 43% feel more secure in their job, the latest HSBC expat explorer survey data shows.

switzerlandIn second place is Sweden, then Germany, Russia and Singapore. Career hotspots in Asia and the Middle East make up the next four places with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia and then the United States.

The rankings looked at eight key criteria to reveal which countries enable expats to thrive in their careers. These are the chance to acquire new skills, career progression, job security, actual and prospective earnings, benefits packages and work/life balance, as well as fulfilling work and the work culture.

Expats in Sweden enjoy the best work/life balance in the world, with 72% of expats there finding a better balance than at home. The UK, which ranks 20thoverall, is one of the best places to develop skills, with nearly 59% of expats saying the country offers them a better chance to do this.

While earning prospects for expats vary within Europe, job security in the region is rated the highest in the world. Four of the top five countries for expat job security, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands and France, are in Europe, with 59% of expats in both Germany and Sweden feeling more secure in their role after moving there.

Destinations in the Middle East offer excellent benefits packages and strong earning prospects. Some 67% of expats in Qatar, 62% in the UAE and 61% in Bahrain say they earn more now than they did at home. There is more to expat employment contracts than just salary, however, and 94% of expats in Oman receive at least one benefit from their employer, more than anywhere else.

Asian countries also score highly for expats who are willing to develop their career. Some 62% of expats in Singapore say their earning prospects are better than at home and 59% say it is a good place to progress their careers. Hong Kong performs even more strongly for these two aspects, with 68% and 63% rating it as a good destination for earning prospects and career progression respectively. However, only 28% of expats in Hong Kong say their work/life balance has improved.

“Career success means different things to different people. It can be about rapid development and pay rises, or working in a job which challenges you. Others move abroad in search of more fulfilling work or to just find a better balance between work and life,” said Dean Blackburn, head of HSBC Expat.

“According to the 22,000 expats we surveyed, Europe offers the best all-round careers experience, especially for aspects such as job satisfaction, security and a great work/life balance,” Blackburn continued. “Ambitious expats looking to move up the ladder will take a keen interest in Asia, while the financial rewards generally on offer in the Middle East provide an enticing prospect.

“It’s all down to what you want to get out of a career specifically during your time abroad and that’s why we created an interactive careers tool. If you want to know which country best suits your career priorities, learn about what it’s like to work in a different country or find out how to start a new career abroad, our tool could provide the answer. Thousands of expats have made the move before you, now you can learn from their experience.”

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