According to expats, Switzerland is the best all-round destination for a career abroad as it combines excellent earning prospects with an enjoyable work culture and enviable job security.
The findings have been revealed by newly released data from the latest HSBC Expat Explorer survey with Europe providing the four best career destinations. Switzerland takes the top spot, followed by Sweden, Germany and Russia. Career hotspots in Asia and the Middle East, including Singapore and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), dominate the rest of the top ten. The USA was found to offer the best destination for careers in the Americas and ranks as tenth best overall.
Almost two thirds of expats in Switzerland claimed that the country offered higher salaries than at home, while 53 percent praised the working culture and 43 percent said that they felt more secure in their job.
The rankings considered eight key criteria to reveal which countries enable expats to thrive in their careers. These were 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.
European countries topped the table, and were found to excel for expats who value the non-financial side of their career. Expats in Sweden have the best work/life balance in the world, with 72 percent of expats there finding a better balance than at home. The UK, which ranks 20th overall, was revealed to be one of the best places to develop skills, with nearly three in five 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 percent of expats in both Germany and Sweden feeling more secure in their role after moving there.
Destinations in the Middle East were also found to offer excellent benefits packages and strong earning prospects. The majority of expats in Qatar, the UAE and Bahrain claimed that they earned more now than they did at home.
Asian countries were also found to score highly for expats who are willing to develop their career. Nearly two-thirds of expats in Singapore claimed their earning prospects are better than at home and 59 percent said the area was a good place from which to progress their careers. Hong Kong performed even more strongly for these two aspects, with 68 percent and 63 percent rating it as a good destination for earning prospects and career progression respectively. However, only 28 percent of expats in Hong Kong claimed their work/life balance had improved.