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Ranked: The World’s Best Countries In Which To Start A Career, 2020

The United Kingdom has been named as the best country in the world for starting a career, according to the CEOWORLD magazine for 2020. Germany earned the No. 2 spot, followed by Canada in the third and the United States in fourth. Japan is next on the list.

The 2020 rankings placed Japan in fifth ahead of France into 6th; while the Netherlands ranked 7th, and South Korea eighth. The ranking looked at how nearly 186,000 graduates (defined as adults less than 35 years old) scored countries on 19 criteria: job market, economic stability, entrepreneurial atmosphere, income equality, innovation, progressiveness, and whether they wanted to live there. Which are the best countries for starting a career? How does the United States compare to the rest of the world?

The slump in demand will have a deep impact on income generation, and the job market will shift accordingly. Frankly, nobody is in a position to predict the future of the job market, but the trend indicates work culture will definitely change in favor of the remote working model. The shortage of disposable income will have its effect on the expansion of the job market in the short-term, but overall country-specific perception is unlikely to change in the short-term.

Overall, among the top 10 Best Countries In Which To Start A Career, the ninth and tenth positions are held by Sweden and the United Arab Emirates.

The World’s Best Countries In Which To Start A Career, 2020

RankCountryLivabilityOpportunities
1United Kingdom98.5399.06
2Germany98.3998.13
3Canada98.2896.75
4United States95.7196.53
5Japan95.2696.15
6France94.8794.4
7Netherlands93.8593.69
8South Korea91.5892.08
9Sweden90.9591.26
10United Arab Emirates90.8691.23
11Denmark89.9690.68
12Taiwan89.4390.3
13Switzerland88.3889.67
14Russia87.3589.11
15Singapore87.0888.73
16Israel8788.52
17Spain86.4988.23
18Finland85.3287.76
19Poland84.2787.64
20Australia83.887.62
21Ireland83.6986.85
22Norway 83.6686.6
23Saudi Arabia82.7186.38
24New Zealand81.5286.02
25Vietnam81.2785.08
26Belgium 81.0184.96
27Czech Republic79.1684.75
28Italy78.9984.64
29India78.8384.43
30Kuwait78.7983.79
31Greece78.7483.39
32Mexico78.6683.39
33Turkey78.2783.26
34Romania78.1683.04
35Oman77.7482.95
36Philippines77.5382.87
37China76.7482.8
38Portugal76.682.69
39Brazil76.4182.48
40Qatar76.3882.38
41Costa Rica75.3282.34
42Austria75.0282.24
43Argentina74.2182.06
44Luxembourg 73.0781.93
45Iceland 72.4481.82
46Bahrain72.281.46
47Thailand71.9881.08
48Hungary71.7580.96
49Latvia71.6280.83
50Bulgaria71.1580.78
51Estonia70.9480.68
52Croatia70.8280.11
53Ukraine70.879.69
54Slovakia70.2879.54
55Indonesia69.8879.46
56Cyprus69.6979.39
57Malaysia69.5979.08
58Peru69.2578.86
59South Africa68.6778.86
60Chile68.678.77
61Lithuania68.5178.72
62Malta68.2678.49
63North Macedonia68.0177.95
64Iraq67.9177.94
65Egypt67.7477.75
66Mauritius67.1477.55
67Georgia67.0977.42
68Serbia67.0777.35
69Algeria66.977.28
70Albania66.2177.22
71Kazakhstan65.9177.16
72Ethiopia65.976.77
73Kenya65.4776.77
74Turkmenistan65.2576.76
75Azerbaijan65.2376.56
76Mozambique65.0176.46
77Pakistan (Islamic Republic of)64.8576.46
78DR Congo64.8376.32
79Morocco64.8175.66
80Ecuador64.4275.52
81Tanzania64.3475.49
82Sri Lanka63.6275.45
83Zambia63.575.11
84Myanmar63.3474.89
85Dominican Republic63.2874.8
86Guatemala63.0674.79
87Ghana62.9574.13
88Armenia62.7274.11
89Jordan62.6573.66
90Madagascar62.6273.59
91Bolivia62.4373.21
92Paraguay6273.16
93Moldova61.8873.08
94Bangladesh61.7373.05
95Cameroon61.4872.95
96Congo Republic61.3972.74
97Cote dIvoire61.3872.57
98Burkina Faso61.172.33
99Uzbekistan60.9472.03
100Belarus60.7872.03
101Colombia60.772.02
102Bosnia and Herzegovina60.1771.38
103Chad60.1571.15
104Rwanda60.1471.01
105Lebanon59.9170.64
106Mongolia59.770.61
107Namibia58.9470.55
108Nepal58.3770.36
109Benin58.3570.31
110Zimbabwe58.2170.14
111Laos58.1569.43
112El Salvador58.1369.18
113Uganda58.0968.99
114Niger57.9168.96
115Mali57.6368.73
116Equatorial Guinea57.5968.58
117Sudan56.8668.5
118Papua New Guinea56.8668.09
119Kyrgyzstan56.8168.06
120Botswana56.867.65
121Gabon56.5465.01
122Afghanistan (Islamic Republic of)56.4864.71
123Uruguay56.3664.42
124Nigeria56.2263.84
125Libya56.1362.25
126Syria5561.62
127Yemen54.9260.96

The list of best countries to start a career is likely to see a drastic change in the coming years driven by economic and aspiration factors. India and Southeast Asia are expected to see a boom driven by local business dynamics and strategic shift happening in terms of demand and demography. So, if you are young, you should be open and innovative while planning your career.

France (ranked 10th): The all-time favorite western European country remains in the list of best countries to start a career. Whatever is your career choice, you will find the best possible environment to flourish. The seventh-largest economy with $2.8 trillion GDP and per capita income of $41,000 makes it a hot favorite country to start a career. Just like all European countries, the young population is in huge demand to support the aging demography. You cannot expect a better socio-cultural environment anywhere in the world to live life prosperously.

United Arab Emirates (ranked 10th): The federation on seven emirates of the Arabian Peninsula is gaining traction among the best countries to explore career opportunities in finance, technology, and oil trade. The world-class modern infrastructure and highly welcoming population of 9.6 million with per capita GDP of $43,000 make it the hot favorite career destination for expats.

Saint Petersburg Russia

Russia (ranked 14th): The largest country of the world, with a population of 144 million and per capita GDP of $11,280 is a hot favorite as the economy is expanding at a quick pace. The mineral resource-rich country with a strong presence in global geopolitics and healthy trade relations with major economies like India and China is one of the best countries to start a career. Although the recent crash of crude oil prices will have some effect on the growth of the 11th largest economy, but a stable government with nationalistic agenda is diversifying in advance tech space, allowing creativity and innovation to flourish. The relatively better HDI with strategic safety attracts young talents to start a career in various sectors.

Spain (ranked 17th): The 13th largest economy with a GDP (nominal) of $1.4 trillion and the HDI ranking of 25th is one of the most loved countries to explore career opportunities. The secure cultural connection makes this country of 47 million Spaniards best in Europe to start a career. Be it the automotive industry or tourism, and the country is leading from the front to attract the best talents to explore career opportunities. As far as safety, security, freedom, and leisure are concerned, Spain offers you the best to live life as you want.

Poland (ranked 19th): The central European country is the 22nd largest economy with a GDP (purchasing power parity) of $1.126 trillion and growing far better than the global average. The vast market of Europe and stable government make the country of 37.97 million Polish with per capita GDP [per capita] of $15,420 19th best country in the world to start a career. The market-based economy with very high HDI ranking is diversifying fast according to shift in demand and allowing human resources to explore opportunities with the highest freedom.

Detailed findings & methodology: In order to determine the rankings, researchers at the CEOWORLD magazine compiled analyzed and compared 127 countries across two key categories: 1) Livability 2) Professional Opportunities. To evaluate those dimensions, researchers looked at 19 indicators that fell into one of the two categories. Each indicator was graded on a 100-point scale. Each indicator is based on relevant research and reports that follow strict requirements to gather and analyze their data in order to build their rankings. Therefore, this research takes into account countries that have been analyzed in this relevant literature

By 2022, there will be a void of roughly 42 million college-educated workers in the global economy, according to predictions from The Global Business Policy Institute. The research has aims to find the most attractive country in the world for “graduates.” We use the word “graduates” to refer to those who have left education with higher education and degrees (adults younger than 35 years in age). In partnership with the Global Business Policy Institute, CEOWORLD magazine compiled a list of the best countries to start a career, highlighting places with robust economies that are able to employ workers at their appropriate skill level.

1) livability

Pollution
Affordability
Income Equality
Quality Of Life
Nature And Parks
Economic Stability
Workforce Diversity
Housing Affordability
Projected Population Growth
Average Monthly Workplace Earnings
Museums And Galleries; Sights And Landmarks; Concerts And Shows

2) Opportunities

Job Availability
Progressiveness
Robust Economies
Entrepreneurial Atmosphere
Unemployment Rate
New Startups Per 100,000 Residents
Graduate Opening Per 100,000 Residents
The Current And Prior Year’s Employment Growth Rates

The study is based on a questionnaire-based detailed global survey conducted in February and May 2020 by the CEOWORLD magazine in Partnership with the Global Business Policy Institute (GBPI) of 186,000 participants. Each individual indicator was given equal weighting within each of the three categories with some indicators being comprised of 2-3 sub-indicators that were also weighted equally.

CEOWORLD magazine put together a panel of experts to go over data points culled from sources like the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), World Economic Forum, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), U.S. News & World Report, the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council (UNESOC), the World Bank, as well as CEOWORLD magazine research. They then used that information to compare the best countries in which to start a career. Based on a consensus from these sources, the final choice of countries was judged editorially, as was their position on the list. All data is for the most recent period available. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 186,000 respondents is plus or minus 1.2 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that as in all survey research, there are possible sources of error—such as coverage, nonresponse, and measurement error——that could affect the results.


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Sophie Ireland

Sophie Ireland

Contributors Editor
Sophie Ireland is the Contributors Editor at for CEOWORLD magazine, where she covers hiring trends, money, the future of work, and lists and rankings, and all things related to professional success for readers. She has ten years of experience in research, spanning market research, data analytics, macroeconomics, and financial services. She can be reached on email sophie-ireland@ceoworld.biz. You can follow her on Twitter at @ceoworld.