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Best place for millennials to start their careers abroad is Hong Kong

Staff Writer |
While Switzerland remains the best all-round destination for pursuing a career abroad, Hong Kong ranks number one for those looking to fast-track their career.

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This is according to new data released from HSBC's latest global Expat Explorer survey of 26,871 expats from over 100 countries.

Part of the world`s largest and longest-running research series on expat life, the Expat Explorer Careers Table ranking is based on eight criteria: the chance to acquire new skills, career progression, job security, earnings, benefits packages, work-life balance, work culture and fulfilment at work.

When it comes to career development, the majority of expats in Hong Kong (68%), Singapore (62%) and the UK (62%) agree it is a good place for expats to progress their career, compared to 51% in Canada and above the global average of 43%.

Top 10 places:

1 Switzerland
2 Germany
3 Sweden
5 Norway
6 Singapore
7 Austria
8 Hong Kong
9 United Kingdom
10 Bahrain

The average annual expat income in Switzerland is $188,275, almost twice the global average of $97,419. In comparison, the average expat in Canada earns $84,280.

At 87% of those surveyed, expats in Norway are the most likely across all markets to see an improvement in their work/life balance as well as a better work culture than in their home country.

In comparison, 60% of expats living in Canada see an improvement in their work/life balance.

The UK has jumped nine places (18th in 2015), with expats there among the most likely in the world to pick up new skills compared to their home country (64%) and progress their career (62%), compared to 54% and 51%, respectively, of expats in Canada

For the second year in a row, Switzerland is ranked the best all-round destination for a career abroad.

In addition to being a top spot for earnings, 69% of expats in Switzerland see an improvement in their work-life balance and 61% say the work culture is better than in their home country. In comparison, Canada fell one spot to 16th place overall compared to the previous year.

Younger expats are the most likely of all age groups to move abroad in search of greater fulfilment and purpose at work, and many succeed in finding it.

More than one in five (22%) of expat millennials say they moved abroad to find purpose in their career, compared to 14% of Gen X expats.

Millennial expats also have high ambitions for their careers, with 37% saying they embraced expat life to improve their job prospects, compared with 25% of Gen X expats.

Expat millennials are also more likely than older generations to have moved abroad in search of a new challenge.

43% of expat millennials say they were motivated by finding a new challenge, compared with 38% of those aged 35-54 and 30% of expats aged 55 and over.

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