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The global job market: ten smart moves

Bored of limited employment opportunities? Stuck in a dead end job? Feel that your skills are being undervalued in your country? Then why not move somewhere your skills and talents are in demand? We’ve compiled a list of the ten smartest career move destinations for 2014 covering a whole range of industries. So whether you’re looking for a permanent move or a year or two of high earning, pick one and start packing!

To become a big earner: Switzerland

Flickr credit: Jeremy Schultz

Switzerland tops the OECD’s list of countries by annual average wage. The average salary in Switzerland in 2012 was equivalent to US$89,830. That’s 12% higher than the country in second place, Norway. With tax rates that are comparatively low Switzerland leaves the average worker with plenty of disposable income to spend on skiing and chocolate. The excellent standard of living perhaps accounts for the fact that over a quarter of the Swiss population was born overseas.

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To break the glass ceiling: Hong Kong

Equality in the workplace seems much more doable in Asia. The percentage of senior management roles held by women in China stands at a very respectable 51%, making the USA (20%) and the UK (19%) look positively [patri]-archaic by comparison (though Japan, on just 7%, is letting the side down). Eastern European countries are also strong performers on the equality front with over 40% of senior management positions held by women in Poland, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. For english speaking territories though you need to go to number 14 on Grant Thornton’s women in senior management rankings: Hong Kong saw 30% of senior management positions held by women in 2013.

To get creative: London

Flickr Credit: donald judge

The creative industries - including advertising, architecture, fashion and film - accounts for £71bn of the UK economy (or more than 5%) and is the nation’s fastest growing sector. London is, of course, the hub of all this activity and it’s where employment for people skilled in design, marketing, publishing and production has easily beaten wider employment trends.

London also leads the world as the city with the most jobs in marketing, according to jobs site indeed.com London has more jobs for "marketing" than New York and San Jose combined!

To teach English: UAE (United Arab Emirates)

Teaching English as a foreign language has long been a sure fire way to make money from a skill Westerners are practically born with. The appetite for learning English among wealthy foreign nationals mean that these jobs are always available and always well remunerated. The Middle East is where you’ll make the most money, according to the International TEFL Academy. In the United Arab Emirates you can earn up to AED 11,000 per month for teaching English and with living costs not much higher than AED 3,700 you’ll be able to save a pretty penny during your time in Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

To go viral: New York

Digital marketing is a growing jobs market almost everywhere but nowhere is that more true than in New York City. The largest salaries for digital marketing managers appear to be paid in San Jose, California, averaging $100,000 per annum according to indeed.com, as opposed to $90,000 in New York. But the number of vacancies with ‘digital marketing’ in the job title in New York at the time of writing dwarfs that in silicon valley: 4,771 to 906.

To build something: Delhi

Following the global financial crisis the investment in infrastructure and large scale engineering projects in much of the Western world ground to a halt. Not so in India where there is tremendous demand for engineers of all types to work on design and construction projects ranging from the huge to the enormous. Western veterans with well established skills are highly prized by Indian employers willing to offer contracts to expats that compare favourably with Western rates.

To ride the Asian tiger: Singapore

Flickr Credit: Jirka Matousek

One of the original four Asian Tiger economies (with Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan) Singapore’s economic growth has shown no signs of slowing despite the global downturn. A traditional banking centre linking East to West, the city state is the fourth largest financial centre in the world and, with the rise of China, looks set only to grow in importance. While banks in New York, London and Frankfurt have been cutting headcounts, Asian banks have been steadily recruiting. Perhaps that’s why expats in search of work in the financial sector are flocking to Singapore. The low level of personal taxation (top rate 20%) is another pull-factor.

To move to boomtown: Perth

The fastest growing city in Australia, Perth is experiencing a resources boom which has created huge demand for skilled workers in logistics, transport, mining and construction. And that demand is being filled by immigrants from all over the world, attracted by much higher salaries than they’d earn for similar jobs back home. This huge influx of foreign workers is not without its problems though. House prices, rents and the cost of goods and services have all been pushed up significantly by the wealth generated through mining.

To code, code, code: San Jose

Out of the 25 companies identified by Business Insider as those which pay their software engineers the highest salaries 16 have their headquarters in in or near San Jose, California. Those companies include household names like Google and Facebook as well as lesser known brands like Juniper Networks (a networking equipment manufacturer). The reason all these big tech firms cluster in the same location is a phenomenon called economy of agglomeration - being close to each other reduces their costs of production. It also drives the wages of specialists up - the median base salary on that list is $105,660.

To make a good living from tips: New York

Flickr Credit: ltdan

‘If you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere’ is a line that’s true for bartenders of New York - a city so nice it made our list twice - more than those in any other profession. While barkeeps at a regular downtown nightspot can earn around $250 per night (minimum wage plus tips), according to New York magazine, the best of the best can bring home a lot more bacon. The unionised bartenders of the city’s plushest hotels make $17 an hour plus tips. Given the high class clientele they serve, taking home $100,000 per year is very possible.