Best Countries In The World For Highly Skilled Employment

Luxembourger physicians join the ranks of the country's highly skilled labor force.

Foreign investors are usually attracted to countries that have highly skilled workforce. This translates into a high hourly labor productivity which produces high quality and sophistication that are a central consideration for leading investors. Countries with highly skilled workers often have the best universities anywhere in the world. Business schools and engineering schools are the main producers of in-demand professionals who supervise skilled workers. In the case of skilled workers, who possess training skills or knowledge in their line of work such as paramedics, police officers, physicians, and software developers who may have work contact or not with unskilled workers who have limited educational attainment such as factory assembly work, sales, or any basic entry level employment.

Countries with the Most Highly Skilled Workers

High levels of education and skills are in demand almost everywhere in the world today most especially in developed countries with highly industrialized economies and large business concerns. The financial sector is the number one employer of highly educated and trained professionals.


At the top of the 2015 list is Luxembourg, where 59.5% of its workforce are highly educated. Luxembourgian employment in the financial sector promotes the country as a tax haven and it is the second largest investment center in the world.


Second is Singapore with a 54.7% share of highly skilled workers in its workforce. Employment is mainly in its financial centers, biomedical sciences, mechanical engineering, and telecoms.


Third is Switzerland, where 51.3% of its workforce belong to the highly skilled and educated sector. Employment is in international organizations and financial sector.


Fourth is Israel where 49.7% of its workforce belong to the highly educated sector. Employment is in science and technology.


Fifth is Iceland, whose workforce is complemented by a 49.2% share of highly skilled workers. Employment is in biotechnology, finance, and software production.


Sixth is Sweden where highly skilled workers make up 49.1% of its workforce. Employment is in pharmaceuticals, automotive, telecommunications, and engineering.


Seventh is Norway where around 48.8% of its workforce are from the highly educated sector industries. Employment is in the engineering and IT sectors.

United Kingdom

Eighth is the United Kingdom where highly skilled workers make up 48.0% of its workforce. Employment is in the Information Technology, the legal industry, and the medical, banking, science, engineering, and financial sectors.


Ninth is the Netherlands where 47.5% of its workforce are highly skilled. Employment is in the financial services, petroleum refining, and transport.

New Zealand

Tenth is New Zealand where 47.4% of its workforce are highly skilled. Employment is in engineering, finance, business, Information and Computer Technology, electronics, science, and telecommunications.

Immigration Patterns and Demographics

Educational conventions required for highly skilled workers entail undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, and professional degrees. The recent shift from traditional industries to high tech such as information technology, computers, and telecommunications has also changed educational conventions to fit the need and demand. The migration of highly skilled workers to foreign lands has been associated to the so-called brain drain but today some consider it as temporary migration and therefore just a brain exchange. This is most seen in the migration of IT skilled workers to the US from some European countries. There is a need for a policy change in immigration and trade in the recipient country so the country of origin does not lose its highly skilled workers. Multiple variables linked to social and organizational aspects influence future trends in the migration of highly skilled individuals.

Best Countries In The World For Highly Skilled Employment

RankCountryPersons employed in occupations with 3rd level education requirements (as a % of total employed), 2015
4Israel 49.7%
8United Kingdom48.0%
10New Zealand47.4%

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