Top 10 countries tech workers are moving to for jobs (and 10 places they're leaving)

If you're open to moving abroad for a new tech job, here are the countries you'll find the most opportunities
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
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Taking a job with a new company can certainly be a way to advance your career, but many people are packing their bags and taking a job in a new country for a better life. 

International moving company Compare My Move recently compiled a list of countries to which technology workers are moving for new jobs, and which countries they're moving from. Where people are taking their talents may surprise you. (This salary data is based on software engineer roles.)

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The number one country tech workers are moving to? The Netherlands, with an estimated average annual salary of $80,000. Germany is second on the list with a $73,700 salary, followed by Canada, also at $80,000, then the UK, at $72,500. 

Why does The Netherlands top the list? Immigration policies play a large part, with non-EU workers being able to take advantage of a resident permit for "highly skilled migrants." Germany's popularity, the report notes, is likely tied to the fact that the German tech market is forecast to increase by $30 billion in the next five years, led by many businesses adding software engineers to their ranks.

Even though it's the fifth most popular destination for tech workers, Switzerland provides the highest annual average, coming in at almost $120,000. Sweden is sixth at just over $84,000 and the US makes an appearance in the seventh spot, with a salary of $111,000. Australia ($77,500), Denmark ($80,000), and Belgium ($73,700) round out the list. 

Of course, the cost of living can vary greatly from country to country, so it's important to give those numbers a little context. While Switzerland has the highest salary, they also have the highest average housing costs (based on a two-bedroom apartment). Data from Compare My Move shows that housing costs there average $964,617 -- more than double the next highest of Australia at $449,800. The most affordable market on the list was Belgium at $222,000. 

But while Europe dominates the list of where employees are moving to for tech work, it's nowhere to be found on the list of countries employees are moving from.

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The leading source of employees in the technology industry is India, with Nigeria, Russia, Pakistan, and Iran rounding out the top five. Sri Lanka comes in at number six, followed by Brazil, Turkey, and Egypt. The US finishes in the number 10 spot. 

What's the likely primary motivation for moving? Overall, the countries where workers are exiting have significantly lower salaries, save for a few, Compare My Move says. India's average annual salary is just $10,000, with Nigeria sitting at $7,500. Russia does make significantly more than some others on the list at $67,500, but the rest are positioned between $10,000 and $40,000.

Iran is the anomaly here with a striking annual salary of $131,000, but that's selecting from a very small pool of employees, bringing the average up to the unusually high mark.

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