UAE attracts the most foreign talent: survey

Skyline of Sharjah City at night, United Arab Emirates
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The United Arab Emirates attracted the most foreign talent last year, a survey by business oriented social networking site LinkedIn has found.

LinkedIn's survey looked at 300 million professionals worldwide, analyzing the types of professionals that tend to relocate and where they moved to between November 2012 and November 2013. By measuring the net inflow and outflow of LinkedIn members for 20 countries with the highest migration activity, they determined the overall winners and losers of talent in 2013.

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The findings showed the UAE was the most popular relocation destination, with 1.3 percent of the country's total workforce coming from outside the country. Most of the talent moving to the UAE relocated for architecture and engineering roles, reflecting the regions' fast development and increasingly busy skyline, the firm said.

By contrast Spain, which has struggled with harsh economic conditions in recent years including record high unemployment, saw the most talent leave the country, with most leaving for the United Kingdom.

Source: LinkedIn

LinkedIn determined that although Spain saw the highest exodus of talent, Spanish workers tended to stay close to home, with 60 percent of those who left remaining in Europe. Spanish speaking countries in Latin America were also popular destinations for Spanish professionals, however, representing 20 percent of those who moved.

Within Europe, Germany proved the most resilient country for attracting talent in the region, with a net gain of 0.4 percent. Over 60 percent of members moving to Germany came from another European country, the majority of which worked in engineering and research functions, in the automotive and software industries.

The survey also delved into the typical characteristics of members who relocated, versus those who were more likely to stay put.

It was noted that younger professionals are more likely to work internationally, as members who made a significant move in the past year had an average of 7.8 years of professional experience, but those who made shorter moves had 20 percent more professional experience than significant movers.

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And if you fancy an international jet-setting career you would be best placed to develop your skills in science, technology, engineering and math, as these members tended to travel the furthest distances for their new role, averaging 2,400 miles (3,900 km), the survey said.

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More specifically, members with skills in social media marketing, mechanical and aerospace engineering and Java development (computer language programming) were the top three types of skill-sets that movers tended to have.

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Meanwhile, members with skills in manufacturing, architecture and engineering, technology-hardware, transportation and telecommunications were least likely to move overall, the survey found, despite the fact that many members who moved to Dubai were architects, and those who moved to Germany were engineers.

In terms of job functions, members with jobs in business development, marketing, research, media and communication and product management were most likely to set their sights overseas. While those working in ownership and entrepreneurship, in administrative roles or security and protective services, for example were more likely to stay put.