Switzerland attractive to highly qualified workers

Switzerland is one of the top three most attractive OECD countries for highly qualified foreign workers, a new study has found. For students, it is even the most attractive OECD country. Entrepreneurs also like to move to Switzerland.

Bild: ETH Zürich/Gian Marco Castelberg

The OECD has investigated how attractive its members states are for highly qualified workers, students and entrepreneurs. This took into account indicators such as quality of opportunities, income and tax, future prospects, family environment, skills environment, inclusiveness and quality of life. The conditions of entry and residence for prospective migrants were also considered.

Switzerland is a magnet for qualified workers

The results show that Switzerland is a magnet for highly qualified workers, students and entrepreneurs. In the ranking of highly qualified workers, the country claims third place out of all OECD countries, with only Australia and Sweden ranked higher. For students, Switzerland is even the most attractive country of all OECD countries. It beat Norway at number two and Germany in third. In the ranking for entrepreneurs, Switzerland was placed third behind Canada and New Zealand.

Switzerland scores for welcome culture

“Many factors outside migration legislation influence the attractiveness of a country,” said Stefano Scarpetta, Director for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs at the OECD. “For specialists, how quickly visas are granted is a key factor, but the conditions for partners and children are also important to many highly qualified workers.” According to the researchers, the fact that Switzerland ranks higher than other German-speaking countries is also due to its “welcome culture”.

The OECD study is the first comprehensive tool to capture, in a multidimensional framework, strengths and weaknesses of OECD countries regarding their capacity to attract and retain three specific categories of talented migrants. It was compiled with the support of the Bertelsmann Foundation.

Handbook for Investors

Our Handbook for Investors provides valuable information about technologies and production costs, taxes and financing, as well as the legal system and infrastructure in Switzerland. Browse through the complete handbook online or download the chapters most relevant to you.


Official program