Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of technology professionals would like to work in the US, according to new research.
This was followed by 16 per cent who would like to go to Australia and 12 per cent who would prefer to work in the UK.
The statistics were revealed in the inaugural 2010 Hydrogen Global Professionals on the Move Report, which was conducted for recruitment firm Hydrogen Group by a consultancy project team from ESCP Europe business school. Through an online poll, it surveyed 3,155 mid- to senior-level professionals from all over the world, earning an average salary of $125,000 (£80,800), all holding a professional qualification or above.
Other countries in the top 10 favoured by technology professionals were France, Canada, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, New Zealand and Germany.
According to Rory Ferguson, Hydrogen Group’s director for technology in the UK, the appearance of Singapore in the list (eight place, with 6.69 per cent) reflects companies’ recent investment in developing their presence in the country.
“In terms of language and infrastructure, Singapore is quite a comfortable move. The expat community is strong, and as a result business is very relationship-driven.”
Abigail Waudby, director of Hydrogen’s Singapore office, added: “With the Asian markets returning to growth, we are seeing a high volume of project-led roles within technology and finance, and scarcity within the local candidate population is forcing employers to cast their net wider.
“Technology is playing an increasingly integral role in the process of change and growth for our clients. This key change process requires highly skilled, experienced professionals, particularly in Asia where regional offices are often involved.”
Ferguson also believes that IT professionals are more open to working abroad because they are moving increasingly from a career focus to a project focus.
“I think we’ll see greater mobility for this sector continue,” he said.
The top reason for respondents moving abroad was for ‘new experiences’ (22.4 per cent). This was followed by a fifth (20.3 per cent) who said it would be for better opportunities, while 16.4 per cent cited better living conditions. Nearly 15 per cent (14.3 per cent) said they would work overseas if an opportunity came up with their current employer. Just 6.4 percent said they would work abroad because of higher pay, which Hydrogen Group said is indicative of the senior-level sample in all sectors.
Tim Smeaton, CEO of Hydrogen Group, said: "The research indicates that greater earning potential is not in itself a top priority for professionals when looking to work abroad. For high fliers already on high salaries, a post overseas has to have the right fit with their overall career and life plan to be worth the move."
Across all sectors, the survey found that most of the respondents (60 per cent) did not feel that the recession had had an impact on their willingness to move overseas. The survey also found that respondents only want to move temporarily, not on a permanent basis, with 64 per cent saying they would work abroad for up to five years.