Jackpot destinations: Best countries for tech jobs


Why do we go to university? Is it for the vibrant campus culture or our love of learning? Or is it to secure a high-quality job post-graduation? It's no secret that those who graduate from well-ranked universities tend to acquire high-paying jobs in the top companies around the globe. As a one-stop shop for all things tech and higher education, we at Cybernews Academy wanted to delve into the countries that have excellent universities and even better salaries.

Cybernews Academy Note: When we refer to the top 100 QS university rankings by subject, the subject will always be Computer Science and Information Technologies.

United States

It’s no surprise that the United States has some of the highest-paying IT professions in the world. The prolific Silicon Valley is home to some of the world's largest tech companies; salaries tend to be high and competitive in the U.S. Depending on the state and your job title, salaries will vary. However, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded that in 2022, the average salary for those in computer and mathematical occupations was $69,413 per annum. Depending on where you work, those working for Silicon Valley companies could look at earning over $144,000 per year. In other locations like Seattle and Portland, there’s the potential to earn over $125,000 annually. These salaries will vary depending on your job title; those in managerial positions could earn up to $174,181. However, IT specialist salaries aren’t too shabby either, as cloud computing analysts, database administrators, scrum masters, and network/cloud engineers could earn over $100,000 yearly.

The average living expense per person in the United States is $1,131.7 without rent. Renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city will set you back a cool $1,837.12, and a three-bedroom apartment in the city is even more expensive at $3,045.22.

With exceptional and competitive jobs come exceptional and competitive universities. North American universities are among the best in the world for computer science and information technology degrees. Currently ranked at #1 on the QS World University Rankings by Subject is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), one of North America's most prolific and competitive universities for computing and information technologies subjects. Similarly, we have Carnegie Mellon in #2, another highly-ranked university well-known for its tech background. There are over 20 U.S. universities in the QS Computer Science and Information Technologies subject rankings in the top 100, ranging from Ivy League universities to other high-ranked institutions like the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

United Kingdom

The U.K. offers substantial IT salaries, particularly in finance technology, software development, and data science, making it an attractive destination for IT talent worldwide. On average, you are looking to receive roughly £47,231.90 per year ($59,765.65.) However, this will differ depending on what region you’re in, your job title, and your experience level. If you hold a managerial position and work in London, you could expect to earn approximately £86,825 annually. In North West England, executive salaries are roughly £73,990 per annum. However, you must expect living expenses to differ in both areas, as living costs in North England are often lower than in places like London. For example, in London, the average cost of living is estimated at £3,200 per month. If you plan on working and living in a North Western city like Manchester, you could expect to spend approximately £1,962 per month.

The U.K. is known for its high-achieving universities like the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. Despite their rivalry, the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge sit together at the top of the QS leaderboard for computer science and technology. The University of Oxford is currently ranked #5, and the University of Cambridge is #7 worldwide. Alongside these two academic giants, other U.K. universities rank highly in the QS world rankings by subject. Some universities include Imperial College London, The University of Edinburgh, UCL, Kings College London, the University of Manchester, and the University of Warwick.

Canada

Some of Canada's largest cities house a burgeoning tech scene with competitive IT job opportunities, particularly in AI and fintech. According to Glassdoor, the average base pay for someone working in IT in Canada is CA$ 75,472 ($55,697.58.) Usually, entry-level positions start at CA$ 56,987, while most experienced or managerial roles could bring in CA$ 125,445 annually. The average expense per person in Canada is CA$1,343.1 without rent.

Canada has some fantastic universities in the top 100 QS world rankings by Computer Science and Information Technologies subject. For example, the University of Toronto is ranked #12 worldwide for computer science and information technologies. The University of British Columbia is ranked #21 in the QS world rankings by subject. These are a few examples of exceptional institutions available in Canada.

Switzerland

Switzerland is known for its picturesque views, magnificent mountains, and indulgent food. But did you know it is also known for its competitive salaries, especially in finance-related roles and emerging fields like cryptography? The average salary for an IT professional in Switzerland is roughly CHF 107,000, equating to approximately $121,251. This seems incredibly high; however, to live in Switzerland requires a sizeable yearly salary. For example, Zurich was ranked as the world’s fourth-most expensive city in Mercer’s 2021 report and the most expensive city in Europe. To rent an apartment in Zurich, you’re looking to pay anywhere between CHF 1,657.44 and CHF 2,979.65 per month. This equates to $ 1,880.87 - $3,381.65, and that’s only rent. On average, the expenses of a single person in Switzerland are upwards of CH1,543.8 per month ($1,757.29) without rent.

Only two of Switzerland’s universities appear in the QS top 100 world rankings by subject. ETH Zurich and EPFL. ETH Zurich ranks #9 in the list and EPFL #10. Both are well-established universities that have a range of computing programs.

Germany

Various areas of Germany, particularly the start-up city of Berlin, offer IT professionals attractive opportunities in software development and innovation-focused roles. Glassdoor states that IT professionals' average gross salary is €60,820 per year ($65,025.) In Germany, anything above €60,000 per year is an excellent salary, far above the average of €47.700. The average living cost of a single person without rent is roughly €927.6 ($1002,62) per month. You could be expected to pay between €840.48- €1,533.64 ($912.55- 1,665.14) for an apartment in the city center.

Four of Germany’s universities feature in the QS top 100 world rankings by subject. At #29 Technical University of Munich, #70 the Technische Universitat Berlin (TU Berlin), #90 RWTH Aachen University, and finally #91 Ludwig-Maximilian Universitat Munchen.

France

France is known for its beautiful landmarks, architecture, art, and culture. But did you know that IT professionals could obtain a high-paying job and a degree at a high-ranking university? An Information Technology Executive in France typically earns around €49,775 per year, ranging from the lowest average salary of about €33,000 to the highest average wage of €105,800. The average wage in France is €39,300 ($42,500.) Therefore, IT professionals in France could make almost double the average salary. The cost for a person living in France without rent is €914.3. The cost of living in France is, on average, 7.0% higher than in the United Kingdom. However, according to Numbeo, renting prices in France are, on average, 24.4% lower than in the U.K. Rent in France (depending on when you’re living) can range from €724.59- €1,506.78.

Four French universities feature in the top 100 QS world rankings by subject. At #31 is the Institut Polytechnique de Paris, #41 Universite Paris-Saclay, #47 is Sorbonne University, and #98 IMT Atlantique.

Singapore

​​This Southeast Asian city-state is a major hub for tech companies in the region. Singapore's thriving tech ecosystem offers competitive salaries in various IT fields. The average base salary for IT professionals is roughly S$120,00 per year. You could earn up to $ 130,254 annually, depending on your company and job title. The average wage in Singapore is around S$60,396. The cost of living in Singapore is S$1,552.9 without rent; this accounts for a single-person household. The rent prices range between S$4,486.91- S$8,812.77 which equates to $3,304.26- $6,490.16. To demonstrate just how high these rent prices are, Numbeo states that rent in Singapore is, on average, 23.4% higher than in London.

Two Singaporean universities feature within the QS world rankings by subject: the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore.) Both institutions rank incredibly high, with NUS at #6 and NTU at #11.

China (Mainland)

The IT sector in China offers numerous opportunities and advantages, making it a vibrant and dynamic industry with many benefits. The average annual salary for an IT specialist in China ranges from approximately 150,000¥ to 300,000¥ or more. Remember that wages can be higher in major cities with a high cost of living, such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen, compared to smaller towns. An IT professional's recent yearly wage is approximately 146,976¥ ($49,638). The cost of living in China is, on average, 42.9% lower than in the United Kingdom, and rent prices are 50.7% lower than in the U.K. Living in China is relatively cheap compared to North America, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The average cost of living is 4,081.8¥, which is $560.02. Depending on which cities you look at, the rent price ranges from 3,788.84¥ to 9,057.59¥. In USD, that is anywhere between $521.06 - $1,242.58.

Multiple Chinese universities are presented in the QS world university rankings by subject. Tsinghua University, Peking University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Zhejiang University, Fudan University, University of Science and Technology of China, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and Xi’an Jiaotong University. These universities range from Tsinghua University at #15 and Xi’an Jiaotong University at #98.

Japan

Japan is famous for its advancements in technology and innovation. The country has been a leader in electronics, automotive manufacturing, and robotics. The IT market in Japan is lucrative; however, Salary Explorer says the average wage for IT jobs in Japan is 8 million¥ or $43,736.29, significantly less than Switzerland and Singapore. However, the living costs are lower than in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe. The cost of living in Japan is, on average, 16.6% lower than in the United Kingdom. In addition, the cost of rent in Japan is, on average, 44.2% lower than the U.K. The cost of living is estimated to be 123,326.9¥, which is $851.53, and the renting fees range from 90,977.65¥ to 192,381.62¥. This price equates roughly to anywhere between $628.13 to $1,328.50.

Only one Japanese university ranks among the top 100 in the QS world university rankings by subject: The University of Tokyo at #49.

Australia

Australia hosts a growing tech sector with competitive IT salaries, providing a blend of professional growth and a high quality of life. According to IT Shifting, the average IT salary in Australia is about A$100,234 annually. Depending on your job title and where you are in Australia, you could earn anywhere between A$84,110 and A$ 110,000. On average, your monthly expenses would be A$1,659.4, which is 13.6% higher than in the United Kingdom. Rent prices are also higher by 19.8%. You should spend between A$ 2,320.38 and A$ 3,771.11, which roughly translates to $1497,85- $2434,78.

Six universities place in the top 100 in the QS world university rankings by subject. The University of Melbourne (#41), Australian National University (#56), The University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney #57), The University of Sydney (#57), Monash University (#73), and the University of Technology Sydney (#73)

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has been actively investing in developing its information technology (IT) sector to become a digital hub in the Middle East. The country has made significant progress in IT infrastructure, digital connectivity, and government initiatives to promote digital transformation. Talent.com states that the current average for IT professionals is 240,048 SAR, approximately $63,993. This wage range appears higher than Japan, China, and Canada yet lower than Switzerland, Singapore, and the United States. The estimated single-person monthly costs are 3,022.7 SAR ($805.77), with rent at around 1,772.99- 3,054.06 SAR. In USD, these figures are approximately $472.65- $814.15. This salary is a healthy annual income, with the country's living costs and rent being so low.

Saudi Arabia has only one university ranked among the top 100 in the QS world university rankings by subject. This university is King Abdulaziz University (KAU), which ranks #50 on the leaderboard.

Brazil

Brazil is a large and diverse country in South America, known for its rich culture, natural beauty, and economic potential. Regarding Information Technology (IT), Brazil has recently developed significantly. The average salary for IT specialists in Brazil is R$149,736 ($30,614.60.) The average wage in Brazil is approximately R$102,720, a significant decrease compared to the salary gained from IT jobs. The cost of living in Brazil is, on average, 51.8% lower than in the United States, according to Numbeo, as the average person would spend R$2,738.4, not including rent. The cost of rent can range from R$1,563.49 ($319.59) to R$2,977.42 ($608.62).

Only one university is in the QS top 100 world rankings by subject. That is the Universidade de Sao Paulo, which comes in at #86.

Price breakdown by country

We at Cybernews Academy have condensed the information to give you the best scope of what’s out there. We have looked at how many universities place within the top 100 in the QS university rankings by subject (computer science and information technologies) alongside average earnings for those in the IT sector, living expenses per person, and the price of renting a one-bedroom apartment. In the final column, disposable income, we have calculated this amount by deducting annual living expenses and rent from the average annual income.

CountriesNumber of countries in the QS top 100Average earnings Living expenses: One personRent: One bedroom apartmentDisposable income
United States21$69,413$1,131.7$1,837.12$33,787.16
United Kingdom8$59,765.65$950.36$1171.29$34,305.85
Canada 5$55,697.58$991.99$2,362.94$15,438.42
Switzerland2$121,251$1,757.29$1,880.8$77,593.92
Germany 4$65,025.60$1002.62$912.55$42,043.56
France3$50,846$992.46$786.54$29,498
Singapore2$88,638$1147.76$3,304.26$35,213.76
China8$49,638$560.02$521.06$36,665.04
Japan1$54,828$851.53$628.13$25,432.08
Australia 6$64,508$1070.73$1497.85$33,822.96
Saudi Arabia 1$63,986$805.77$472.65$48,644.96
Brazil 2$30,614$563.71$319.59$20,020.88

The demand for skilled IT professionals has never been higher in today's rapidly evolving global economy. With technology serving as the backbone of industries worldwide, IT experts are in high demand, leading to increased salaries in some of the most attractive regions of the globe. Remember, choosing a university you wish to study at in a foreign country is an important decision, as the country you settle in may be the one you stay in for the remainder of your professional career. We at Cybernews Academy have provided these metrics to help you navigate your way through your decision and eventually make choices that will hopefully impact your future for the better.