Global hotspots for graduates to begin their career

By shane conroy

Today’s graduates have a wide world of opportunity in front of them, but where is the best place to start? We review the top cities to begin your global career. 

As graduates embrace the opportunities of the globalized economy and increasingly seek international career options, the world’s top financial centers are competing to attract the top graduate talent.

The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) is helping graduates select the best city to start their careers in with the release of its latest Global Financial Centres Index, which ranks cities based on factors including business environment, financial sector development and infrastructure. 

Sydney, Dubai, Osaka and Montreal are among the cities who have climbed several places to cement top 20 rankings.

“The top financial centers of the world are very well developed, sophisticated and cosmopolitan cities in their own right,” the Index reports. “Successful people are attracted to successful cities.”

Asia continues to be a global financial hotspot, with 12 of the top 15 Asia/Pacific centers rising in the rankings, and Hong Kong and Singapore (ranked third and fourth respectively), consolidating their standing as the two most important cities in the Asian financial system. 

In Part 1, we review the cities ranked from #20 to #11 and reveal the opportunities they hold for graduates.

#20: Osaka

Osaka storms into the top 20 after climbing 11 ranking places since last year’s index. It is now Japan’s second-highest ranked city, and takes sixth place in the greater Asia/Pacific region. The city aims to consolidate its standing with a focus on promoting innovation in life sciences and green industries. 

#19: Luxembourg

Luxembourg is up six rating points from last year’s index, and ranks among Western Europe’s top five financial centers. It also ranks in the global top 10 for business environment and infrastructure. Luxembourg also boasts strong banking, insurance, steel, agricultural and wine industries.

#18: Vancouver 

Vancouver continues to grow as a global financial city, outranking both Los Angeles and Calgary as a top 10 North American business center. It has also seen a 12-point boost in its reputational rating, and was named one the of the world’s best places to launch a startup in the 2015 Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking report. 

#17: Montreal 

Montreal climbs further up the global rankings with a 10-point rating boost since last year’s index and is now second behind Toronto as Canada’s most important business center. The Port of Montreal is the leading North American container port servicing the North Atlantic market and handles approximately 20 million tons of cargo per year.

#16: Dubai

Dubai adds 16 rating points to move up seven places in global rankings, and is now ranked the number one financial center in the Middle East. The city also enters top 12 global rankings for business environment and infrastructure, and has attracted strong foreign investment in its many ambitious construction projects since the early 2000s.

#15: Sydney 

Sydney has climbed six ranking places to make a splash into the top 20 as Australia’s top-ranked financial center. It also ranked 12th worldwide for financial sector development, 11th worldwide for business environment and infrastructure and sixth for reputation. Graduates will particularly find opportunity in the tech startup space as the city expands its investment in the sector. 

#14: Frankfurt

Frankfurt is another city on the rise, climbing five ranking places to secure its new standing as the fourth-ranked financial center in Western Europe. Graduates in the financial sector should keep a close eye on Frankfurt’s strong stock exchange which has established itself as an important trading hub for Chinese currency.

#13: Geneva

Geneva is behind only London and Zurich as the third ranked city in Western Europe, and is the second most populous city in Switzerland. French is widely spoken throughout Geneva, and it is home to the European headquarters of the United Nations (UN), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) – ideal for graduates seeking opportunities in global governance.

#12: Boston 

Boston continues to cement itself as a leading global financial city with a rapidly developing financial sector (up five points to sixth place in global rankings). It also takes out a top 10 world ranking for human capital and reputation. Graduates should also take note of its global top 10 ranking in the investment management and professional services sectors.  

#11: Chicago

Chicago is up two ranking places from last year’s index as it continues to make a push for top 10 status. The city also enters North America’s top five ranked destinations, and is ranked in the global top 10 in all five areas of competitiveness. And with a top five world ranking in banking and insurance, it is quickly attracting a new generation of graduate talent. 

Stay tuned for Part 2, where we’ll reveal the top 10 most important cities in the global financial system.