Top 20 most attractive cities for digital talent: Kuala Lumpur enters top 30 for first time

Top 20 most attractive cities for digital talent: Kuala Lumpur enters top 30 for first time

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The Malaysian capital emerged 16th on the rankings. Meanwhile, other Asian cities making the list include Singapore (2nd), Tokyo (5th), Beijing (19th), Hong Kong (21st), and Seoul (24th).

Malaysia's capital city, Kuala Lumpur, has emerged the 16th most attractive city in the world for digital talent to relocate to for a job, entering the top 30 for the first time.

In addition to Kuala Lumpur, Asian cities in the top 30 include Singapore (2nd), Beijing (19th), Hong Kong (21st), and Seoul (24th).

This was revealed in a new global study by Boston Consulting Group and The Network, which surveyed and analysed 9,864 workers in digital fields. This list of respondents working in digital fields were among 209,000 people in 190 countries polled in an ongoing series.

These rankings were determined by the percentage of respondents willing to move to each city. Singapore was noted by 10% of the respondents – coming in close behind London which received 12%. In the third spot, Amsterdam received 9%. 

This second place was a notable increase for Singapore, having risen eight places from its rankings in 2018 to 2020. 

Overall, the top 30 most attractive cities for digital talent are:

  1. London
  2. Singapore
  3. Amsterdam
  4. Berlin
  5. Tokyo
  6. Dubai
  7. New York
  8. Sydney
  9. Abu Dhabbi
  10. Barcelona
  11. Melbourne
  12. Los Angeles
  13. Toronto
  14. Vancouver
  15. Zurich
  16. Kuala Lumpur (new entrant)
  17. Paris
  18. San Fransisco
  19. Beijing (new entrant)
  20. Silicon Valley
  21. Hong Kong
  22. Vienna
  23. Copenhagen
  24. Seoul (new entrant)
  25. Munich
  26. Brussels
  27. Geneva
  28. Stockholm
  29. Oslo (new entrant)
  30. Montreal

According to the report, Asian cities have become increasingly popular since 2018, an outcome of the overall increase in popularity of Asian Pacific countries for moving to a different country for work. Adapting to this growth, Singapore has become the "second most popular city for an overseas posting, a sentiment no doubt influenced by the city’s efforts to build a digital economy and to support digital."

Overall, Singapore is one of the top destinations for digital talents to move to for a job, as well as remote employment. This comes as Asia Pacific has emerged as a go-to destination for international assignments. Specifically, Singapore also ranked 6th in the list of top countries where digital workers would look for remote employment – marking its debut to the list, the only country in Southeast Asia to make the list.

The study also revealed that digital workers increasingly embrace flexibility in where and when work gets done, correspondingly paving the way for openness to virtual mobility – with 68% of digital workers willing to work remotely for a company based in a different country. The survey also observed that:

  • As many as 40% of employees working in digital fields are actively job hunting, and nearly 75% are expecting to leave their current role in the near future.
  • The opportunity to advance their careers is the main driver for technology employees looking to switch roles (63%), followed by looking for new challenges (49%).
  • For digital employees, having a good work-life balance continues to be the most valued aspect of their job.

The full report further covers how digital talent want to learn and how to attract and retain the digital workforce.

Image / Provided

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