The 15 best countries to launch your career

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Copenhagen, Denmark.
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Flickr/Moyan Brenn

Though it may seem difficult to land a great job right after graduation, college-educated employees are actually in high demand worldwide. By 2020, there will be a void of roughly 40 million college-educated workers in the global economy, according to predictions from The McKinsey Global Institute.

Many newly minted graduates overlook the possibility of working abroad as they begin launching careers, but outside of the US, several other countries are ripe for building a career.

In partnership with brand strategy firm BAV and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, U.S. News & World Report compiled a list of the best countries to start a career, highlighting places with robust economies that are able to employ workers at their appropriate skill level. The ranking looked at how nearly 6,000 millennials (defined as adults less than 35 years old) scored countries on seven criteria: job market, economic stability, entrepreneurial atmosphere, income equality, innovation, progressiveness, and whether they wanted to live there. U.S. News weighted each metric equally to determine a country’s overall score.

Economic juggernaut China earned the No. 1 spot, followed by Germany in second and the US in third. Keep reading to check out the full list of the 15 best countries to launch a career.


15. France

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Paris, France.
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Shutterstock

Capital: Paris

GDP: $2.8 trillion

Population: 66.2 million


14. Australia

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Sydney, Australia.
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Shutterstock

Capital: Canberra

GDP: $1.6 trillion

Population: 23.5 million


13. Singapore

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Singapore’s skyline.
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Shutterstock

Capital: Singapore

GDP: $298 billion

Population: 5.5 million


12. Denmark

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Copenhagen, Denmark.
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REUTERS/Bob Strong

Capital: Copenhagen

GDP: $336 billion

Population: 5.6 million


11. Netherlands

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Amsterdam, Netherlands.
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Moyan Brenn/Flickr

Capital: Amsterdam

GDP: $854 billion

Population: 16.9 million


10. Saudi Arabia

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Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia.
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Francisco Anzola/Flickr

Capital: Riyadh

GDP: $748 billion

Population: 30.9 million


9. Russia

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Moscow, Russia.
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Shutterstock/Viacheslav Lopatin

Capital: Moscow

GDP: $2.1 trillion

Population: 143.8 million


8. Sweden

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Stockholm, Sweden.
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Tommie Hansen/Flickr

Capital: Stockholm

GDP: $580 billion

Population: 9.7 million


7. South Korea

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Seoul, South Korea.
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Shutterstock

Capital: Seoul

GDP: $1.3 trillion

Population: 50.4 million


6. Japan

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Tokyo, Japan.
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Moyan Brenn/Flickr

Capital: Tokyo

GDP: $4.9 trillion

Population: 127.1 million


5. Canada

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Toronto, Canada.
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Rick Ligthelm/Flickr

Capital: Ottawa

GDP: $1.8 trillion

Population: 35.5 million


4. United Kingdom

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London, England.
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Shutterstock

Capital: London

GDP: $2.7 trillion

Population: 64.5 million


3. United States

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New York, New York.
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Shutterstock

Capital: Washington, DC

GDP: $16.8 trillion

Population: 318.9 million


2. Germany

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Berlin, Germany.
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Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

Capital: Berlin

GDP: $3.7 trillion

Population: 80.9 million


1. China

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Beijing, China.
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Shutterstock

Capital: Beijing

GDP: $9.2 trillion

Population: 1.4 billion