IT opening borders.
The advent of big data, the growing connectivity of the Internet and the ways digital marketing underpins business growth have combined to make the world a smaller place.
The opportunities for young IT professionals are growing exponentially. They can find themselves in great demand to help companies maximise their SEO, protect their systems from cybercrime or unleash the power of digital information.
So, in theory, they can work from anywhere. For many, this doesn’t mean staying in their home country and offering global services. There is a growing realisation among young IT professionals that their skills are mobile. Allowing them to base themselves in their dream country, without affecting income streams.
Global IT skills gap
Perhaps even more beguiling is the promise of in-house contracts waiting to be filled. There is a global shortage of graduates in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects. Meaning that setting up your own IT business as an expat, or moving around the world to chase the best jobs, is the golden ticket for increasing numbers of people.
A quick glance down the league table of countries with the most acute skills shortages across a range of skill-sets makes an interesting read.
Top spot goes to Japan, where 81% of companies are finding it hard to recruit skilled staff. India, Brazil, Turkey and Mexico come next.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is how high up Australia (41%) and Germany (40%) are. That’s a substantial skills gap that they need to fill.
Taking the plunge? Watch your step
Though the jobs and self-starter opportunities may seem abundant for anyone with IT skills, as you would expect, there are some catches.
The primary one is making sure you research your potential destination country thoroughly. Of course, there have been many expats tempted aboard by great jobs who later find out that the cost of living, local tax laws and general restrictions strangle any earnings or enjoyment gained from the move.
The other hugely important thing is to seek support from a specialist expat financial advisor. Just as you wouldn’t expect your clients to get tech advice from a mate at the pub, you mustn’t be fooled into thinking you can wing it. Even the promise of high earnings from IT work aboard can’t cushion you if the fickle hand of the industry means you have to move again or come home.
So, contact Harrison Brook before pursuing your IT career abroad, because even the digital age has not replaced the need for intuitive and well-informed financial advice.