Finance as an industry has undergone huge changes in the last decade or more, with technology now playing a major role. This has changed the nature and scope of jobs in the sector, with the best jobs no longer reserved only for the traditional global financial centres.
That said, finance is still a highly competitive sector to get into whether you’re just starting out in your career or looking to switch roles.
In this data study, we uncover which capital city is the best place to pursue a career in finance. Together, all this information should help you determine which capital city you may want to consider as a location if you want to begin your finance career or pick up where you left it.
How We Did The Study And Why This Is Useful
Knowing everything you need to know about finances is a challenge. Whether you are seeking guidance from Generation Money, or you want to get started in your own finance career, there are a number of important things to consider.
To carry out this study, we gathered the top 130 capital cities by population and created an index based on the following data points:
- Average Yearly Finance Salary
- Number of Finance Job Postings
- Number of Finance Companies and Businesses
- Quality of Life Score
- Average Rent Per Month (1 Bedroom Apartment, central)
If you want to start your career in a capital city, you need to know which ones offer the best opportunities to fulfil your aspirations. So, we are looking at which capital you should consider moving to if you want to reach for the stars.
Which Capital Cities Are Best For Starting A Career In Finance?
Below are the 10 best capital cities that you could move to if you want to start a career in finance:
The Top 5:
Ranked at the top of the list is London, which may come as no surprise. London hosts some of the world’s largest banks and companies, with a pool full of opportunities and open job listings. England’s capital also ranked highly with 12,436 job openings, and 2,084 verified finance companies and businesses on LinkedIn. There is no doubt that London is one of the top places globally for all levels of finance jobs, wherever you may be a fresh graduate or looking to step back into your finance career.
Following in 2nd place, Tokyo ranked with an impressive index score of 77.39, and scored the highest for job openings with 17,894, weighted against the population. Tokyo also ranked in the top 50 for quality of life score, suggesting that you could achieve a good balance between work and pleasure.
3rd place is taken by Seoul, with this capital city presenting plenty of opportunities and job openings with an impressive 14,501 job listings in finance. As well as providing a very reasonable average rent price per month at £628, for a 1 bedroom apartment in the heart of the city.
Port of Spain
Not far behind and ranking in 4th place is perhaps an unexpected entry in the top 5. Port Of Spain provides the highest average salary in our study with a staggering £116,632 per annum. This city is well suited for more specialised job roles and those with some experience under their belt.
Completing the top 5 is Bern which offers a healthy average salary of £82,221 and plenty of job openings. In addition, this beautiful capital ranks number 14 in the world for quality of life.
Which Cities Have The Best Salary Opportunities?
If salary opportunities are the most important thing for you, then these are the top capital cities with the best average salaries in finance:
- Port of Spain: £116,632
- Tbilisi: £91,200
- Bern: £82,221
- Montevideo: £80,983
- Doha: £78,003
- Canberra: £70,919
- Oslo: £70,600
- Muscat: £69,884
- Helsinki: £67,814
- Kuwait City: £67,337
Although the above salaries are averages, actual salaries are determined by the job openings, specialism and the experience in finance you already have.
When it comes to cost of living, and the monthly outgoings it’s worth noting that the average monthly rents are often higher, reflecting the higher salaries available in these cities.
For example, Bern’s average salary is £82,221 and the average rent in our analysis is £1,036 per month. Oslo’s average salary is £70,919 with an average rent of £1,492 per month.
However, that isn’t always the case. Port of Spain is a good example of this, with an average salary of an impressive £116.632 and average rent of £461 per month.
It ultimately comes down to your career goals and priorities as an individual, when deciding which capital city may be the best suited for your individual needs and aspirations.
The Best Job Opportunities
There is no question that a great capital city to begin your career should provide plenty of job opportunities and openings. So here are the cities that rank in the top 10, all weighted against the population of the capital city:
- Tokyo: 17,894 job listings
- Seoul: 14,501 job listings
- London: 12,436 job listings
- Tehran: 9,421 job listings
- Moscow: 8,622 job listings
- Mexico City: 7,994 job listings
- Jakarta: 6,891 job listings
- Beijing: 5,688 job listings
- Lima: 4,633 job listings
- Cairo: 4,331 job listings
Job openings and the opportunities each capital city provides is vital to starting, or resuming, a career in finance. The average salaries or quality of life might be great, but a lack of opportunities will make it considerably more challenging.
On the other hand, it’s important to ensure that you take into account other factors beyond just the number of job listings. It’s also important to do further research into the types of roles available to make sure that they match your interest and skill set.
The top 5 best capital cities to be in if you would like to pursue a career in finance are London, Tokyo, Seoul, Port Of Spain and Bern according to our analysis.
It’s important to remember that these scores are worked out with averages in mind. So, while some cities might have exceptionally high average salaries, they may have fewer finance career opportunities or higher average rent costs.
Overall, you should consider the full range of factors to help you determine which is the best city for you to start a career in finance. While it might be unrealistic to find somewhere with high pay, low rent, lots of job opportunities and a high quality of life score, our analysis should help to point you in the right direction.
Methodology & Sources
We gathered the largest 130 capital cities by population and created an index based on the following data points:
- Average Yearly Finance Salary that held 25% weighting in the final score.
- Number of Finance Job Postings that also counted for 25% of the final score.
- Number of Finance Companies and Businesses that were verified and active on LinkedIn, weighted 20% of the final score.
- Quality of Life Score with a 15% weighting
- Average Rent Per Month (1 Bedroom Apartment, central) also equaling 15% of the final score.
The data was then turned into an index, with 100 being the highest score across the categories in the table. All data was weighted against the population of each capital city to account for differences due to population size.
- Numbeo (2023 Mid-Year) Numbeo Quality of Life Rankings numbeo.com
- Payscale Research (2023) payscale.com
- Salary Explorer (2023) salaryexplorer.com
- Zoom Info (July 2023) zoominfo.com
- World Atlas (July 2023) Population Of Capital Cities Of The World worldatlas.com
- Statista (July, 2023) Statista Demographics statista.com
- LivingCost.org (July 2023) livingcost.org