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The Global Cost of Talent 2018

What was the Global Cost of Talent in 2018?


Talent is more empowered than ever before to choose where they start their professional careers and remuneration will always be a key factor in their employment considerations. Achieving optimum talent attraction requires that you provide competitive wages, however, it should not require that you overpay to accomplish this. In order to remain competitive, you have to match your Employer Branding and wages with the salary expectations of the country, market, and industry.

Download our free report and find out more information, including the individual salary expectations in each country and salary expectations by industry.

This year’s Global Cost of Talent report is based on the feedback from 216, 193 Business students and 295, 528 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) students from 39 countries who participated in Universum’s 2018 Talent Survey. In order to assess the cost of talent in each country we asked business and STEM students what they expect to earn at their first job after graduating from university, the question being:

What salary do you expect to earn in your first job after graduation?

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On the whole, our data shows that STEM talent expect higher earnings than their business counterparts. The largest difference between these two main fields of study can be found in Canada, where both Male & Female STEM students expect higher salaries.


 “The underlining reason we are seeing STEM talent expect more remuneration is that they know that their skills and knowledge are in demand, and furthermore the doors are open for them to join more industries than ever before[…] This not to say that a large salary alone will attract STEM talent but to compete with the likes of these well-known employers, all of which have a reputation for awarding higher than average salaries, other companies will also have to offer competitive remuneration.”

Jonas Barck, CMO Universum

Countries covered in The Global Cost of Talent 2018

  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark

  • Egypt
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kazakstan

  • Lebanon
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • South Africa

  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Universum’s annual Global Talent survey can help you better understand the career expectations of your business and STEM workforce no matter where you operate. Understanding this data should provide you with invaluable insights on how to attract, recruit and retain talent. However, more important than the raw numbers are the trends derived from them. If you can understand these broad global patterns in terms of what talent in your country or region wants, you can take advantage of opportunities that your competitors cannot and therefore build a stronger workforce.



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