12 Countries That Produce the Best Engineers in the World

In this article, we discuss the 12 countries that produce the best engineers in the world. You can skip our detailed analysis of the engineering profession, its impact on the economy and the corporate tech sector around the world and go directly to the 5 Countries That Produce the Best Engineers in the World

Engineering can perhaps be thought of as one of the most important human endeavors in the modern age beside science. The two fields complement each other. Scientists theorize about nature and engineers apply those theories into practical applications, making our technological world possible. 

So engineering is central to technological progress and the latter is crucial for economic growth in advanced economies. For instance, the correlation between Total Factor Productivity (TFP) and economic progress in advanced countries is a positive 60%, with technological growth being one of the three factors in TFP. 

Naturally therefore, there’s a high demand for engineers, leading them to earn handsome salary packages, which in turn, creates demand for engineering education. 

Engineering-Fields Outlook

Traditionally, electronics and electrical engineering have dominated the overall field. However, things are slowing down, at-least at the moment, due to disrupted supply chains, resulting in materials shortage and an endemic shortage of engineers. A survey shows 76.41% of corporations are having trouble finding engineers. 

The shortage is mostly due to a declining interest in STEM, aging workforce and engineers moving into managerial roles. 

The report went on to illustrate that there has roughly been a 90% drop in electrical-engineering graduates, offset by a 90% increase in computer-science graduates over the past half a century. This has led to software engineering becoming the new hot engineering field. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that software engineers are some of the highest income-earners in the US, with an average annual salary of $131,490. In addition, the IT employment in the country is projected to grow by 21% during 2021-2031, faster than all other occupations.

AI engineers are the most in demand within the larger software-development industry and also earn higher than their regular software-engineering peers, due to the lightning-fast rate of progress in machine learning and its impact on other industries.  

According to Indeed, the median salary for a machine learning engineer in the San Francisco Bay Area is nearly $170,000, significantly higher than the average income of a regular software engineer.

In terms of academia, National University of Singapore, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harbin Institute of Technology are considered some of the top schools for engineering disciplines. 

When it comes to the corporate sector, tech giants like General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT), Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) are prominent when it comes to hiring electrical, mechanical and aerospace engineers.  General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) is the most diverse company when it comes to electrical engineering in the US. 

On the software front, there are companies like Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).

The US, Japan and Germany are some of the most advanced countries in engineering. Below, we list the 12 countries that produce the best engineers in the world. 

12 Countries That Produce the Best Engineers in the World
12 Countries That Produce the Best Engineers in the World

Copyright: welcomia / 123RF Stock Photo

Our Methodology 

For our list of the best countries in engineering, we’ve ranked them based on the averaged-out rankings from two reports -  The Global Innovation Index Report of 2021 and Scimago Journal and Country Ranks. We've picked up two sub-metrics from the two reports and averaged out the rankings based on them. We have used 'Knowledge and Technology Output' metric from the Global Innovation Index Report and H-Index for engineering papers from the Scimago Journal and Country Rank.

The former accounts for technological output and the quality of technical academic knowledge required for the purpose. This gives us a useful indication of which countries have high-quality educational infrastructure for engineering.

The latter, on the other hand, measures the aggregate impact of scholarly output. It lets us know which countries' engineers are leading their respective fields in R&D. An H-index of 20 means that for all academic publications by an engineer, 20 of them have been cited by other researchers at-least 20 times.

We’ve also discussed R&D spending, whose data comes from the World Bank. In addition, we’ve mentioned top engineering universities, as well as tech companies in these countries, whose data comes from Scimago Institutions Rankings

Here are the 12 countries that produce the best engineers in the world. 

12. Singapore

Scimago Ranking: 14   Global Innovation Index Ranking based on KT Output: 13

Singapore is a city state located in Southeast Asia. The country is home to a lot of cutting-edge manufacturing businesses that depend on qualified engineers to create high-quality products. 

Singapore is considered an educational superpower, with one of the best educational systems in the world. It has a rich tradition of technical education and is home to a number of esteemed technical institutes, including Nanyang Technological University and National University of Singapore, which is renowned for turning out highly qualified engineers in a range of subjects.  

11. Israel

Scimago Ranking: 21   Global Innovation Index Ranking based on KT Output: 6

Israel has had remarkable success in engineering. Despite its small size and population, the country has made a name for itself in biomedical, electromechanical, agricultural, robotics and software engineering. 

All thanks to its world-class educational institutions, producing some of the finest engineers in the world. Israel is known for Simcha Blass, who invented ‘Drip Irrigation’ technology that conserves water by 20-50%, leading to worldwide adoption of the technology. 

Some other engineering marvels that Israeli engineers are known for include Nanowire, RSA encryption, smartphone dual lens and laser keyboards. Israel attracts 28 times more venture capital per capita than the US due to a culture of innovation, quality engineering-education and highly sophisticated tech-startup infrastructure. Technion and Tel Aviv University are two of the top institutes in Israel for high-quality engineering education.

10. France

Scimago Ranking: 7   Global Innovation Index Ranking based on KT Output: 16

France is one of the most prominent countries in Europe.  It has a strong tradition of quality education, especially in technical fields like engineering. In this regard, University of Paris-Saclay and Sorbonne University are two of the top institutes in the country. France is best known for aeronautical engineering, with companies like Dassault Aviation.

9. Sweden

Scimago Ranking: 17   Global Innovation Index Ranking based on KT Output: 2

Sweden is located in the Scandinavian region of Europe. In 2020, the country spent 3.53% of its GDP on R&D. Sweden has a highly sophisticated infrastructure dedicated to the field of engineering. It includes specialized colleges, corporations and research centers. 

Its top engineering institutes include Chalmers Institute of Technology, Royal Institute of Technology and Linkoping University. Top corporations include Spotify and Ericsson. Apart from its own companies, Sweden also hosts foreign corporations like Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and General Electric Company (NYSE:GE).

8. South Korea

Scimago Ranking: 10   Global Innovation Index Ranking based on KT Output: 8

South Korea is one of the top countries that produces the best engineers in the world. The country has a strong electronics scene and is home to Samsung, the third largest electronics company in the world, after Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). 

Samsung’s engineers are pushing the boundaries of Moore’s law, making chips with a 3 nm fabrication process, which is cutting edge as of 2022. 

The company intends to mass-produce 2 nm chips by 2025 and 1.4 nm chips by 2027. South Korea’s Seoul was ranked the best place in the world by FDI Intelligence for talent availability in electrical and electronics engineering.

7. The Netherlands

Scimago Ranking: 11   Global Innovation Index Ranking based on KT Output: 7

The Netherlands is one of the most advanced countries in Europe when it comes to engineering and technology. It is the top sixth country in agricultural engineering. However, it also shines in other engineering disciplines like electrical, mechanical and software engineering. 

The country has had a history of producing quality engineers through institutes like Delft University of Technology and Eindhoven University of Technology. In 2020, R&D had a share of 2.29% in its GDP. In terms of high-tech companies, The Netherlands is home to ASML, a chip manufacturer, crucial to global electronics manufacturing and supply-chains.

6. Japan

Scimago Ranking: 6   Global Innovation Index Ranking based on KT Output: 11

Japan is one of the top countries that produces the best engineers in the world. As a result, it is one of the largest exporters of electronics. Its top electronics-manufacturing companies include Hitachi, Panasonic and Mitsubishi. 

Japan overwhelmingly dominates the global market for robotics. As of 2022, 45% of all the industrial robots operating in the world have been made in Japan, per figures from International Federation of Robotics. China is the biggest importer of Japanese robots, with the former's market comprising 36% of the latter's robotics exports. Japan’s electronics-production is one of the highest on Earth and further grew by 11% in 2021. 

In 2020, the country spent 3.26% of its GDP on research and development. Its top universities for engineering are University of Tokyo and Tohoku University. The corporation involved in the highest quality engineering and R&D happens to be Sony, as per Scimago Journal and Country Rank. 

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Disclosure: none. 12 Countries That Produce the Best Engineers in the World is originally published on Insider Monkey.