Why do I say that Israel is the best place in the world to be a freelance tech writer?
Briefly (בקיצור) because in Israel you have a unique situation that combines both one of the most highly developed hi tech industries that is geared to export, together with a limited pool of native English speakers.
Here are some interesting facts about the Israeli hi tech sector and the Israeli workforce:
Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world.
Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation by a large margin – 109 per 10,000 people –as well as one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed.
In proportion to its population, Israel has the largest number of startup companies in the world. In absolute terms, Israel has the largest number of startup companies than any other country in the world, except the U.S. (3,500 companies mostly in hi-tech).
With more than 3,000 high-tech companies and startups, Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world — apart from the Silicon Valley, U. S.
Israel is ranked #2 in the world for venture capital funds right behind the U. S.
Outside the United States and Canada, Israel has the largest number of NASDAQ listed companies.
Israel has the highest average living standards in the Middle East.
The per capita income in 2000 was over $17,500, exceeding that of the UK.
On a per capita basis, Israel has the largest number of biotech startups.
Twenty-four per cent of Israel’s workforce holds university degrees, ranking third in the
industrialized world, after the United States and Holland and 12 per cent hold advanced degrees.
Let’s assume that in order to be good tech writer you must speak English at a native level. (Note: I’m not saying that you must be born in an English-speaking country to write English at a mother tongue level. I’ll go into this in more detail in a later post). According to statistics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aliyah#North_American_Aliyah) approximately 100,000 immigrants from English-speaking countries have arrived in Israel since 1948. Keeping in mind that a significant percentage has left or passed away we are left with a relatively small pool. Of those there are a very small percentage who have the desire and qualifications to become a freelance tech writer. There is therefore quite a bit of demand for tech writers in Israel and a limited supply.
Because most of the hi tech companies are located between Haifa and Rehovot (about 1.5 hours by car), they can all be easily reached, thereby allowing the writer to visit the client to gather information and write from home, as opposed to working as an in-house contractor for an extended period then moving 1,000 kilometers to work as an in-house contractor at another company.
Combining all of the above together with the fact that the cost of living in Israel is lower than in the hi-tech centers of the US. You can see why freelance tech writers in Israel may count themselves as being lucky.