While the Scandinavian economy is in full growth, we see a shortage of talent in all four countries.

What’s happening in Sweden?

The main reasons for this situation in Sweden are:

  1. The high salaries
  2. The education system’s inability to adapt to the market
  3. The available skills do not match with the roles on offer


The causes for talent shortages in Denmark are similar, as the country is facing a severe talent mismatch in existing skills and the growing need for more IT professionals, according to the Hays Skill Index research. As a result, Denmark is expected to be short of 19,000 IT professionals by 2030.

Meanwhile, a number of the global tech giants, including IBM, Microsoft, and Uber, are either setting up or expanding their R&D facilities in the country, which will place even further demand on limited IT skills.


Finland currently has an immediate need for 7,000 software developers, Finnish Information Processing Association, TIVIA, reports. With the anticipated 7% annual sector revenue growth, the country will lack over 15,000 skilled professionals by 2020, causing about €3-4 billion in lost GPD per year.

Similar to Sweden, Finland’s talent gap can be blamed on the inability of the education system to prepare the required number of professionals. Out of 1,100 information and communications technology students graduating from Finnish schools every year, less than 300 specialise in software development.

Furthermore, over 30% of polytechnic students in Finland are foreigners, so only about half of them usually choose to stay in the country after graduation.


A government report in 2018 estimated that Norway could face a shortfall of more than 4,000 experts in the niche area of IT security alone by 2030 unless measures are taken to reverse the risk of a contracting talent pool. The corresponding estimate, in terms of a shortfall in 2019, is running at around 2,000.

The government report mirrored a “calculation of findings analysis” made by NIFU, the Oslo-based Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education. NIFU estimates that people needed with IT security skills could reach 15,000 s by 2030.

The above analysis is excellent news for aspiring IT contractors; it is also a matter of concern for recruitment agencies that need to ensure compliance in Scandinavia, a highly regulated area where a misstep can be quite costly.

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