The skills needed in the technology sector in Finland

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The Technology Industry Employers of Finland (Technology Finland) released their future employee needs assessment this week. According to them, Finnish employers in the technology industry will need 130 000 new employees within the next 10 years. What makes this assessment interesting are the skills maps they also released. Those skills maps explain what skills are needed in Finland in the technology sector in the future.

We’ll explain what those skills maps are in just a bit. But first a bit more about the Technology Industry Employers of Finland and their assessment.  

About Technology Industry Employers of Finland and their employee needs assessment

We have discussed labor shortages in Finland before. For example, this blog post here and here talk about it.

In those, we discussed labor shortages in general. We’ve also discussed a bit what skills, in general, are needed in Finland. The Technology Finland assessment naturally only includes the sectors they represent. 

They represent employers in the IT, design and consultancy, metal processing, mechanical engineering and metal products, and electronics and electricity industries. 

Employers of the electronics and electricity industry include such companies as ABB, Ensto, Murata Electronics, Nokia and Suunto.

Mechanical engineering and metal products industry employers include, for example, Abloy, Cargotec, Patria, Valmet, Fiskars, and Oras.

Metal processing industry employers include, for example, Norilsk, Outokumpu, Outotec, and Aurubis. 

Design and consultancy industry employers include, for example, Elomatic, FCG, Pöyry, Ramboll, and Sweco.

IT employers include, for example, CGI, F-Secure, Fujitsu Finland, IBM, Innofactor, Affecto, and Tieto. 

Currently, Technology Finland employers employ 317 000 workers. 

The employee needs assessment they just released is based on a membership survey. It is also based on an AI-powered textual analysis of jobs ads, theses from Finnish universities of applied sciences, and Finnish publications in applied sciences. 

The analysis focused on mentions of skills and competencies, their frequencies, and their associations with one another. Based on this analysis, they were able to produce skills maps for each of the five major industries they represent. 

Technology Finland published these data on the Osaamispulssi website this week. At least for now, the site is only in Finnish. They will update the data twice a year.

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Increasing need for highly educated employees

Technology Finland estimates that the annual need for new employees in their industries is 13 300. About half of this demand results from retirements and about half from growth. This varies between industries.

Technology Finland forecasts a rise in the level of education needed.

In 2018, 13 % of employees working in these industries only had basic education. In the future, such jobs will be non-existent. One would need to have at least a vocational degree. 

There will also be more demand for employees with a Master’s degree from a university (as opposed to a university of applied sciences) or with a Ph.D. In 2018, 20 % of employees had a Master’s degree from a university. In the near future, their share of the workforce will rise to 25 %. 

PhDs, in turn, made 1.1 % of the workforce in these industries in 2018. Technology Finland predicts that in the near future 1.7 % of their workforce will have a doctoral degree. 

60 % of new recruits will need a higher education degree. This, however, varies between industries as we will discuss below. But generally speaking, this mirrors what we’ve discussed before

The skills needed in the technology sector in Finland

Technology Finland also specifies the skills that are needed in their sector in Finland. Based on the answers they received, they recognized 19 specific skill areas. These are:

  • circular economy skills;
  • inclusivity;
  • sales;
  • structural design/engineering;
  • product management;
  • maintenance;
  • manufacturing;
  • mechanical and production engineering;
  • design;
  • leadership;
  • skills related to the lowering/elimination of carbon emissions;
  • software skills;
  • electrical engineering;
  • change leadership and change management;
  • data (collection, management, utilization, and planning);
  • project management;
  • interaction skills;
  • industrial automation; and 
  • innovation.

They also asked employers which generic skills are needed in the future. 76 % of them said motivation and the ability to continuously learn is an increasingly important skill in their business.

Other generic skills that were mentioned by the majority of employers included

  • the ability to understand the client’s perspective (64 % employers)
  • leadership skills (61 %)
  • the ability to see potential (57 %); and
  • teamwork skills (52 %)

In Osaamispulssi, the specific skill sets are defined a bit more thoroughly. We won’t, however, go into the more detailed definitions now. Instead, we’ll look at the needs of the different industries. We’ll also give you links to the skills maps of individual industries. 

They allow you to see which skills and competencies were most often mentioned in the job ads of that specific industry. The maps also show which terms appeared most often together in those ads. Darker color indicates more mentions and thus higher importance. 

Industries and their skills maps

According to Technology Finland, the IT industry will need 3 200 new employers annually. 81 % of new recruits will need at least a university of applied sciences degree. 

This industry needs circular economy, inclusivity, software, and data skills. They also need skills related to the lowering or elimination of carbon emissions. The skills map Technology Finland produced for the IT industry is here

The design and consultancy sector will need 2 370 employees a year. 74 % of those should have a higher education degree. 

Skills needed in that industry include circular economy, inclusivity, sales, structural engineering, design, software, data, and project management skills. This industry also values skills related to the lowering or elimination of carbon emissions. You can find their skills maps here.

The metal processing industry will need 560 new employees a year. This industry relies heavily on employees with a vocational degree (67 % of new employees).

Valued skills include circular economy, inclusivity, product management, maintenance, manufacturing, software, and data. As with the others, skills related to the lowering or elimination of carbon emissions also come in handy. This is the skills map for the metal processing industry. 

The mechanical engineering and metal products industry, in turn, will need 5 500 employees a year. Here also vocational education is most commonly (59 %) required. 

The required skills include circular economy, inclusivity, sales, mechanical and production engineering, design, leadership, software, data as well as skills associated with lowering or eliminating carbon emissions. Their skills map looks like this

The electronics and electricity industry needs an additional 1 650 employees a year. The majority (60 %) will need to have a higher education degree.

These new employees should have skills in circular economy, inclusivity, sales, mechanical and production engineering, software, electrical engineering, change leadership, data, project management, interaction, industrial automation, or innovation. Again, skills associated with lowering or eliminating carbon emissions are also valued. This is the skills map for the electronics and electricity industry. 

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