Companies’ demand for STEM skills

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The technological development and new digital solutions provide the possibility to create fast-growth businesses of the future, increase productivity and maintain and develop good and well-paid jobs in Denmark. In order to take advantage of this growth potential, it is crucial that companies can hire employees with the right skills.

Companies need a wide range of skills at all educational levels. Technical and digital skills are increasingly becoming a part of all jobs and are necessary in order to succeed in the labour market and in society. At the same time, business and industry is increasingly demanding specialists for new technology, including engineers, computer scientists, IT specialists, biostatistics, electricians and other people with technical and digital skills. These skills are key to developing and maintaining Danish positions of strength in, among other things, life science, energy and climate and digital and automated production.

As a result, the government has initiated a Technology Pact to meet the companies’ need to recruit qualified labour in areas such as smart production, digitisation and automation. The goal of a Danish Technology Pact is to get more people to complete a skilled or higher education within technical and digital fields.

Based on this, the Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs has asked Højbjerre Brauer Schultz to carry out an analysis of private companies' demand for technical and digital skills. The analysis is to provide new knowledge that can be used in the development and implementation of a Technology Pact.

The analysis focuses on private companies and is based on HBS Jobindex, which is a database of more than 2.5 million online job postings in Denmark for the period 2007 to the present – every month the database is supplemented by an average of approx. 20,000 new job postings.

Technical and digital competences cover the so-called STEM skills. STEM is an English abbreviation for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – which in Danish is: IT, ingeniørkundskab, naturvidenskab og matematik.

Main results

The main results of the analysis are:

  • The demand by private companies for STEM skills has risen in recent years, and today STEM skills are in demand in almost every fourth job posting in the private sector. However, in recent years, the demand for STEM skills has fallen slightly in the public sector.
  • The growing private demand for STEM skills is driven by a growing demand for ICT competencies.
    In about half of the STEM job postings in the private sector, there is a demand for labour that can “produce and maintain”, while labour that can "design and develop" is demanded for in every third job posting. In the last sixth of the job postings, there is a demand for labour that can “manage relationships”.
  • Just under 80% of the job postings for STEM skills come from the industries Business services; Trade and transport, etc.; Industry, raw material extraction and utilities; and Information and communication.
  • The private demand for STEM skills is broadly based across regions. However, the high demand is especially seen among companies in the Capital Region of Denmark, which demand almost 45% of the overall demand for STEM skills.

The study is commissioned by the Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs.


Højbjerre Brauer Schultz (2018): "Virksomheders efterspørgsel efter STEM-kompetencer".