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Results of the Universum Talent Survey – Nordics 2023

By Universum, 2023-07-05

The data-driven Employer Branding agency Universum announces the results of its Talent Survey 2023 in the Nordic Countries, which include Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland. 

Universum surveyed 20,520 students in Sweden, 10,946 in Norway, 11,650 in Denmark, and 13,424 students in Finland – asking them about their career preferences and ideal employers. 

Continuing to gain popularity worldwide, students in the Nordics are looking for jobs with more flexibility. Compared to last year, this attribute is one of the few career requirements that is becoming increasingly important, rising 4 places this year. In addition to flexibility, students still find a competitive base salary crucial, with uncertain economic conditions showing a shift towards financial security. 

Once again, this year, students in the Nordics indicate that high future earnings is the most important feature of a new job, remaining at #1 spot year over year, but also recognizing the rise in competitive base salary this year – a grim reminder of the economic conditions that are currently present.  

Students in the Nordics want remote work opportunities – but concern is also present: 

Remote work opportunities continue increasing in importance for all Nordic countries. The highest share of remote work preferences can be observed in Finland with 86% of the surveyed students saying they want to work remotely. Despite a large increase compared to 2022, Denmark remains to be the country with the lowest share of interest for remote work, with 60% of the students saying they are interested in remote working.  

While remote work is gaining in popularity each year, there is also concern voiced from the students. For example, nearly 60% of the students in the Nordics are afraid that they will miss important social interactions if they are away from the office and feel isolated. Employers can address these concerns by offering a clear program in which working from home, remote work, and attention to social cohesion is an integral part of the working conditions within the company. 

” It’s clear that the Nordic students are affected by the external events that have had such an impact on our countries in the last few years. The pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the inflation and the downturn of the economy highly influence the priorities when selecting an employer. A stronger focus on money, flexibility and security come as a natural consequence of these events. It’s also interesting to see that while certain trends are truly Nordic, there are still big differences between the students in the four Nordic countries”, says Claes Peyron, Managing Director for Nordics, UK and Ireland at Universum. 

Business Rankings: 

Unchanged at 1 and 2 respectively, PwC, and McKinsey and Company remain the top employers for business students’ while Ernst and Young jumps up one spot from last year to take third place. 

Engineering Rankings: 

With no movement in the top 3 compared to last year, engineering students perceive Microsoft (1), Sweco (2), and Siemens (3) to be the top employers in the Nordics for the fields of engineering. 

IT Rankings: 

Rankings for IT students remain stable as well, with no movement in the top three employers year over year. Google retains its first-place status, while Microsoft, and IBM follow at 2 and 3, also keeping their spots from last year. 

The eBook with the survey results and full rankings can be downloaded here.

About Universum   

Universum is a data-driven employer branding agency. Founded in Stockholm, we are now active in over 40 markets, with key hubs in Zürich, Paris, Berlin, London, New York, Singapore and Shanghai. The Universum Talent Survey, conducted in over 60 markets worldwide, surveyed more than one million students and professionals about their preferences among potential employers, their career ideas, and communication preferences. Leveraging this, we provide our clients with the research, strategy, and creative solutions they need to compete more effectively for talent.   

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