Sweden continues to stand as a beacon of modernisation and technological advancement in Europe. The tech industry in the country is robust, marked by a thriving ecosystem of startups, established companies, and a supportive government infrastructure. Sweden’s strong emphasis on education and research, combined with a culture of innovation, has propelled it to the forefront of progress in this space. Notable sectors driving this growth include artificial intelligence, clean technology, and fintech. The COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated digitalisation efforts, emphasising the critical role of technology in various aspects of society and business.
For young professionals entering or already established in the tech industry in Sweden, the prospects are promising. The industry offers a plethora of opportunities for career growth and development, with a particular emphasis on innovation and sustainability. The Swedish government’s initiatives to foster digitalisation, coupled with substantial investments in research and development, provide a fertile ground for professional advancement. Moreover, Sweden boasts a conducive work environment with a strong emphasis on work-life balance and employee wellbeing.
However, challenges persist, including issues of diversity and gender representation, as well as concerns relating to the effects of macroeconomics and world politics on the tech sector as a whole. Looking ahead, there is also the question of the tantalizing potential of AI and its projected influence in job roles.
Nevertheless, the overall outlook for young individuals entering or already working in the tech industry in Sweden is one of: proceeding with caution, and companies need to remain vigilant of the retention levers in this context.
Sweden was one of the participating countries of the study which surveyed 2000 respondents from the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Spain. These were some of the key takeaways regarding the young generation in tech (YGIT) in Sweden, where thousands of young tech workers are employed by fintech, emerging and clean technologies.
- Uncertainty prevails amongst young Swedes working in tech about job security
- Young tech professionals value progressive workplaces over paychecks
- They acknowledge the importance of personal and professional development alongside career progression
- Young workers in tech embrace hybrid work models in Sweden
- Robust mental health outlook underpinned by a conducive work environment
- Young Swedes exhibit balanced perspective regarding integration of AI into work environment
1. While Job satisfaction is High, Over Half of Young Swedish Tech Workers Feel Uncertain About Job Security
The 2023 YGIT results suggest Sweden’s young tech professionals find themselves somewhat stagnated where job satisfaction is concerned. A substantial 74% express either high (33%) or moderate (41%) satisfaction in their current roles, showing no change from 2022.
While nearly half affirm that their workplace experience meets with their expectations, indicating a generally positive sentiment, 28% say their workplace experience falls short of expectations, suggesting considerable room for improvement especially given the findings remain unchanged from those of 2022 results on this question. Looking at the bright side, this could also mean that the group generally feels steady about their situation.
The theme of job security presents a more complex picture and diverges hugely from last year’s survey results. While nearly half, (47%) feel secure in their positions (compared to only 29% in 2022), there is a notable apprehension among the respondents. A significant 52% either feel their positions are not secure (26% compared to 33% in 2022) or remain uncertain about their job security (26% compared to 38% in 2022). This disparity highlights a degree of unease and suggests that despite job satisfaction, there remains a concern about the stability of their positions.
Having expressed a level of job satisfaction, and suggesting room for potential improvement in their current positions, nevertheless a sense of job security seems to be less prevalent within this cohort. This sentiment is further emphasized by their confidence levels in their company’s performance and the state of the market.
Notably, a significant 61% express a lack of confidence in these areas, indicating rising apprehension about the overall stability and trajectory of their organisations. Conversely, only 18% exude high confidence, suggesting that only a minority of these professionals harbor an optimistic outlook on their company’s performance and market dynamics. This collective sentiment underscores a mixed perspective among Swedish tech professionals, reflecting a climate of cautious optimism and a desire for enhanced job security.
Interestingly, this shift in career plans did not deter them from continuing to work in the tech industry, with 41% remaining resolute in their commitment to the field.
2. Young Swedish Tech Pros Seek Purpose-Driven Work Environments Over Paychecks
Significantly, a quarter of these professionals express a strong inclination towards working for a modern company, highlighting the value they place on progressive work environments. Moreover, just over a fifth, accounting for 21%, are drawn to the tech industry for its dynamic and evolving nature, which keeps them consistently engaged. Interestingly, a smaller proportion of 11% emphasise better pay as a primary motivator, indicating that while compensation is important, it’s not the sole driving force.
This cohort demonstrates a deliberate and strategic approach in securing roles within the tech industry. A substantial 45% opt for retraining to acquire specific skills, showcasing a proactive commitment to staying relevant in a rapidly evolving field. Additionally, 41% actively pursue apprenticeship or graduate trainee positions, demonstrating a keen interest in structured learning and development. Meanwhile, 40% choose to pursue formal education in engineering or IT, underlining a dedication to building a strong foundation in their chosen field.
When it comes to motivation for joining their current organisations, Swedish respondents place considerable emphasis on the company’s mission, with 21% citing it as a key factor. This suggests a desire to align themselves with companies that have a clear and impactful purpose. Job security closely follows, with 19% considering it a crucial factor in their decision-making process. Pay is a close third with 18% citing it as a motivator.
Given the choice, these young professionals envision themselves thriving in companies that are at the forefront of the tech industry, with 34% expressing a preference for leading tech brands. Additionally, 31% are drawn to organisations that are dedicated to making a positive impact on the world, indicating a strong desire for purpose-driven work environments. This highlights a generation of tech professionals in Sweden who prioritise progressive, mission-driven companies that not only offer professional growth but also align with their values and vision for a meaningful career.
3. Benefits Beyond Pay: Sweden’s Young Tech Pros Prioritise Flexibility, Learning, and Office Collaboration
These young professionals are driven by a diverse range of factors beyond conventional compensation packages. According to the study, their priorities extend to a multitude of benefits offered by their companies. Notably, a significant 36% value a dedicated budget for learning and development, signalling their hunger for continuous growth and upskilling. Family benefits and internal mobility also hold significant sway, both garnering 34% of respondents’ attention. These preferences highlight a holistic approach to employee wellbeing, acknowledging the importance of personal and professional development alongside career progression.
When it comes to workplace benefits that resonate most with this cohort, a few key trends emerge. A notable 33% express a strong preference for the option to work from anywhere for a designated portion of the year, indicating a desire for flexibility and work-life balance. Additionally, 30% highly prioritise both a budget for learning and development, as well as hybrid work models, reflecting a keen interest in combining the best of both office-based and remote work environments.
In terms of satisfaction with the benefits provided by their employers, a resounding 86% express contentment, with 37% being very satisfied and 49% somewhat satisfied. This indicates a strong alignment between the benefits offered and the preferences of young tech professionals in Sweden. It suggests that companies are making strides in providing a comprehensive range of offerings that cater to the multifaceted needs and desires of their workforce.
Overall, these statistics paint a vivid picture of a generation of tech professionals in Sweden who prioritise continuous learning and development, work-life balance, and a balanced approach to office-based and remote work. Their preferences point to a desire for holistic wellbeing, professional growth, and a work environment that fosters both collaboration and flexibility. This forward-thinking approach positions them at the forefront of a tech industry that values employee satisfaction, growth, and adaptability.
4. Sweden’s Tech Talent Embraces Hybrid Work: Thriving in the Office, Thriving at Home
The preferred work model for this cohort of young tech professionals in Sweden reveals a clear inclination towards hybrid arrangements. A substantial 62% embrace a hybrid approach, with 35% opting for four days in the office and one day at home, while 27% favor a flexible schedule of two to three days in the office and the remainder spent working from home. Remarkably, only a minority (22%), adhere to a traditional five-day office workweek. This shift towards hybrid models aligns with the evolving nature of work and the increasing demand for flexibility in the professional sphere.
Interestingly, when presented with the choice, the majority (54%) would opt to spend four days a week in the office, indicating a preference for the structured and collaborative environment it offers. This preference underlines a desire for a balanced approach, combining the benefits of in-person collaboration with the flexibility to choose remote work when needed.
A noteworthy 46% of respondents express a heightened level of engagement and motivation when working from the office, suggesting the high value placed on the collaborative and structured environment it provides. In contrast, a smaller proportion of 24% prefer working from home, indicating that while remote work has its merits, it may not be the primary preference for the majority.
This preference for office-based work is further emphasised when respondents are presented with a choice between a four-day office workweek with one day at home, or a five-day hybrid model. A resounding 52% opt for the former, highlighting a strong desire for the collaborative and interactive nature of in-person work, while still valuing the option for occasional remote work.
The results unveil a distinct preference among young tech professionals in Sweden for a hybrid work model that combines office-based collaboration with the flexibility of remote work. This nuanced approach reflects a balanced perspective on the evolving nature of work and a desire for a work environment that fosters both productivity and engagement.
5. Nurturing Work Environment Sets Swedish Tech Pros up for Success
When it comes to the question of work-life balance, 41% find their current work-life balance to be just right, while an impressive 27% feel it surpasses their expectations. This indicates a generally positive sentiment towards the equilibrium between professional commitments and personal life.
Additionally, it’s noteworthy that the majority, totaling 59%, seem to weather the expectations of their roles on their mental health and wellbeing quite well. A substantial portion of this cohort, accounting for 40%, report that their mental health is only somewhat affected, with a smaller fraction of 19% claiming it’s not affected at all. Only 12% express a high degree of impact, indicating a resilient approach to the demands of their roles.
This robust mental health outlook appears to be underpinned by a conducive work environment. Notably, 39% of respondents feel equipped with the necessary resources to excel in their roles. Furthermore, 36% express a sense of trust from their employers in their ability to perform, while 30% value the autonomy they are afforded, indicating a healthy level of independence within the workplace. This combination of factors contributes to a positive work environment that allows these professionals to navigate the demands of their roles without significant detriment to their mental well-being.
6. What Motivates Young Professionals to Stay or Venture into New Horizons?
For this group of young Swedish tech professionals, career progression is a key facet of their professional journey. Encouragingly, a substantial two-thirds, accounting for 41%, have experienced at least one promotion in the past two years, signaling a culture of recognition and growth within their organisations. Moreover, a commendable one-fifth have been rewarded with two promotions during this period, showcasing a rapid trajectory for a select few. It’s worth noting that 26% report no promotions within this timeframe, indicating that while many are advancing, there is room for improvement in ensuring opportunities for all.
The potential for career mobility appears to balance fears around job security as a noteworthy portion of this cohort still expresses a strong commitment to their current companies. A respectable 29% express their intent to remain with their company for the foreseeable future and 23% affirm that they have no intention of leaving in 2023. However, it’s important to acknowledge that 29% do envision leaving in 2023, suggesting a degree of fluidity and openness to new opportunities.
When contemplating potential factors that might drive them to leave their current roles, compensation emerges as a decisive factor, with 35% indicating it as the primary motivator for seeking new opportunities. Following closely behind, 34% express an aspiration for roles with greater responsibility, underlining a hunger for career advancement and growth.
Conversely, the factors that would potentially retain them within their current positions echo a similar sentiment. A notable 41% express a strong preference for promotions, highlighting the value placed on upward mobility. Additionally, 35% emphasise the importance of a better compensation package, indicating that competitive remuneration remains a pivotal factor in retention strategies.
A significant portion of respondents (33%) report receiving job offers from other companies on a monthly basis. Additionally, 25% have been approached with job opportunities within the past six to twelve months. This data points to a highly active and competitive labor market within the tech industry, where professionals are sought after and have ample opportunities for career advancement.
This young cohort finds their current work environments to be characterised by a mix of strengths and areas for improvement. What resonates most positively for them is the immediate teams they work with, with an impressive 39% emphasising this close-knit camaraderie. Additionally, a notable 32% find immense value in the industry they operate within, confirming a strong alignment with their chosen field. Over a quarter (29%) express genuine satisfaction with the nature of their roles, indicating a clear enthusiasm for their day-to-day responsibilities.
On the flip side, there are areas where improvement is sought. Concern arises from the perceived lack of a clear career path, with 26% expressing this as their chief source of dissatisfaction. Additionally, 24% yearn for more opportunities to foster relationships with their teams, highlighting the importance of a collaborative and inclusive work culture. Furthermore, the relationship with their manager emerges as a pivotal factor, with 20% expressing a desire for more effective communication and support in this area.
While they cherish their immediate teams, industry, and the nature of their roles, there is a clear call for more structured career paths and enhanced opportunities for team engagement. The frequency of approaches from other companies also indicates a competitive labor market, underscoring the value placed on their expertise, and should act as a catalyst for employers to ensure they are addressing these worries.
7. Swedish Tech Pros Embrace AI with Cautious Optimism
When asked about the impact Artificial Intelligence (AI) might have on their roles 46% anticipate a moderate impact of AI on their job functions. Interestingly, only 19% expect a high impact, while just 17% foresee a low level of influence, highlighting a cautiously optimistic outlook towards the role of AI in their work.
In terms of confidence in the advantages of emerging technologies, 41% express a moderate level of confidence in the benefits AI may bring to their roles. Conversely, over a third (33%) display strong confidence in AI’s ability to enhance their job performance, and almost half (46%) believe it will make them more efficient. Meanwhile 44% anticipate heightened productivity, underlining the potential transformative impact of AI on their roles
However, it is not without some trepidation that young tech professionals approach this technological shift. A notable 24% harbor concerns that their roles may be diminished as a consequence of AI integration. This apprehension may stem from uncertainties surrounding the evolving nature of their professions in the face of advancing technology.
8. Young Swedes Champion Tangible Action in DEI&B at Work
For young Swedes, the concept of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI&B) is primarily associated with intentionally diverse hiring practices and marking significant calendar days of recognition, a perspective shared by almost half of the respondents, accounting for 49%. Interestingly, the majority places a greater emphasis on DEI&B as an avenue for advancing women’s rights, with 16% endorsing this viewpoint, compared to the 7% who see it primarily as a platform for celebrating PRIDE.
Within the workplace, the tangible manifestation of DEI&B holds distinct importance for this cohort. For 39% of respondents, it translates into real outcomes such as representation in leadership roles. Additionally, 37% emphasise the significance of gender-neutral company policies, reflecting a commitment to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. Moreover, 30% highlight the value of actively celebrating recognised days and months dedicated to diversity and inclusion. These insights show a concerted effort among young Swedes to not only acknowledge DEI&B but also to push for substantive action and initiatives within their professional spheres.
Summary and Conclusions
For young Swedish tech professionals, the 2023 landscape signifies a blend of contentment and caution. The prevailing concern about job security reflects the impact of economic uncertainties, urging individuals to reassess their career trajectories. Despite this, their resolute commitment to the tech industry showcases a determination to adapt and thrive. The emphasis on structured career paths and enhanced team engagement highlights their aspirations for growth and development.
The prevalence of promotions signals a culture of recognition, offering encouragement for advancement. Additionally, the high demand for their expertise underscores their valued contributions to the industry. With AI on the horizon, a pragmatic outlook prevails, anticipating a moderate impact. Businesses should be cautious in how new technologies are introduced to this group given the tepid reception to innovation coming from these quarters.
Overall, these findings suggest that young Swedish tech professionals are well-positioned to navigate the evolving tech landscape, armed with a resilient spirit and a drive for meaningful progress in their careers. Aspiring tech professionals eyeing Sweden can expect opportunities for growth and recognition, albeit alongside a need for adaptability and a strategic approach to career development. Conversely, companies must remain cognisant of what this generation of tech talent value and expect in the coming year.