Engineers have insanely good job opportunities

Marianne Bom & Rie Jerichow, Publicér

In 2025 there will be a shortage of 6,500 bachelors of engineering and masters of science in engineering, a prognosis shows. “As an engineer, you are guaranteed a job for the rest of your life,” says chairman of Ansattes Råd in IDA, Juliane Marie Neiiendam.

Even though the job market looks promising to engineers, you have to stay updated and educate yourself throughout life, says Juliane Marie Neiiendam, chairman of Ansattes Råd in IDA. Photo: Henrik Frydkjær, Ingeniørforeningen IDA.

In recent years, more students have been admitted to engineering educations, but not enough are graduating in Denmark to avoid a shortage, according to a prognosis that Ingeniørforeningen IDA has developed.

Already in 2017, there was a shortage of 4,100 engineers. In 2020, there will be a shortage of 5,581 bachelors of engineering and masters of science in engineering, and towards 2025 it will only get worse, according to the prognosis. In 2025, there will be a shortage of 6,490 engineers to cover the expected demand of 98,680 engineers.

“The prognosis shows that engineers have “insanely” good job opportunities,” says Juliane Marie Neiiendam, chairman of Ansattes Råd in IDA. The council works towards increasing the influence on the political social agenda, which will benefit IDA’s members.

“As an engineer, you are practically guaranteed employment for life. There is a very high demand, which means that we see some companies in the robot technology sector, amongst others, lining up for the students already on the first year of their studies. There is a very large demand for engineers,” she says.

Can all engineers expect to be employed for the rest of their life?
“Yes, that is actually how it looks right now. Our members change job on average every five years, and the market is so ripe that they can change to pursue their passion. After the studies, you can figure out if there is something you would rather spend more time on during the first job, and then switch to a new company, and then another later,” says Juliane Marie Neiiendam.

Learn something new your whole life

Is it harder for some engineers than others?
“Generally there is a demand and shortage for all engineers. But right now there is a high demand for machine engineers and less demand for the likes of architects within design and innovation. But the good job prospects actually goes for all engineers, and it also goes for the international market. The same is true for Sweden and Germany.”

Does engineers have to do something to remain attractive on the market?
“Yes, you have to follow the trends and educate yourself your whole life. Technology develops so fast that the education you took 10 years ago is outdated. New technologies and innovations come along all the time at work. In a company, you typically work with the newest, and stay up to date that way. But of course it is always good to consider what is happening in your field and what is good to know about. So you can tell the boss: “I would like a course in this, because it’s going to be the next big thing.” And it’s also in the boss’ best interest to be up to date.”

Recent graduates will move for a job

Are the companies generally ready to train new employees?
“Some companies actually use competence enhancing courses during employment as a way to attract people. Our members are in high demand, and it takes a lot not to be attractive. But someone, who has been in the same job for 30 years, may have a hard time adjusting, if they have specifically worked with the same area. So you can say that if you are not one of those who change jobs every five years, then you have to make sure to stay up to date in another way.”

Will engineers move to get the right job?
“We just made a study that shows that 68% of graduates are ready to move far for a job. Graduates from west and south Zealand and northern Jutland are most mobile. In Copenhagen, there are many job offers, which can explain why graduates are less ready to move. Established engineers are less mobile, but they often do not have to move for a job, as 80% of job listings ask for five years of experience. But we can still see that the contents of the job matters a lot to our members. If the job seems exciting, people will move for it. They move for jobs that matters and where they experience that they help changing the world.”

There is a demand for engineers and masters of natural science in the coming years, shows a prognosis from IDA.


Demand for engineers81,04888,86498,680
Demand for masters of natural science33,37039,42450,382
Total demand114,419128,288149,062
Supply of engineers76,94983,28392,190
Supply of masters of natural science33,37038,46746,903
Total supply110,319121,749139,093
Shortage of engineers4,1005,5816,490
Shortage of masters of natural science09573,479
Total shortage4,1006,5389,969


Source: “Prognosis for STEM shortage in 2025” developed by IDA for ‘Engineer the Future’.