International Tech Talents are on the rise in Denmark

While the number of talents specialising in tech and digitalisation has grown by 14% from 2016-2019, the amount of international tech talents in Denmark has risen to a staggering 48%.Despite the increase in numbers, a new study from HBS Economics for Digital Hub Denmark shows that one in four Danish businesses still need digital experts to meet their increasing tech needs.

On an international scale, Denmark is in the top rankings when it comes to attracting international tech talents.

According to a recent survey done for Digital Hub Denmark, Denmark has progressively become better at attracting and retaining international tech talents. Nevertheless, Danish businesses are still requesting further initiatives to improve Denmark’s efforts to accelerate talent attraction, as the lack of digital skills can have catastrophic consequences for growth, development and innovation for Danish companies.


  • 167.200 tech talents in Denmark in 2019.
  • 11% of the talent consists of internationals. In 2016, this number was 6%.
  • 18% increase in net inflow over the past 3 years.

”Digitalisation plays an imperative role in solving the significant societal issues – climate, welfare, pandemic and recession. At the same time, digitalisation is vital for the competitiveness of companies. Novel climate solutions can, for example, become the export boost of the future for our country. The digital talents provide the core material, and we need to increase their inflow to Denmark and to retain them. We need to show the world that in Denmark we have exciting jobs with an aim to make the world a better place,” says Janus Sandsgaard, Head of Digital Policy, The Danish Chamber of Commerce.

According to Christian Hannibal, Deputy Digital Director, Confederation of Danish Industry, Denmark as a pioneering country, has a great deal to offer international tech talents.

”Global competition for tech talent is fierce. Thus, when more tech talents are coming to Denmark, it is truly great news. We need to leverage this fact and demonstrate to the hard-core coders from India, Poland or Portugal, that Denmark is an exciting, digital country to live and work in. We need to show them that Denmark has an advanced public sector, vibrant start-up communities, and a private sector that is reaping the digital opportunities. In this way, we can attract even more talents and further elevate Denmark digitally,” says Christian Hannibal, Deputy Digital Director, Confederation of Danish Industry.

How Denmark wins the global talent war

According to Thomas Krogh Jensen, CEO, Copenhagen Fintech and Camilla Rygaard-Hjalsted, CEO, Digital Hub Denmark, this survey provides a new foundation for talent attraction programmes as well as new potential solutions.

”Digital talents are in high demand all over the world and can cherry-pick between multiple job opportunities. Which they do. It is crucial that we actively apply and adapt to these new insights, the report has uncovered. Digital Hub Denmark will increase our branding efforts of Denmark towards international digital talents in key markets such as India, Romania, Lithuania and Bulgaria, where we have seen a significantly increased net inflow of talent since 2016. It is my recommendation that Danish businesses access the push and pull factors in various global talent pools before they begin their recruiting efforts. Most organisations will be unable to compete with the attractive salaries and working conditions that the tech companies offered in Silicon Valley and Switzerland,” says Camilla Rygaard-Hjalsted CEO, Digital Hub Denmark.

”Access to international digital talents continues to be an important prerequisite for Fintech companies and other digital scale-ups to create new jobs, develop a healthy bottom line and retain said talent in the country. As we have seen with this survey and talent recommendations from the Confederation of Danish Industries and Copenhagen Fintech from 2019, we need to take a number of new initiatives to stay relevant as a receiving nation in the global war for digital talents. International marketing is important, but there are other adjustments needed to attract the very best. The competition is fierce and what is at stake here is the very growth of our tech companies,“ says Thomas Krogh Jensen, CEO, Copenhagen Fintech.

Overview of the recommendations from the explorative survey

Recommendations are based on interviews with a group of experts from the Danish digital ecosystems.

  1. A national strategy for attracting talent
  2. Simplification of rules and the debureaucratisation of current measures
  3. A Tech Visa
  4. Modernising the Positive List for the highly educated
  5. Branding career opportunities in the ecosystems
  6. Increased focus on retaining international students after graduation
  7. Welcoming new talents and their families, focusing on inclusion
  8. Collaboration between organisations regarding talent mobility.

Brief specs regarding the methods used for this explorative survey

The digital talent mass in Denmark has been mapped out on the grounds of the data registry from Statistics Denmark, job recruitments data from HBS Jobintel, including relevant literature and expert interviews. For further information, please look at page 28 in the survey.

→ Read the full survey here.