The energy business faces new challenges due to European Union (EU) 2020 regulations and the transition going on in energy systems towards more efficiency and a higher degree of renewable energy sources. The Vaasa region in Ostrobothnia, Finland, has a rapidly developing energy technology concentration with about 10,000 people employed in 120 companies with activities related to the energy sector. This study examined what kind of competence the energy companies need and what they consider when recruiting. By supplying them with a work force with the right skills the expectations are that companies will continue to prosper.The study was executed by interviewing key persons in the 10 biggest energy companies in the Vaasa region. Results indicated that the companies are looking for people with a solid technical background. Also more specialised knowledge like understanding how energy systems work was favourable. The study also showed that many companies are eager to recruit graduates that have both technical and economic competence. Other favourable competences are: a broad-know how base in electricity, information technology (IT), English and international communication. The findings indicate what skills and expertise to focus on when educating future engineers in the new Åbo Akademi programme – Masters of Science (Technology) Degree [MSc(Tech.)] in the field of energy technology. Even though this study was limited to one region it is probable that the conclusions can be useful for other engineering educators since many engineers and companies work globally and face the same challenges.
- engineering education
- energy market