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Aarhus University will educate twice as many digitisation specialists

To meet the considerable needs of society, Aarhus University is now launching a strategic initiative to educate twice as many digitisation specialists within a few years. This will help ensure that we as a country can remain at the forefront.

2017.06.20 | Rasmus Rørbæk

(Photo: Colourbox)

In May 2016, the Danish government presented a report called ‘Denmark as a Digital Frontrunner’, outlining its ambition to prepare Denmark for a digital future. This ambition is now being met by Aarhus University.

The Aarhus University Board has just decided to support a major digitisation initiative at the university with funds amounting to DKK 67.5 million. The initiative will mean a significant boost to the academic environments at the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Mathematics at Aarhus University.

“Analyses show that Denmark will lack up to 19,000 IT specialists in 2030. The universities in Denmark must support the needs of society as well as possible. With our strong starting point, it’s therefore obvious that we should take the lead and develop the already strong computer science and mathematics environments available here. Our wish is to support the considerable need for digitisation specialists and data-based innovation. The digitisation initiative aims to double the number of graduates who are digitisation specialists by 2023, and I’m very satisfied that the board is supporting this measure,” says Dean Niels Chr. Nielsen, Science and Technology, Aarhus University, where the initiative is located.

A number of strong new researchers will be employed at the two departments in the coming years to strengthen both research and education. There will be particular focus on educating graduates with expertise in software development, programming, data processing and data analysis via a new computer science degree programme at the Department of Mathematics.

Part of the digitisation initiative is concerned with recruiting students to the digitisation degree programmes. This is already in focus in 2017, and it will continue in the coming years.

Most of the science digitisation specialists will be educated at the Department of Computer Science, which will increase its production of graduates to 190 per year. The new computer science degree programme at the Department of Mathematics will lead to 20–30 graduates per year. In addition, the number of graduates with digital skills in engineering will be doubled.

Welcomed by the business sector
The strategic initiative at the university is welcomed from several sides. Collaboration with the business sector and other consumers will be strengthened, and dialogue with relevant players will ensure close contact with companies. One of these is Michael Holm, CEO of Systematic A/S, the Aarhus-based software company.

“Access to highly qualified graduates is absolutely essential in order to contribute to the progress and growth of Danish companies. Systematic is developing rapidly and is currently experiencing a record turnover and growing interest abroad for Danish software. We’ve succeeded in selling a number of products to international customers. We’ve created 300 new positions in the last two years, and have previously experienced challenges in finding highly qualified candidates. The new initiative from Aarhus University is very positive and can contribute to supporting the continued growth and development,” says CEO Michael Holm, Systematic A/S.

Digitisation to extend engineering initiative
The digitisation efforts are a natural extension of the engineering initiative adopted by the board in June 2016. The engineering initiative is relevant here because there is already a large digitisation element via the education of more engineers with digital skills. This specifically concerns engineering degree programmes in information and communication technology, electronics, health technology, computer technology and electrotechnology.

For more information, please contact
Dean Niels Chr. Nielsen
Science and Technology
Aarhus University



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