Swedish software developers have a well-deserved reputation as excellent specialists that many companies consider for direct recruitment and team extension initiatives. And it doesn’t come as a surprise. Sweden is home to well-known tech giants like Ericsson, Skype, and Spotify, unicorns like Klarna or Northvolt, and dozens of promising startups like KRY, Wrapp, Lendify, and others.

In fact, N-iX has a rich history of cooperation with Swedish companies, such as StreamServe (later acquired by OpenText) and more than 20 other companies, which honed our expertise in crafting enterprise-grade solutions and provided invaluable insights into the Swedish model of cooperation. With this extensive experience, we are well-equipped to guide you through the complexities if you seek to hire developers in Sweden.

Now, let’s determine whether this country is a suitable outsourcing destination for you. How to find top tech talent for your business? Should you hire developers in Sweden? Explore the pros, cons, and alternatives.

Software development market in Sweden

Let's delve into the specifics of its IT industry to help you decide if Sweden is the right fit for your development needs. Here are a few insights: 

  • The country has Europe’s 10th-largest tech talent pool of over 200,000 IT experts
  • It is ranked 2nd by the Global Innovation Index in 2023 [1]. 
  • The Swedish IT outsourcing market is growing slowly but steadily. It is projected to reach $5.75B by the end of 2024 [2].
  • Sweden holds the 5th-highest position in the 2023 Startup Ecosystem Ranking; its capital, Stockholm, is among the top 20 best cities for startups [4, 5].
  • The country has also been recognized for its excellent business climate, ranking 10th on the Ease of Doing Business Index by the World Bank.

IT outsourcing market revenue forecast in Sweden 2016-2028

This data demonstrates that Sweden has an excellent tech ecosystem and business climate. Now, let’s examine the local talent pool and find out how to hire developers in Sweden.

Tech expertise of developers in Sweden

Sweden has a tech talent pool of over 200,000 experts. If we break down this number by technology, we will see that Java developers make up almost one-third of all experts in the country. There are also a significant number of JavaScript and Python developers in Sweden.

Other notable options are Swedish .NET and PHP developers. Although fewer of them exist than Java, JavaScript, and Python, they still represent a substantial talent pool.

Number of Java, JS, .NET, Python, and PHP developers in Sweden

When it comes to cloud adoption, Sweden is also a promising region for outsourcing, with roughly 34,000 cloud specialists and 14,000 DevOps experts.

Number of DevOps and cloud engineers in Sweden

According to the State of the European Tech report, the number of AI professionals in Europe has surpassed that of the US. As one of the most innovative European countries, Sweden is also one of the leading destinations for AI development, with 9,900 data engineers, 5,800 AI developers, 16,000 Data Scientists, and 5,200 Big Data experts.

Number of AI developers, Data Engineers, Data Scientists, and Big Data engineers in Sweden

If you need to hire developers in Sweden, the market has many mobile and web specialists. There are around 15,000 Android developers, nearly 10,000 iOS developers, and 9,700 web app engineers.

Number of Android, iOS, and web app developers in Sweden

Sweden may seem like a great outsourcing destination for your business based on the number of engineers. However, despite a large talent pool, it is hard to find and hire developers in Sweden. Here is why.

Strong competition for developers in Sweden

Sweden is well-known for its tech expertise and talent pool. It is home to tech companies and game developers such as Spotify, Minecraft, and Candy Crush Saga, to name a few. It also houses hundreds of tech startups, research and development institutions, numerous technology parks, and international software development companies. Thus, the competition for specialists working with enterprise-level or emerging technologies is enormous.

These companies employ the lion's share of IT experts in the country, and therefore, they are unavailable for outsourcing. In fact, Clutch lists only around 80 Swedish companies that offer custom software development and IT outsourcing services compared to nearly 1,350 vendors in Poland or approximately 1,000 firms in Ukraine, for instance.

Software development companies in Sweden

Most Swedish IT vendors are firms with less than 250 employees (43.2%) and companies with up to 50 employees (38.8%). Midsize and large vendors account for only 18% of the market.

Learn more on how to partner with the best dedicated developers

Should you hire developers in Sweden?

Due to its excellent tech expertise, large tech talent pool, and attractive business climate, Sweden is the perfect place for IT outsourcing. However, according to the report [12], Sweden has one of the most challenging labor markets. Despite the recent reforms, the talent mismatch indicator reached the highest possible score of 10.0. In simple terms, the gap between skills that businesses need and the ones that the labor market can offer is great.

While Sweden has an extensive tech talent pool, it cannot match the market needs. In addition, the specifics of the Swedish labor market, derived from labor laws and practices, make the workforce less willing to change jobs and create barriers for junior professionals to join the workforce despite the lack of resources.

Despite their best efforts, changes in legislation, and overall focus on the development of the IT industry, Sweden has a relatively low number of ICT graduates, which means that the market lacks a qualified workforce. According to the forecast [9], Sweden will only have 4,500 ICT graduates in 2024.

Therefore, the main reasons for the shortage of software developers in Sweden are:

  • High demand;
  • Mismatch of the skills needed and those that the market can offer;
  • Growing competition for the tech talent;
  • The inability of the education system to adapt to the current market needs;
  • Inflexible labor market and regulations.

The most in-demand tech specialists in Sweden in 2024

The most in-demand technologies in Sweden are Java, Python, and JavaScript. There are over 6,800 job openings for Java and 6,350 for Python engineers. Then comes JavaScript with more than 5,900 jobs, followed by .NET with almost 1,800 job postings.

Number of job postings for Java, JS, .NET, Python, and PHP developers in Sweden

As one of the top innovative nations, Sweden is leading the cloud adoption, creating a huge demand for IT specialists with relevant expertise. There is also a great demand for DevOps experts, with over 1,250 unfilled positions in Sweden. As of March 2024, the market had more than 4,500 opportunities for cloud experts of various platform specializations.

Number of job postings for DevOps and cloud engineers in Sweden

Concerning the demand for data experts, there are over 1,250 job postings for data engineers, 420 for Data Scientists, over 500 for AI developers, and 580 for Big Data engineers.

Number of job postings for Data Engineers, AI developers, Data Scientists, and Big Data engineers in Sweden

The demand for hiring a web or mobile app developer in Sweden is lower—around 600 job postings combined.

Number of job postings for Android, iOS, and web app developers in Sweden

The market requires over 4,500 other IT experts, including project managers, product owners, Scrum Masters, and business analysts. With such extensive usage of Agile methodologies, the need for non-developers is growing rapidly. 

Number of job postings for PM, PO, Scrum master, QA, and BA professionals in Sweden

Overall, the Swedish market is extremely short on tech talent, and this tendency may grow yearly. 

You may also be interested in how to find and effectively hire developers on demand 

How to find the best software developers for your business

Despite having a well-developed infrastructure, many developers, and an excellent business climate, it is extremely challenging to find and hire developers in Sweden. So, instead of struggling to hire tech talent in Sweden, many companies from Nordic countries, the USA, and the UK choose to outsource their software development to companies in the CEE region. For example, Ericsson set up their R&D centers in Europe and outsourced part of their IT processes to European companies. And they’ve done it for a good reason. Europe, especially CEE, offers a perfect combo: a large talent pool, attractive rates, and high-quality IT outsourcing services. Let’s take a closer look.

Why can Central and Eastern Europe be an option?

1. A large talent pool available for outsourcing 

We based this research on one of the largest online listings—Clutch. Europe has over 7,700 vendors listed on Clutch only. Moreover, around 1200 IT outsourcing vendors have 250-999 experts and more than 300 bigger companies. All of these Central and Eastern European countries have wide-ranging tech and domain expertise. 

Read more about 10 trusted software development companies in Europe

2. An outstanding tech talent pool

The combined tech talent pool in the CEE region exceeds 2.3M professionals. Considering the proportion of information and communication technology specialists to representatives of the other professions, the supply of tech talent in CEE is high, and competition is medium.

Proportion of ICT specialists in total employment, 2022

On the other hand, the competition in Sweden is much higher, and therefore, Eastern Europe, in particular, became an excellent choice for IT outsourcing for many tech giants, including Bosch, Siemens, Adobe, Audi, and others. 

3. Lower rates compared to Sweden

One reason for IT outsourcing in Europe, especially CEE, is cost reduction. Established outsourcing destinations in the region, such as Poland, Ukraine, Romania, and others, offer high-quality services at significantly lower costs.

And here is why. Outsourcing destinations like Poland can offer lower rates due to a significantly lower cost of living and a constant inflow of specialists. For example, Polish IT hubs are twice as cheap to live in than Nordic locations and over 60% better in cost of living than NY [11].

4. Strong IT education and continuous talent inflow

Despite changes in legislation and approaches to educational programs, Sweden still falls behind CEE in the number of CS and ICT graduates, not to mention engineering degrees. There are only 4,500 ICT graduates in Sweden this year.

This limited pipeline stems from a disconnect between the booming tech industry and students' choices upon entering higher education. While graduates with ICT qualifications enjoy high employment rates (91% of those aged 25-64 are employed), a mere 6% of new tertiary education entrants choose this field [13].


Sweden has an excellent business climate, startup culture, and impressive tech talent pool. However, if you want to outsource your software development to Sweden, you may need to consider the high competition for tech talent and a low inflow of new experts. Are there any other alternatives? Consider partnering with a company with an office and/or legal entity in Sweden and development centers in a less competitive IT outsourcing destination.

Start building you development team today!

Why choose N-iX to hire top software developers?

  • N-iX has a talent pool of over 2,200 tech experts, delivery centers and offices in Ukraine, Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria, and an office and legal entity in Sweden. 
  • With more than 21 years in the market, the company has shaped long-term, strategic partnerships with businesses from the USA, UK, Germany, Nordic countries, and other locations.
  • Our Swedish clients include enterprise-sized companies such as StreamServe (now acquired by OpenText), Manodo (now merged with KTC), Saft, Paradox Interactive, BitLog, Metrima, and more than 15 other businesses.
  • N-iX is a certified AWS partner, a Microsoft gold certified partner, a Google Cloud Platform Partner, an OpenText Services silver partner, and an SAP partner.
  • IAOP, GSA, Zinnov, ISG, Inc. 5000, Software 500, Clutch, and others recognize N-iX as a trusted vendor.
  • N-iX complies with PCI DSS, ISO 9001, ISO 27001, and GDPR standards.


  1. Global Innovation Index 2023
  2. IT outsourcing in 2024  - Sweden by Statista
  3. Information Technology Outsourcing in Large Companies in Sweden. A Perspective on Risks, Relationships, and Success Factors by Georg Hodosi
  4. Startup Genome
  5. Startup Ecosystem Rankings 2020 by StartupBlink
  6. 121 Sweden Startups to Watch in 2021 by Seedtable
  7. Tertiary education graduates by Eurostat
  8. 15 best software development vendors in Eastern Europe
  9. ICT workforce in Europe and its gender challenge after Covid-19
  10. State of the European Tech 23
  11. Cost of Living Index by Country 2021 by Numbeo
  12. Hays Global Skill Index
  13. Education at a Glance 2022: OECD Indicators

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N-iX Staff
Christian Svensson
Director of N-iX Nordic

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