New concept gives companies sought-after specialist skills

BTH has a unique concept that allows software-intensive companies to get the specialist skills they need but often are hard to get: Senior employees from companies are lent to BTH for industry focused research education. They work at the company while they are studying and after their studies, they are back at their company with new knowledge and with solutions that benefit companies development and competitiveness.

The software-intensive companies in Sweden are in urgent need of highly skilled labour force that is often difficult to find. Letting experienced employees leave the company to retrain for several years is also not realistic for most, especially not the small and medium-sized companies.

The solution is the unique BTH concept called Professional Licentiate in Engineering, which means that senior employees from software-intensive companies are lent to BTH for two years, studying for half a doctorate (licentiate) while still working in the company. The interest from the companies has been great. The concept is unique in Sweden, and was developed by BTH with KTH as a parner. Currently, BTH has 10 participants in their research school.

During the postgraduate studies at BTH, they are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in a specific problem, taken from the company they are employed at.

– The idea is to create good problem solvers. We provide them with tools to study and solve problems objectively. After their studies, they can create change rapidly, transfer knowledge and create knowledge in their company, says Professor Tony Gorschek, at BTH research school.

The result is a win-win situation for both the participating companies and for BTH.

– It is important that we constantly increase our competence in the areas in which we operate. Being able to do this together with BTH and the research school is a good option. Our employees can do a deep diving in an area for a long period of time to build skills, but also to generate new ideas, says Martin Wallin, Program Manager Innovation & Research at Ericsson Karlskrona.

– For BTH, this means contacts with interesting companies and good opportunities to do empirical research, which is our goal, says Tony Gorschek. We feel that we are making a difference and that we solve real-world issues when we help improve the situation of software-intensive companies.

The project is an initiative funded by the KK Foundation, which aims to meet the industry’s needs to increase the skills of its employees and to facilitate applied research to industry.

18 April 2018