Over the last two academic years, the Digital commerce study module has provided a long-awaited route to strengthening commerce sector competence in the Finnish educational field. It has increased the number of new digital commerce experts in the sector and has developed the competence of those already working in the sector. The Finnish Commerce Federation, the University of Eastern Finland, LUT University, the University of Jyväskylä, the University of Oulu and the University of Tampere launched the new study module in August 2021.
Commerce is the largest employer in the business sector and a key industry of the economic life, which is strongly shaped by digitalisation. However, in recent years, the competence needs of the commerce sector have highlighted the competence gap in digital commerce, which served as a motivator for the assembly of the university network and the launching of the study module,” says Mari Kiviniemi, Managing Director of the Finnish Commerce Federation.
According to Palvelualojen osaajabarometri (Service sector barometer of professionals) published in 2022, nearly half of commerce sector companies find it difficult to recruit skilled labour. A lack of competence was the most common reason for recruitment difficulties. The Government report on the future of the retail sector published in 2022 also describes the problems of the availability of labour in SMEs and its effects on the growth and development of companies.
“Investing in the competence of the employees is one way of ensuring the availability of competent labour. The university-level digital commerce study module plays an important role for companies in the sector that are increasingly struggling with competence shortages as digital commerce continues to grow,” says Kiviniemi.
Student numbers and good feedback encourage us to continue
The Digital commerce study module was piloted in the academic years 2021–2022 and 2022–2023, when the module was supported by the Helsingin Kauppiaitten Yhdistys ry and the Foundation of Finnish Business College.
The good student feedback, experiences and numbers encourage us to continue offering the study module at the universities. In the academic year 2021–2022, the number of students who completed the study module varied periodically between 31 and 89 students.
According to Moona Naakka, Senior Advisor, Education at the Finnish Commerce Federation, who is responsible for coordinating the study module, the final number of students who completed the courses during the current academic year has not yet been revealed, but when examining the number of enrolments, a small increase can be observed when compared to the first piloting year.
“Both bachelor’s and master’s degree students have been completing the courses. The number of students participating in the courses shows that the participants have found the courses to be interesting and necessary as well,” says Naakka.
For further information, please contact:
Finnish Commerce Federation:
Mari Kiviniemi, Managing Director, Finnish Commerce Federation, tel. +358 (0)50 511 3189, email@example.com
Moona Naakka, Senior Advisor, Education, Finnish Commerce Federation, tel. +358 (0)45 651 8474, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anni-Kaisa Kähkönen, Professor, LUT University, tel. +358 (0)40 746 8132, email@example.com
Katariina Ylönen, University Teacher, University of Eastern Finland, tel. +358 (0)50 566 9461, firstname.lastname@example.org
Elina Närvänen, Professor, University of Tampere, tel. +358 (0)50 318 6016, email@example.com
Timo Pohjosenperä, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Oulu, tel. +358 (0)50 342 8279, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mika Skippari, University Researcher, University of Jyväskylä, tel. +358 (0)40 667 4544, email@example.com
The digital commerce study module provided by the Finnish Commerce Federation, the University of Eastern Finland, LUT University, the University of Jyväskylä, the University of Oulu and the University of Tampere offers a long-awaited way to enhance commerce sector competence in the Finnish educational field. The entirely online study module on digital commerce is intended for university degree students, but individual courses can also be completed through an open university by those developing their skills. The study module includes six courses organised by universities concerning various areas of digital commerce as well as a digital commerce internship in a commerce sector company coordinated by the Finnish Commerce Federation for degree students.
Read more about the study module: digitaalinenkauppa.fi