Employers across Canada are accelerating their recruitment and hiring of technology workers, according to a new report from CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the information technology (IT) industry and workforce.
Job postings for tech occupations jumped 42,100 year-over-year in the first three quarters of 2021, a 65% increase, CompTIA’s “Canadian Tech Industry and Workforce Trends 2021” report reveals. It’s a signal that many employers are resuming hiring activity in conjunction with the recovering Canadian economy.
“In Canada we are seeing a rebound in tech hiring, forcing employers to become more aggressive looking for candidates and giving qualified job seekers multiple opportunities to consider,” said Gordon Pelosse, senior vice president for employer engagement at CompTIA.
“Some companies are offering increased wages, added benefits and flex hours as they try to differentiate themselves from the pack,” Pelosse continued. “We’re also seeing more employers expand their pools of potential candidates by shifting from job postings with a minimum four-year degree requirement to a more balanced approach of validated skills and knowledge.”
The CompTIA report estimates that tech employment in Canada will increase by 15,000 positions this year, with the bulk of hiring occurring in three provinces – Ontario (+7,545 new hires), British Columbia (+3,144) and Quebec (+3,008).
Over the past five years, Ontario accounted for 55% of net tech employment job gains, followed by British Columbia (22%) and Quebec (19%). The Toronto metro area alone accounted for nearly half of all net tech employment job gains during this period.
“We are seeing an increase in interest in programs such as the TechTalent Accelerator, designed to develop an industry ready IT workforce for both job seekers and organisations looking to hire,” said Rita Loncar, Canadian channel leader for Veritas Technologies LLC and vice chair of the CompTIA Canadian Business Technology Community.
“Offering industry validated certificates opens opportunities for a broader workforce in hopes of addressing the needs of our market,” Loncar added. “If the last couple of years has shown us anything, it’s that we are no longer limited to local applicants for hiring. A remote workforce is happening everywhere and opportunities for people in rural areas are more possible than ever.”
On a sector basis, the IT services and software categories are projected to account for 82% of job gains in 2021, reflecting the ongoing trends of IT modernization and digital transformation. On an occupation basis, the systems analysts and cybersecurity category will contribute a projected 34% of job gains for the year followed by software and web developers (30%) and the IT and network support personnel (14%).
At year’s end Canada’s tech workforce is projected to total 1,146,270 employees, approximately 6% of the Canadian labour force. The estimated median tech wage of $81,751 is 47% higher than the median national wage for all Canadian workers. Salaries for experienced tech workers or those with select skills are notably higher at the 75th and 90th percentiles.
The tech industry accounts for about 5.1% of the total Canadian economy, which translates to $96 billion CAD. There are an estimated 50,401 tech business establishments across the country. The highest concentrations are in Ontario (26,683), Quebec (10,011), British Columbia (5,834) and Alberta (5,031).
The complete “Canadian Tech Industry and Workforce Trends” report, with comprehensive national, province and metro area data on average wages, business establishments, job postings, emerging tech metrics and more, is available at this link.
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