The war for IT talent is fiercely fought on a global scale, ignoring geographical boundaries. Many tech specialists find themselves writing their own employment ticket, with competing offers from potential employers ensuring competitive salaries, perks and work visas to remove any barriers to successful employment. By 2018, IDC Canada predicts the Canadian Internet of Things (aka tech built into everyday things) will be worth more than $6.5 billion alone.
Canada is increasingly seen as a tech utopia
With the current uncertain political climate and immigration ban upheaval in the US, Canada shines as a beacon of political, economic and social stability. This is the fertile ground in which entrepreneurship, business development and progress take root and grow, and societies thrive. Where international IT professionals would not have considered Canada as an option before, they’re now seeing the country and its opportunities in a new light. Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal regularly make best-of lists naming the top cities for tech innovation and finding talent.
What does this mean for Canada’s tech industry?
Canada’s tech sector was identified as one of the largest of Canada’s economic sectors and it continues to grow. Governments and business professionals realize that attracting the best talent from around the world makes Canada more competitive. That’s especially true in the IT sector.
Instead of following the brain drain to the south, Canadian IT professionals are staying put and happy to do so, while their colleagues from the US and abroad are now choosing Waterloo and Toronto over Silicon Valley. The federal government is making it easier for Canadian and multinational tech firms to bring in skilled foreign workers by shortening approval visas and making work permits more readily available.
Preparing Canadians for careers in tech
Across the country, technology is changing traditional industries, and how business is done and the type of work performed. Virtual technologies dictate how natural resources are sourced, recovered and processed. Transportation and how goods and people are moved are already significantly impacted by technology-driven smart infrastructure, data collection platforms and visualization technologies that are, in turn, impacting city planning, emergency response and critical infrastructure.
Having a workforce trained and equipped to deal with disruptive technologies is essential to ensure the technology sector continues to drive the country’s economy and maintain its competitiveness on the world stage. As new start-ups increasingly pop up on the landscape supported by unprecedented venture capital funding, the potential for significant revenue growth appears unfettered.
Canada’s brand is welcoming and internationally recognized; our exchange rate is attractive; and our government, economic and political climates are stable. How quickly Canada capitalizes on its strengths and how it responds to uncertainty in the US will determine just how fast and how far our tech industry will go.