Aspiring Immigrants: How to become part of Canada’s booming tech industry
How great are the opportunities for technology professionals in Canada?
The tech scene in Canada has certainly evolve significantly since I first visited in 2012. Helped by a thoughtful skilled immigration policy, 22,500 new jobs were added just in Toronto, making it the fastest-growing technology market in North America!
To put it simply, Canada is one of the best places to be if you work in technology (or would like to). Being surrounded with great opportunities at world class companies can certainly can help new immigrants find their footing faster and adjust to their new homes quicker.
And perhaps not shockingly, in what mirrors a global industry trend, Canadian companies are going to have a hard time filling all these roles with local candidates. Consider this — Canada is projected to create approximately 218,000 new tech jobs by 2020 but lacks the people to fill them. potentially costing the country billions in lost tax revenue, productivity and GDP.
And since Canada is also a pioneer in prioritizing skilled immigration, it’s natural they’ll turn to welcoming talented, incredibly skilled immigrants in order to make sure local companies can fully capitalize on the opportunities created by this boom.
So if you’re incredibly talented and aspiring to move to Canada, there is no better time than now to fully capitalize on this demand. Let’s take a look at your options.
What Canadian tech sector looks like in 2018
Currently, Canada’s tech industry boasts 488,000 professionals. They work in diverse fields ranging from project management, to software development, to data analysis, to information security. So there is good representation in the types of roles available to qualified immigrants.
Salaries are certainly competitive, especially when adjusted for cost of living before being compared to it’s southern neighbor. Median annual salary this year is $81,500, up from $76,000 last year. The top 10% of earners make in excess of $114,300 — that’s pretty great!
What talent is the most sought after in Canada?
Now that you’ve got some idea of the magnitude of this shortfall, let’s talk about the industries looking for folks like you: obviously top sectors include industries such as IT and Software but also Finance, Manufacturing and Retail.
That’s right — most industries in Canada are on the lookout for excellent software engineers. Software is eating the world and every almost every company needs to be a software company at some level. And these jobs are all over the company — concentrated in Toronto and Vancover but also growing in Montreal, Alberta, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa.
The most in demand jobs in Canada are full stack developers, software developers, software architects, front-end developers, java developers, software engineers, .NET developers, web developers and system administrators. All of these jobs offer median salaries between 60,000$ to 90,000$.
Among these, the job roles that remain the hardest to fill are of mobile developers, programmer analysts and other developer related profiles.
For programmers who develop machines and systems that can operate artificial intelligence (AI), there are even more opportunities. The job postings for machine learning engineers saw a 150% growth in 2017 and these offer a salary of about $102,555 per year!
Knowing this should give you a good idea of how well your current skill sets align with the job opportunities that exist out there.
Which cities are best suited for tech job opportunities in Canada?
Toronto is the first name that comes to mind when talking about the tech hubs in Canada, mainly owing to it being the financial capital of the country and home to the national offices of the Big Five banks.
But it’s just one among the many amazing cities in Canada offering large numbers of opportunities for tech people.
Besides the popular tech hubs like Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal and Calgary, there are cities like Waterloo, Halifax, and Winnipeg that are now showing the highest rates of tech job growth.
There are couple of other less popular but great cities.
For instance, Victoria, apart from being among top 10 cities to work in also has strong job growth and a very low jobless rate. Guelph has also emerged as a great city to work in in past couple of months. In fact, despite being a small city, it makes it to the list of great cities to work in because of its robust job growth, population inflows, a very low jobless rate. Among all cities, it has the highest percentage of working professionals.
The city that you choose to settle in depends on a lot of factors, the biggest one being the availability of the job that you require. However, doing a bit of research on what is unique about each of these cities will help you decide better.
For instance, Montreal is a great city because it has a great nightlife; affordable rents; and a cornucopia of universities with the lowest tuition in the country. Every city has something unique to offer.
You might also want to consider life quality factors such as cost of living, average rent of a onebedroom apartment in the city centre and the average commute time. Taking these factors as well as the job opportunities into consideration, Ottawa, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto top the list.
What are other great reasons to move to Canada?
We talked about the immense opportunities that exist out there. And that seems pretty awesome! But, you might wonder if there’s more to it.
Well, there are couple of other interesting things about working in Canada that you would be happy to know.
The standard of living there is really good.
While this might largely depend on what city you live in and where you live in that city (as almost every city will have a “bad area”), but overall Canada is a safe, clean country with promising work opportunities, good school systems for your children and healthcare for everyone.
For example, Rahil worked in Singapore and the United States before joining Influitive in Toronto. Recently, he co-founded UpFund.io and says he prefers Canada because “it’s a great culture to raise a family in, is a safe society in general and the education system is great.”
The culture is extremely diverse.
Canada is known to be very welcoming, but most don’t realize how diverse it is. To put it into perspective, “[i]mmigration has contributed more to the growth of Canada’s population than births since the mid-1990s”. Public high schools in Canada have a true mix of different religions, ethnicities and backgrounds — and it is truly a unique experience to grow up in such a diverse environment.
Overall, there are a good number of reasons why you might want to consider moving to Canada.
You might feel overwhelmed with all the new information that you uncovered. Or maybe it wasn’t so new for you. Either ways, the important question now becomes — How do you leverage these opportunities that exist out there? And how do you go about getting your visa and immigrating to Canada?
If you feel moving to Canada is the right step for you, we’re building Pursuit to bring simplicity & transparency to the immigrant experience. Check us out to see if we can help you!