2016 TECH TALENT BC REPORT
The impact of technology is reshaping all aspects of the economy. From intelligent resource extraction to financial services innovations (mobile payments and the blockchain) to regenerative medicine and personalized healthcare, technology advancements are redefining business models and processes for organizations of all sizes. This expanding adoption creates an ever-growing demand for a skilled, diverse, and adaptable workforce.
In Canada, the tech sector has become a pillar of the national economy, creating over 1.4 million jobs for Canadians. Companies across Canada are investing in new technology, innovating to provide solutions and new business opportunities for every industry, and in the process, creating high-paying tech jobs.
British Columbia has established itself as one of the leading tech ecosystems in the country, boasting a host of successful companies in information and communications technology, interactive and digital media, cleantech, lifesciences, and engineering services. Growing by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6% over a 10-year period ending in 2014, BC’s tech sector revenue growth has outpaced tech sector revenue growth in Ontario and Québec.1
Spurred by business growth and employer demand for top talent, BC's tech sector employment, defined in this report by 32 key occupations, reached approximately 149,000 jobs in 2015, and is on pace to grow to more than 165,500 by 2021, adding 16,500 net new jobs at an average annual growth rate of 1.8%.
Demand for talent is most acute for a collection of information technology-centric roles, including systems engineers, programmers, and software developers. However, as BC’s tech companies continue to grow and extend their market reach, roles for experienced management, business development, and sales and marketing professionals are also becoming increasingly important to fill.
The rapid expansion of the BC tech sector will result in a demand for more than 47,000 additional workers by 2021. However, based on the current employment growth and talent availability numbers, only 16,500 of these vacancies will be filled. 30,500 tech-related job openings will remain vacant.
To meet the soaring demand for tech talent, BC policy makers, in partnership with industry and higher education institutions, must take action. There are three talent sources that must be actively supported in order to resolve the demand and supply.
imbalance: new entrants (defined as graduates from BC's post-secondary institutions), immigrants, and other local supply that includes job transitioners and members of underrepresented demographic groups.
For each of the labour sources, there are large gaps between what BC is on track to produce and what is needed by the tech sector. Meeting the accelerated employment demand of BC"s tech sector requires the following changes: