From April 2022 to March 2023, Canada welcomed over 32,000 tech industry professionals globally, as indicated by a recent study by The Technology Councils of North America (TECNA) and Canada’s Tech Network (CTN).
In this blog, we’ll delve further into the insights presented by TECNA and CTN. We’ll focus on crucial tech worker destinations throughout Canada. And provide a more comprehensive overview of the country’s tech industry panorama.
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Understanding the TECNA and CTN Report: Insights Unveiled
The report highlights Canada’s attraction for tech professionals due to its immigrant-friendly policies and cost-effective labor. The analysis by TECNA and CTN analyzes North America’s global influence on tech migration. It also notes a shift from traditional hubs due to remote work, partially driven by the pandemic.
Regarding Canada, the report underscores sustained net in-migration of tech talent, primarily from India, Nigeria, and Brazil. US tech companies’ increased investments in Canada also contribute to the thriving tech sector, benefiting from proximity and compensation differences.
In 2022, Canada boasted 400,000+ software developers, with tech workforce growth extending beyond significant markets. Notably, smaller provinces like Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, and Labrador saw rapid tech workforce expansion, with a remarkable year-on-year increase of 16.3%.
Rural locales, including Windsor, Ontario, have observed remarkable tech workforce expansion, exemplifying the trend towards remote-friendly rural areas across North America. Windsor has achieved a 28% surge in tech workers over the past year.
Conclusively, the joint TECNA and CTN report underscores the coveted tech skills in Canada: Customer Experience, Microsoft Azure, Analytical Skills, Amazon Web Services, React.js, Jira, Data Science, GitHub, Customer Satisfaction, and Customer Relationship Management. This valuable insight benefits prospective global tech talent considering a future in Canada.
Which locations stand out as Canada’s “most appealing” tech hubs?
In addition, The TECNA/CTN report spotlighted Canada’s most enticing cities for prime tech talent. The ranking featured two Ontario (ON) cities and one Quebec (QUE) city in the top three.
The lineup placed Mississauga (ON) at the forefront, trailing Montreal (QUE) and Waterloo (ON). Let’s analyze the factors that contribute to the rise of each of these cities as tech hubs for newcomers.
Hosting close to 1,000 companies solely in the information technology (IT) sector, Mississauga forms a vital part of North America’s second-largest information and communication technology (ICT) cluster, encompassing over 300,000 tech professionals within the vicinity. Renowned global IT giants like Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, HP, and Cognizant operate within their boundaries, fostering robust tech innovation. Local governance bolsters this innovation through initiatives like the Mississauga Innovation and Technology Acceleration Program (MITAP).
MITAP, a technology-focused initiative, furnishes funding, mentorship, and resources to local startups in the area.
Progress-wise, Mississauga accommodates several burgeoning tech enterprises, including SOTI, Guidewire Software, HCL Technologies, and Infosys. With the population poised to expand – projections estimate 995,000 residents by 2051, marking a 33% surge since 2016 – the region holds promise in nurturing an enduring stream of tech talent for both the immediate and distant future.
Nurturing one of Canada’s most vibrant tech ecosystems, Montreal has surged by approximately 31% from 2015 to 2020. Renowned for its second-largest tech market nationally, the city shines as a pivotal artificial intelligence (AI) and IT hub, attracting global giants like Google, Microsoft, Meta, Samsung, and Intel for their operations.
Montreal is a cornerstone for over 200 game development studios, including influential names like Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, and WB Games in Canada.
It’s not only a haven for well-established tech enterprises; Montreal fosters a fertile ground for burgeoning firms, including CGI, Hopper, Element AI, Imagia, and Nuvei. In addition, the city hosts significant startup-focused events like Startupfest and MTL Connect: Montreal Digital Week. Academically, Quebec provides substantial educational backing to the tech sector, with nearly 18,000 students in tech programs throughout the city.
With a vibrant pulse in the tech realm, Waterloo houses an impressive 1,570 tech-focused enterprises featuring industry giants like BlackBerry and D2L. Remarkably, it secures a spot within the top 20 global start-up ecosystems.
Gazing into the horizon, this city benefits from the educational influence of the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Conestoga College, fostering a pool of adept local tech professionals. In addition, this nurturing environment pairs with a superior quality of life, playing a role in Waterloo’s consistent attraction and retention of top-tier talent, contributing to its ICT start-up survival rate nearly doubling the global industry average.
Moreover, Waterloo stands out as a beacon of significant venture capital investment, further underlining its position as a flourishing Canadian tech nucleus.
Global Tech Workforce Attraction Initiatives in Canada
Comprehending the mentioned TECNA/CTN report entails recognizing Canada’s substantial endeavors to entice international tech professionals.
These efforts are facilitated by the government’s novel Tech Talent Strategy and category-specific Express Entry draws. Both mechanisms collectively bolster the expansion of the tech sector nationwide luring an increased influx of proficient tech workers from diverse locations within the country.
Canada’s Strategy for Tech Talent: Spearheaded by the Government of Canada, this endeavor seeks to amplify the nation’s advancement toward achieving eminence as a prime recruiter of global tech expertise. The strategy encompasses:
- Establishing an innovative stream within the International Mobility Program (IMP).
- Showcasing Canada as an alluring hub for digital nomads.
- Enhancing labor mobility across North America by introducing a simplified work permit for H-1B specialty occupation visa holders in the US who wish to relocate to Canada.
- Lastly, elevating and refining current programs tailored for high-skill tech professions.
Segmented Express Entry Draws Targeting Tech Fields
Starting June 28, 2023, IRCC initiated category-focused Express Entry draws for federal immigration candidates harmonizing with Canada’s foremost economic requisites. Among the six selected categories for 2023, one caters to candidates having work experience in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) domains. This aligns seamlessly with Canada’s explicit ambition of welcoming additional global tech proficiency to its shores.
Furthermore, as of the current writing, IRCC has executed a solitary category-centric draw for this sector on July 5, 2023. During this event, 500 candidates, with a minimum CRS score of 486, received invitations to pursue permanent residency in Canada.
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