By now, you might have heard that the technology industry in Canada is booming. Toronto, for example, is the fastest-growing tech market in North America, with 22,500 tech jobs added last year.
Put simply, if you’re a tech professional, Canada is the place to be.
“It’s a perfect storm for technology professionals in the marketplace,” said Nima Mirpourian, branch manager for Robert Half Technology in Toronto. “The demand is there. Our economy is booming. Finding top talent that really knows their craft very well is hard to find.”
If you’re looking to capitalize on a roaring time in the tech industry, these are the market’s most in-demand positions and fastest-growing industries.
In Canada, competition to hire software-savvy talent is intense. According to the CBRE’s 2017 North American Scoring Tech Talent report, employment in software rose 26.2 per cent over the past five years in Toronto with average salaries rising 18.2 per cent.
Software developers, engineers, and programmers are no less sought-after across the rest of the country, with HR consulting firm Robert Half Technology reporting that software engineers at the 50th percentile of experience earn an average of $115,000 across Canada.
“Whether it’s digital initiatives, mobile initiatives, big-data initiatives, software engineers are highly sought after right now,” said Nima Mirpourian, Branch Manager for Robert Half Technology in Toronto.
Whether in the health, financial, or manufacturing industry, few companies can tolerate erratic or unstable internet access for long. So it’s no surprise that experts in all aspects of network technology are in hot demand.
At the network administrator levels, Canadians with an average level of experience earned $62,500 last year according to Robert Half – but the pay scaled up dramatically at the network architect level, where those in the 50th percentile took home $138,000.
“There’s something to be said about a number of firms requiring skilled network professionals who can ensure the firm’s infrastructure is fully functional,” Mirpourian said.
It’s unfortunately become an almost weekly occurrence to read about a major company succumbing to an insidious and extremely costly cyber-threat, with the disastrous Equifax hack only one recent example.
So is it any wonder many companies are doubling down on cybersecurity?
According to Robert Half, network security administrators and engineers at the mid-point of experience earn on average $100,000 and $110,000 respectively, while data security analysts take home even more.
Computer and information systems managers
By far the fastest-growing segment of the market in Toronto, the number of systems managers and administrators employed leapt 150 per cent in the past five years according to CBRE’s numbers to roughly 26,000 people earning an average salary of $103,646.
In Vancouver, CBRE’s raw employment numbers show a 71.1 per cent jump in this sector of the tech job market and a $94,931 average wage.
Though generally considered a sector that was sluggish to adapt to the information technology revolution, trends in automation have made IT talent increasingly valuable.
Mirpourian says the manufacturing sector’s presence in the tech talent job market is particularly pronounced in the greater Toronto area.
Not exactly an industry, but A.I. is an area where Toronto’s tech talent has started to separate itself.
“We’re definitely seeing a lot of growth in A.I.-driven ventures,” said Lara Torvi, manager of media and community relations for MaRS.
“I would say five years ago we had a few dozen, and now it’s well over 100 or more ventures that are actively embedding and using A.I. for everything from cybersecurity-focused ventures to health ventures, like the latest disease detection application.”
The growth in this sector – a.k.a. FinTech – has everything to do with big data and information security.
Again, Toronto is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the surge, given that it’s the country’s busy nucleus of financial activity.
“We are one of the larger financial hubs in North America,” Torvi said. “We’re seeing a lot of interesting collaboration between financial institutions and startups. That willingness to partner – that helps as well.”
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