Canadian cities are fast becoming top tech hubs in North America

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Canadian cities are fast becoming top tech hubs in North America.

In 2019, a report released by CBRE, which scored Tech Talent in North America, found that Toronto had fought its way up the rankings from fourth place (2018) to become one of the top three markets for tech talent on the continent. Edging out Washington DC for third place, a factor in Toronto’s success was the 54% growth (from 2013-2018) in tech occupations, amounting to 228,500 people employed in 2018. This growth was the largest among all the cities, including San Francisco and New York.

This means that Toronto is essentially competing with other, more renowned tech cities, like San Francisco – and some say the Canadian city is winning. Toronto is becoming the sexy it-girl of the tech space, but why

1. Development and investment

Besides the influx of venture capital and global tech giants scrambling to set up offices and headquarters in Toronto, Forbes attributes the city’s high-tech status to the exponential decade-long expansion of the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor’s tech sector. The Toronto-Waterloo Corridor is made up of Toronto and its surrounding areas along a 100km stretch. The magazine reported in 2020 that the Corridor, which is the second-largest tech cluster on the continent, is host to 5,200 startups and 15,000 tech companies.

2. Future-fit world-class training

Obviously, world-class training and education in Canada’s public institutions only optimises Toronto’s technological advancement. These institutions produce an extraordinary, diverse and seemingly perpetual talent pipeline that is trained in both business and technology to keep developing the sector.

3. Open immigration policy

In 2020, the US-based National Public Radio (NPR) reported that the US was losing the global fight for the scarce tech-worker to Canada, precisely because of the Trump administration’s hard and unwelcoming immigration policies. Canada has launched a new, streamlined visa, which saw over 40,000 tech workers immigrating into the country from 2018-2020 alone.

4. Deep Tech

Toronto has become a serious player within the deep tech space – artificial intelligence, block chain, augmented reality or virtual reality, and cybersecurity (one of the fastest growing sectors in Canada).

Forbes noted that Toronto hosts the world‘s best talent in these sectors, and they do not just seek to advance business, but to impact positively on people’s lives through their innovations. This means that the products and services that are being created are produced with the end-user top of mind – the pinnacle of client-centricity.

The fact that the city is home to the world’s top 5 largest banks doesn’t hurt either. The banks themselves are pushing for R&D into cybersecurity – illustrating a symbiotic relationship between established corporations and cutting-edge startups.

But it’s not just Toronto that has made its mark on the map. In CBRE’s 2020 Tech-30 report, which measures “the tech industry’s impact on U.S. & Canada office markets”, it was reported that Vancouver was the top market for tech job growth in 2018 and 2019. The country’s capital, Ottawa, has recently announced the development of a “state-of-the-art global technology center”.

The centre, Hub350, will be the touch point for community members, enterprises and startups, and aims to become the nexus between academia, industry and financial professionals.

With all this technological development going on in Canada, it can be pretty overwhelming to choose a career path. It seems new tech jobs are being created every day, but Randstad has compiled a short list of the most in-demand jobs in Canada for 2021. These are:

  1. Developer/software engineer
  2. IT project manager
  3. IT business analyst
  4. Database analyst
  5. Quality assurance analyst
  6. Security analysts and architects
  7. Business system analyst
  8. Network engineer