Canada is the second largest country in the world. It is home to a vibrant and diverse economy. The information technology (IT) sector in Canada is one of the major drivers of economic growth. Information Communication Technology (ICT) is an subset of this sector and contributes about 60% to the IT sector in Canada.
Three of the biggest provinces in Canada – in terms of economic contributors – are British Columbia, Quebec and Ontario.
As of 2016, the Information technology sector contributed about $117 billion to Canada’s GDP. This is about 7% of Canada’s total GDP.
There are in excess of 70000 Information Technology firms across Canada. They specialize in everything from Aerospace manufacturing to cyber security service providers, from Engineering design to information security assessment and everything in-between.
The IT sector in Canada employs about 5% of the total work force. Of these, Quebec and Ontario provide the most employment opportunities. Further, an IT professional in Canada earns nearly $20000 more per year as compared to the other sectors.
Here are a few IT sectors where Canada excels:
- Aerospace Engineering
- Chemical and Pharma Manufacturing
- Information and Communications Technology
- Machinery and Engineering Design
- Research and Development
The IT sector boasts of many world leaders that have their headquarters or base in Canada. A few of these companies include BlackBerry, OpenText, CGI Group, TELUS and BCE.
Despite all these positive trends, in a study funded by the Canadian Government recently, researchers have estimated that there will be a shortfall of skilled IT professionals in Canada by the year 2019.
Here are a few areas where there will be a shortfall of IT talent in Canada:
- Information systems analysts and consultants
- Information security consultants
- Computer and network operators, web developers and technicians
- Computer and information systems managers
- Corporate IT security consultants
- Database analysts and data administrators
Since British Columbia, Quebec and Ontario are the three most important provinces of Canada as far as growth of IT / ICT is concerned, here is a brief description of their envisaged requirement:
With more than 900 Information Tech companies (that include information security service providers), and a contribution of over $15 billion to Canada's GDP, British Columbia is Canada's thriving IT hub. As per the Govt. of Canada report, an increase in the capital flow to the province will be a significant driver in the demand for IT professionals. The sectors that will see a noticeable increase in demand will be the ICT sector, and the digital media sector.
Quebec is at the forefront of Information Technology in Canada. A few areas that will see an increased demand in the work force in this province include Aerospace, Gaming, 3D Technology, 5G Mobile and artificial intelligence.
Another vibrant IT hub in Canada is Ontario. As per the research conducted, Ontario will need 88000 ICT jobs by the year 2021, and the total employment in this sector will reach about 670,000. Ontario is the leading manufacturing centers of Canada, and the province will also see a rise in IT jobs related to Artificial Intelligence (especially in the autonomous car sector), 3D Printing and 5G Mobile technologies.