Top Job Locations for ICT Talent in Canada

By 11 February 2016 No Comments

Technological advances in social, mobile, apps, analytics, and cloud (SMAAC), under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IOT), have exponentially increased the demand for information communication and technology (ICT) talent across all areas of Canada’s economy. ICTC asserts that by 2019, there will be 182,000 ICT positions that need to be filled in Canada. So, in which provinces and cities are these jobs located? Knowing the geographical breakdown of current and future ICT employment informs decisions regarding recruitment, policy, and economic development. An in-depth analysis of multiple datasets shows the top provinces and cities for digital jobs in Canada. Since technology adoption is spread throughout all sectors of the economy, these numbers include ICT jobs outside the ICT sector (in fact, ICTC’s LMI asserts that the majority of ICT jobs are outside the ICT sector).

Top provinces for ICT jobs

Ontario is the province with the most ICT jobs with 403,067 individuals employed in ICT positions. Québec is second with 222,133 employed ICT professionals, followed by British Columbia (111,033) and Alberta (75,467).

Chart 1 — ICT employment in Canadian provinces

Given that strong economic performance is linked with job creation, these regional ICT employment trends mimic the trends in ICT sector output. Ontario has the largest ICT sector output in Canada, contributing $31.6 billion, followed by Québec ($14.6 billion), Alberta ($9.6 billion), and British Columbia ($8.7 billion). Altogether, this translates to more demand for ICT jobs. Based on ICTC’s analysis Ontario will be the province with the largest hiring requirements, needing to fill 76,300 ICT positions by 2019. This is followed by Québec (49,600), British Columbia (20,900), and Alberta (17,300). For a more detailed breakdown of regional ICT hiring requirements over the next four years, review ICTC’s 2015-2019 Outlook report.

Top cities for ICT jobs

Toronto is the city with the most ICT jobs with over 239,300 people directly employed in ICT. Montreal is second with 140,700 people employed in ICT positions, followed by Vancouver (84,667), Ottawa-Gatineau (68,600), and Calgary (37,300). Not surprisingly, the top cities with the largest number of ICT jobs correspond to the largest provinces for ICT employment. . Large metropolis areas like Toronto, Montréal, and Vancouver, are the major contributors to their respective province’s ICT employment levels.

However, in some provinces, there are smaller cities that are significant contributors as well. For example, areas like Ottawa-Gatineau (68,600), Hamilton (14,033), and Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo (11,000) also contribute to Ontario’s high ICT employment level. Similarly, Québec City (27,400) and Edmonton (20,967) are also significant contributors to their respective province’s ICT employment levels.

Chart 2 — ICT employment in cities across Canada

For the most part, cities with large ICT employment will also experience higher future demand. Based on ICTC’s analysis Toronto will have the largest hiring requirements, needing to fill 52,741 ICT positions by 2019. This is followed by Montréal with 35,652, Vancouver with 15,516,  Ottawa-Gatineau with 9,724, and Calgary with 10,603 ICT positions.

There are some differences in terms of the specific ICT occupations that are concentrated in certain locations. One clear trend that stands out, regardless of the type of ICT occupation, is Toronto being the number one location for digital employment. Generally Montreal is the second most popular location for most types of ICT jobs. However, telecommunication carrier managers, software engineers, web designers, and systems testing technician positions are substantially more heavily concentrated in Vancouver than Montreal. After Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, Ottawa-Gatineau has a considerable concentration of database analysts, software engineers, and systems testing technicians. Except for New Brunswick, most ICT jobs are in industries outside of the ICT sector across Canada. Additionally, there was little difference in the top provincial and city locations for ICT jobs for women, youth, and immigrants.

Whether you’re a job seeker, employer, policymaker, or educator, knowing where the ICT jobs are is helpful in ensuring you make informed recruitment, job search or policy decisions and appropriately plan for the future. For over 20 years ICTC has been monitoring the digital economy’s present and future labour market needs, as well as the factors influencing the demand and supply of labour. ICTC’s e-talent Canada website provides real-time LMI data for jobs seekers and employers regarding employment in ICT across occupations, regions, and sectors as well as competency profiles and ICT job vacancy listings. In addition, ICTC’s five-year labour market forecasts provide insights on the demand and supply conditions affecting Canada’s ICT workforce in the long-term.

Stay tuned for forthcoming forecasting publications, webinars, and other updates on our talent solutions