Technology industry

Tech industry job growth drives Alberta forward

Finance, agriculture, health and clean technology identified as four key sectors in the province

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Employment in Canada’s tech sector is expected to continue on the upward trajectory it has seen so far in 2022, particularly in Alberta and the Edmonton metro area.

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The Outlook on the State of Canada’s Tech Workforce from the Computer Technology Industry Association estimates that the total number of tech jobs nationwide will increase by 1.5% in 2021 to 1,254,708 workers in 2022. According to the annual report, tech employment in Alberta will increase by 743 to a total of 99,533 in 2022, which places it fourth in Canada behind Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

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Tech job gains in 2022 are expected to total 432 in Edmonton, beating Calgary’s increase of 219.

A 2022 report from the Information and Communications Technology Council of Canada (TICT) predicts that tech employment will lead the province into the future. A Resilient Recovery: Alberta’s Digital-Led Post-COVID Future by researchers and co-authors Alexandra Cutean, Mairead Matthews and Mansharn Toor argues that despite the pandemic’s impact on Alberta’s economy, “the digital economy of the province has remained resilient and prospered”.

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The report predicts that four sub-sectors could generate significant employment gains in the province over the next few years, including fintech, healthtech, cleantech and agricultural technology.

However, the report warns that job growth could be hampered by a shortage of skilled workers, including the “brain drain” of people drawn to jobs in other jurisdictions.

“The degree of competition for skilled workers has only intensified in recent months as other sectors recover or begin to implement technology into their day-to-day operations,” the report authors write. .

Several interviewees for the report in Edmonton said retaining recent post-secondary tech graduates is a challenge facing local employers, which may be due to a misconception that there aren’t enough Edmonton-based technology to work for. The report’s authors say employers in the Edmonton area suggest the need for increased collaboration between industry, government and academia to meet future employment needs.

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The Government of Alberta’s Technology and Innovation Strategy for Alberta, which calls for the creation of 20,000 new technology jobs by 2030, includes the Building Skills for Jobs initiative. This initiative aims to boost access to post-secondary education and help attract, develop, grow and retain Alberta’s tech talent pool.

“We must do everything we can to ensure that young people in Alberta acquire the skills, knowledge and competencies they need to pursue successful and rewarding careers in today’s economy,” said said the Minister of Higher Education, Demetrios Nicolaides, after the announcement of the initiative.

This story was created by Content Works, the business content division of Postmedia.

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