Canada’s booming technology sector is attracting the largest high-tech companies as well as thousands of foreign IT professionals.
In fact, Toronto has experienced the largest increase of new technology jobs of any city in North America during the past five years.
The number of technology jobs in Toronto has soared by 54% since 2013, climbing from around 148,000 seven years ago to about 228,500 professionals working in the metro area’s high-tech sector in 2019, leading some to refer to Toronto as a technology superpower that rivals California’s Silicon Valley.
According to the CBRE 2019 Scoring Canadian Tech Talent report, in addition to the 228,500 technology professionals working in the Toronto area, Montreal has 130,200 individuals employed in high-tech occupations; there are 75,000 people working in Vancouver’s tech sector; another 64,500 technology workers in Ottawa (almost 10% of Ottawa’s work force); close to 40,000 residents of Calgary are working in high-tech positions; Edmonton employs 28,400 people in technology; and the Waterloo region of Ontario has an additional 20,400 tech jobs (these are just some of the top technology hubs with thousands of tech jobs in Canada).
Top technology firms like Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Netflix and others have been moving to Canada where it is easier for them to hire the global tech talent that they need compared with their operations in the United States where it is more difficult and takes longer to get US visas for skilled immigrants.
Major Canadian companies like Spotify have also increased their hiring of skilled foreign workers to fill various technology jobs in Canada.
Toronto has become a technology superpower, partly because 20% of of the approximately 100,000 immigrants who move to Toronto each year arrive with university degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) fields, and partly because many technology firms are located in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and are seeking to hire skilled immigrants who already possess STEM degrees.
It also helps that Canada is an immigrant-friendly country that is actively recruiting global tech talent and other skilled immigrants and has made Canadian relocation relatively fast and easy, especially compared with the United States where it can take a long time to get approved for one of the 85,000 H-1B Work Visas authorized to be issued each year.
On June 23, 2020, after the United States announced a temporary suspension on issuing Green Cards and various work visas, including the popular H-1B Visa, the Founder and CEO of Shopify posted on Twitter that foreign workers affected by the new US visa policies should consider moving to Canada instead and that Shopify is hiring and has a lot of experience assisting skilled immigrants with Canadian relocation.
The Canadian government’s Global Skills Strategy has helped the country’s growing technology sector to hire thousands of foreign high-tech professionals.
During the past three years, over 23,000 skilled foreign workers in the five top technology categories were approved for Canadian visas as part of the Global Skills Strategy.
Thousands of skilled technology professionals along with their families also immigrate to Canada as permanent residents through the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Provincial Nominee Program and the Quebec Regular Skilled Worker Program.
While immigrants make up 25% of the people working in Canada, they are employed in 40% of all Canadian jobs in the technology sector, according to a report published in 2016 by the Information and Communications Technology Council.
The more recent 2019 report by the Information and Communications Technology Council forecasts that as the Canadian digital economy continues to grow rapidly, there is likely to be an increasing demand for hundreds of thousands of digitally-skilled workers to fill technology jobs in Canada.
A professor of electrical and computer engineering who is also the co-director of the Artificial Intelligence Institute at the University of Waterloo in Ontario says that international students and foreign tech professionals bring diversity and innovation to Canadian technology companies.
He has also stated that incredible growth of artificial intelligence, cloud computing, machine learning and software development in Canada’s tech sector has produced an increasing demand for highly skilled tech talent from overseas.
There are thousands of jobs in Canada for skilled immigrants in the technology sector, healthcare field and other growing industries.
To learn if you qualify to live and work in Canada, click here!