File

Vancouver, Victoria among top 10 tech markets in Canada

Tech education and industry continue to boom in B.C.

B.C. continues to be fertile ground for growing tech industries.

While the service, entertainment and retail industries struggle to recover from COVID-19, the tech industry booms, adding more than 165,000 jobs to the economy nationwide. Vancouver and Victoria are both in the top 10 major markets for the tech industry, based on a scoring system from CBRE Group.

The CBRE’s market ranking system is based on 13 metrics, including talent availability and operating costs, to gauge suitability to tech employers and prospective employees. While some tech markets shifted positions within the top 20 from 2019 to 2020, the top seven remained unchanged.

Vancouver is ranked third only below Toronto and Ottawa. The size and recent growth of the tech labour pool, in addition to a rising number of tech-related degrees, puts Vancouver in a promising position. The city ranks third in tech degree completions and tech labour pool size, and it’s the second-fastest growing tech market with 27,500 jobs added between 2014 and 2019 – an increase of nearly 48 per cent.

RELATED: Booming tech sector in Greater Victoria could be threatened by lack of physical space, executive talent

Although cost of living and real estate in Metro Vancouver is among the highest in the province, the market is ranked number 10 in terms of tech firm operating costs.

The pandemic called into question the need of physical office space as many Canadians switched to remote work. A tech education leader, Lighthouse Labs CEO Jeremy Shaki said as office spaces evolve, so too will their place in society. The importance of a central office would potentially come more as a social location than a traditional workplace, he added.

“I do believe the culture that emanates from a central office point is really helpful. While people don’t need community from their company, they need community from their locale, and they need people to connect with.”

Vancouver and Victoria remain in the top seven tech markets, according to a recent study from the CBRE Group. (CBRE Group)

Victoria comes in at the seventh spot above Halifax, Quebec City and Hamilton. Tech industry concentration is among Victoria’s strongest points, a market which Shaki described as “unreasonably large.” Its primary industries are software and app development, advanced manufacturing and ocean science, whereas Vancouver’s predominant tech sectors are software development, digital media and gaming.

RELATED: University of the Fraser Valley gets $100k for tech programs

In terms of job trends, Shaki expects in-demand skills to remain consistent with web development and cybersecurity being the most desirable. However, these skills are being integrated into jobs in multiple positions, resulting in upskills rather than reskills.

“What I actually see happening is a lot more hybrid skills as opposed to full-out reskills,” Shaki said. “Everyone from HR to accountants to administrators is expected to know a lot more about data and technology.”

According to the CBRE report, the tech industry outpaces multiple work sectors, growing three times faster than the national average due to a trend of reskilling.

To keep Canadian tech education thriving during the pandemic, Lighthouse Labs released $1 million in scholarship funding last year for upskilling and reskilling to help workers adapt as workplace tech changes.


 

@ashwadhwani
adam.louis@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BusinessCoronavirusJobs and Careers

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria police are asking for help locating Izabel Villeneuve, 14, who was last seen Jan. 19. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police seek help locating missing 14-year-old

Izabel Villeneuve was last seen in the morning of Jan. 19

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

Jan. 21 marks the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century, according to some. (Black Press Media file photo)
The 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century is upon us – maybe

Milestone won’t be back for another 100 years

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Vancouver Island this weekend

Snow on Malahat to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

The cost of potentially counting deer regionwide was among the issues that prompted Capital Regional District committee members to vote against pursuing a greater CRD role in deer management. (Black Press Media file photo)
Expanded deer management a non-starter for Greater Victoria

Capital Regional District committee maintains current level of support

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Mowi Canada West’s Sheep Pass salmon farm, the company’s final B.C. operation to receive certification from the Aquaculture Steward Council. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is questioning a government decision to phase out salmon farms in the Discovery Islands. (Photo supplied by Mowi Canada West)
Canadian Federation of Agriculture backs B.C. salmon farmers

Letter to prime minister calls for federal “champion” for aquaculture growth

Most Read