As the job market evolves and becomes increasingly competitive, the demand for skilled labour is intensifying. The tech sector in Canada is no exception, with employers actively seeking candidates who possess future-proof skills to adapt to rapidly-changing work environments.
Canada is currently facing a shortage of technologically skilled professionals as it loses many of its sharp, talented college and university graduates to the attraction of Silicon Valley.
According to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, the technology sector accounted for 5.4% of Canada’s GDP, or $104.5 billion, in 2021, with an average compound annual growth of 5% over a five-year period.
This presents an opportunity for higher education institutions to prepare their students for successful careers in Canada by equipping them with the right combination of in-demand technical and soft skills.
Here are the top five skills in tech that are currently in high demand among Canadian employers:
With the rise of remote work and the increasing reliance on digital technology, cybersecurity has become a critical concern for organizations across all sectors. As a result, there is a growing demand for professionals who can safeguard data and build resilience against cyber threats.
Higher education institutions can ensure that their graduates are well-versed in cybersecurity concepts and practices, whether they intend to pursue careers in the field or enhance their marketability in other roles.
An estimated 3.5 million cybersecurity job openings are expected globally by 2025, emphasizing the importance of this skill in today’s job market. Universities and colleges can prepare students by offering specialized cybersecurity programs and incorporating cybersecurity concepts into broader IT curricula. By fostering industry partnerships, institutions can also provide co-op opportunities and hands-on experience to enhance students’ learning
Colleges and universities can offer programming courses to help students develop expertise in these languages and better prepare them for the evolving job market.
The number of jobs requiring programming skills is projected to grow by 21% from 2020 to 2030, making it a critical skill for IT professionals. To prepare students, institutions can develop and expand programming courses, offer online coding boot camps and encourage collaboration on real-world projects. Additionally, co-op programs can help students gain practical experience and build professional networks.
Data communication and storytelling
As more jobs involve working directly with data, the ability to interpret, translate and communicate this information effectively is becoming increasingly important, meaning data communicators and storytellers will be in high demand. Institutions can emphasize developing these skills to ensure their graduates can contribute meaningfully to data-driven decision-making processes within organizations.
Data communication and storytelling skills are essential for IT professionals to convey complex data insights effectively. To prepare students, schools can integrate these skills into data-related programs and offer workshops on data visualization and storytelling techniques. Collaborating with industry partners and offering internships will provide students with the opportunity to apply their skills in real-world settings.
Data and analytics
Expertise in data and analytics is crucial for various IT roles such as database administration, data analysis, data science, data visualization and big data. Comprehensive courses and programs that cover these areas will enable graduates to excel in data-driven roles and contribute to their organization’s success.
With the World Economic Forum’s “Jobs of Tomorrow” report highlighting data and analytics as one of the top growth areas for jobs in the coming years, the demand for these skills is indisputable. Universities and colleges can offer comprehensive degree programs, certificates and workshops in data analytics, data science and data visualization. Co-op and internship programs can provide students with valuable hands-on experience and connections to the industry.
IT infrastructure skills, including Linux, technical support, cloud computing and networking, are essential for maintaining and improving an organization’s digital systems. Providing training and expertise in these areas will help ensure that students are equipped to support and optimize the digital foundations of businesses and organizations.
As the Global Knowledge 2021 IT Skills and Salary Report indicates, IT infrastructure skills such as cloud computing, networking and cybersecurity are among the most in-demand skills in the IT industry. Institutions can prepare students by offering specialized courses in cloud computing, Linux administration and networking. Additionally, partnering with tech companies can provide students with co-op and internship opportunities to gain hands-on experience and establish industry connections.
Interested in starting a career in the tech industry?
Canadian College of Technology and Business (CCTB) offers Cybersecurity Analyst with Practicum, Data Engineering and Analytics with Co-op and Cybersecurity Risk Management with Co-op programs to equip you with skills and knowledge to take on the complex challenges of the technology-based field.
Toronto School of Management (TSoM) offers Data Analytics with Co-op and Cybersecurity Specialists with Co-op programs that prepare students with the knowledge and experience to analyze data using cutting-edge technology to anticipate information risks and prevent cyberattacks.
Niagara College – Toronto offers a Computer Programming program which prepares students for employment through working with databases, interactive multimedia and software development and is poised in the tech industry.