Demand for tech talent up 25 percent in Vancouver

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      The Vancouver tech industry is exploding. More than 75,000 individuals now work for the city’s technology companies: a figure has risen so fast that the sector’s employees now outnumber everyone in the mining, oil, gas, and forestry industries across the whole of B.C. combined.

      For years, executives have told stories of passing out endless business cards in the hopes of snaring top talent. Now, hard data has arrived about that striking level of demand.

      According to, one of Canada’s most widely used job-seeking websites, the need for tech employees in Vancouver is up 25 percent since April 2018—a trend that has been consistent year over year since 2012.

      The largest number of ads asked for software engineers, full stack developers, and front end developers. Web developers, back end developers, and development operations engineers also made the top 10, as did software engineering managers, and systems administrators.

      Most striking, however, is that as the tech industry continues to expand and call for more positions, Vancouver is meeting that demand. A new report indicates that the talent gap between job seekers and job openings in the sector has not increased in recent years—and for some positions that mismatch has significantly narrowed.

      A number of factors may have contributed to the increase of qualified tech professionals in the city. A number of local bootcamps offering fast-tracked coding courses like Lighthouse Labs, RED Academy, and Brainstation continue to produce a number of highly skilled graduates ready to step into roles in Vancouver companies. Geared towards educating individuals on exactly what they need to start work immediately, many feature placements, internships, and partnerships with Vancouver businesses.

      The increase in students at those private institutions matches what’s happening at larger universities across B.C. The provincial government has made a concerted effort to increase funding for computer science and tech-related courses, pledging an initial $900,000 in May 2018 to establish 370 new seats across the region. Those students will begin their programs in September.

      The federal government has also been supportive of welcoming qualified professionals to Canada. In 2018, the county set ambitious targets to admit at least 310,000 immigrants—the largest amount in recent history—and plans to raise the number by a further 20,000 year-on-year. It has also established the Start-up Visa—a way to move to Canada by starting a business and creating jobs—and aims to reduce wait times on Express Entry Visas: the application process for skilled workers to settle in Canada. Many of those individuals will land in Vancouver.

      “Vancouver has become a technology hub for both small and large businesses, providing them access to the city’s talented and diverse talent pool,” says Indeed’s managing director Jodi Kasten. “Opportunities for technology professionals continue to increase in this tech-rich environment, allowing job seekers more freedom to find the perfect role, while businesses are forced to differentiate themselves in efforts to land the best talent in a market full of opportunity.”

      As the technology industry continues to expand in the city and across the world, over 83,400 tech-related jobs openings are expected in the city by 2027—a number that will more than double the amount of permanent positions which exist today.

      Kate Wilson is the Technology Editor at the Georgia Straight. Follow her on Twitter @KateWilsonSays