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

Royal Roads University president Philip Steenkamp said they are aware of hateful graffiti spray-painted in an area of the forest surrounding the campus. The graffiti in question includes anti-Semitic content and a racial slur towards Black people. (Facebook/Royal Roads University)
Anti-Semitic, hateful graffiti spotted in forest near Royal Roads University

Royal Roads working with West Shore RCMP to remove graffiti “as soon as possible”

A cougar was spotted at Royal Roads University on Sunday, Jan. 24. The sighting was reported on the western edge of the campus. (File photo)
Cougar spotted at Royal Roads University Sunday afternoon

Animal reported on western side of campus near Colwood Fire Department

Saanich-based St. Luke’s Players community theatre company has been making the most of their opportunities to keep busy during the pandemic, including staging a Christmastime panto of Alice in Wonderland on Zoom. (Courtesy St. Luke’s Players)
Saanich’s St. Luke’s Players: Bringing the stage to the people

Community theatre company holding online auditions Jan. 23-24 for March production

Frank Bourree was awarded the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce’s first Governors’ Award of Distinction for his leadership in the business community. (Courtesy of Frank Bourree)
Frank Bourree receives award of distinction from Victoria chamber

Award recognizes positive role model in business community

The Habitat for Humanity Meaning of Home contest is open to students in Grades 5 to 6. (Screenshot/Habitat for Humanity video)
Habitat for Humanity launches national writing contest

Entries accepted from students in Grades 4 to 6 until Feb. 19

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo mountain with flares during icy rope rescue

Rescuers got injured hiker down Mt. Benson to a waiting ambulance Saturday night

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

Most Read