Canada’s Tech Talent Gap Raising the Value of Digital Skills Training

By BrainStation August 29, 2018

From coast to coast, Canada has seen a sudden surge in the tech industry – and experts see no reason that boom will wane any time soon.

With employers across industries scouring the job market for skilled tech talent, there’s never been more incentive to upgrade your skill set.

 Read on for a few reasons digital certifications in Canada have never been more valuable.

Canada Has a Severe Talent Gap

By now, you might have heard the news – Canada simply doesn’t have enough tech talent to meet the ever-growing number of jobs.

 With its report “Digital Talent: Road to 2020 and Beyond,” the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) found that Canada would need an additional 182,000 skilled technology workers by 2019.

 Companies are already feeling the crunch. In a survey of Canadian CEOs from Price Waterhouse Cooper, 72 percent reported they were either “extremely or somewhat concerned” about the availability of digital skills in their industries. A report from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, meanwhile, reported that 82 percent of members had experienced challenges in filling open jobs, with the top issue reported – at 60 percent – being a lack of qualified candidates.

 It’s hardly surprising then that the average time-to-hire rate in Canada has risen from 12 days in 2010 to over 20 days in 2017.

Companies Value Digital Skills Training More Highly Than Ever

If Canadian employers didn’t highly value digital skills training, they wouldn’t be investing more than ever in re-training their workforce.

 And the companies that don’t prioritize continuing education and skill-building in their employees will lag behind.

 “Continually upskilling the workforce to be in-tune with the latest technology advances is a must for businesses to remain competitive,” read the ICTC report.

 In fact, the ICTC found that every $100,000 of investment to train 10 mid-career tech professionals has the potential to contribute $2.1 million to Canada’s GDP.

 Unsurprisingly, then, the IT research firm Foote Partners found that market values for tech certifications have been on the rise in 2018, with a single certification now earning the equivalent of 7.6 percent of base salary on average.

A Passion for Personal Development

It’s not just the hard skills acquired in certificate programs that appeal to employers. Increasingly, companies are putting a premium on the intangibles associated with continued education.

 2018 report from the Toronto-based innovation hub MaRS Discovery District found that employers were placing an increasing emphasis on finding employees with a “mindset for growth.” In other words, that means people who – among other things – have an “orientation toward lifelong learning.”

 “Job seekers need to possess not only basic technical skills, but also adaptability and mindsets for growth that empower them to ride the wave of change by remaining skillful and relevant employees in the sector,” read the report. “Mindsets for growth enable workers to respond to the constantly changing forces in this new economy.”

Demand is High, but the Market is Still Competitive

Although there are a lot of open opportunities in tech around the country, Canada still has some rock-star level talent – and it’s crucial not to lag behind the rest of the field.

 Of course, Canadian workers aren’t just competing with a local pool of talent, either. A new report by CBRE Group found that Toronto was the North American leader in “Brain Gain” – meaning it had the highest percentage of talent from outside the city, while Vancouver, Montreal and Ottawa were also importing more talent than they exported.

 A certification could be the difference-maker in standing out amid that field, especially considering Canadian companies seem less likely to emphasize traditional educational backgrounds. CBRE’s report found that 63.1 percent of tech workers in Seattle had attained a bachelor’s degree or higher, a much higher portion than Ottawa (41 per cent), Toronto (36 per cent), Vancouver (34 per cent) or Montreal (29 per cent).



If you’re interested in digital skills training, BrainStation offers a diverse range of full-time and part-time programs and courses across the entire digital spectrum, including: datadesigndevelopment,marketing and product, both online and at our campuses in Toronto, Vancouver, and New York.