To Combat Unemployment, Canada Must Rethink How It Approaches Digital Era

After speaking at another successful Techfest event at the Berkeley Church in Toronto, I was disappointed the next day when reading an article in The Globe and Mail that indicated that the unemployment rate in Canada has reached 7.3%.

This is the highest we’ve seen in three years; Canada has shed another 2,300 jobs just last month. For a nation that prides itself on natural resources, a sector in which we lost 9,000 jobs last month alone, it is clear that our focus needs to change.

The solution to this national crisis can be found in technology. There were 300+ jobs available at only 15 Toronto based technology companies presenting at TechFest last night. Each company boasted 100­% to 1,000% quarter-over-quarter growth, and not just from new startups, but also from more seasoned companies that have been around for 10-plus years such as Architech.

The technology industry offers so much opportunity because the creation of value and growth is driven primarily by human power; natural resources and heavy overhead are not prerequisites. This sounds like an industry worth investing in, doesn’t it, Mr. Trudeau?

It is such an exciting time to be a young professional; everything is changing so drastically as the spectrum of power is shifting from the oldest and most experienced to the most innovative and agile. In more traditional industries like law, the best lawyer is typically grey haired because it’s all about their “case count.” In digital, a new technology or process will be introduced and someone that picked it up only a year ago can become the expert. Because of this, we are seeing rapidly rising numbers of young Managers, Directors and Executives when interacting with our enterprise clients like Scotiabank, Telus, lululemon, PayPal and the LCBO. Grey hair is not a prerequisite.

There is a common misconception in Canada that technologists are the only ones that can tackle these issues, but I assure you this is not the case. Those from more traditional industries can bring a lot to the table, and shake up how technical experts approach digital. Canada needs more lawyers, educators and healthcare practitioners who are digitally competent, so that we can solve real problems together as one cohesive unit, and not in silos. Blue J Legal proves this is possible as they have merged traditional law with machine learning, and as a result are growing their team in Toronto substantially.

At BrainStation, we view the digital space as the most forgiving canvas available; you can create and delete all with the stroke of a key. Everyone in Canada should have the paints and brushes needed to create. We will not succeed if the power remains with the limited individuals that followed a traditional educational path in STEM. Had we left it to the rigid regulations and standardized practices of the Académie des Beaux­Arts, we would have never been graced with the Impressionist artists Monet and Renoir, that came from an unconventional artistic background. How many digital artists are there in Canada that have never discovered their talent because of this common misconception?

It is evident that as we continue to spend more hours online Canada needs more digital builders, designers, and thinkers.

Over the past four years, BrainStation has empowered thousands of professionals and entrepreneurs across Canada with digital skills to help grow their startup, expand their small business, or drive digital within their archaic enterprise. For those that are looking to level up outside of their “9­-to-5,” we have evening and weekend workshops and coursesin Product Management, User Experience and Interface Design, Digital Marketing, Web and Mobile Development. For a full career switch we have 10-week, 400-hour, full-time courses in web development and user experience design.

Use TECHFEST15 to participate in any of our March evening events for free ($15 value) to kickstart your understanding and excitement for digital.

If you’re ready to make serious moves, use TECHFEST300 to receive $300 off any part­-time course and use TECHFEST500 to receive $500 off any of our full-time courses beginning the week of March 28. (Promo codes cannot be combined with other offers.)