Vancouver, Victoria among top 10 tech markets in Canada

Tech education and industry continue to boom in B.C.

Vancouver and Victoria remain in the top seven tech markets, according to a recent study from the CBRE Group. (CBRE Group)

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.”

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

The students were told to think about a problem in their lives and what the solution to that problem could be. (Ashly Griffin)
Kelowna teacher brings creative learning to school during difficult time

Teacher Ashly Griffin wanted to take students’ mind off the pandemic

Esa Carriere, 23, was the victim of a 2018 Canada Day homicide. (File)
Youth sentenced in Kelowna Canada Day killing

Young woman pleaded guilty to lesser assault charge, sentenced to 15-month intensive support and supervision program

A rendering of UBC’s planned downtown Kelowna campus. (Contributed)
Kelowna’s new downtown campus to help alleviate UBCO’s space crunch

The sizable development is anticipated to be completed by the fall 2024 semester

Kelowna International Airport. (Contributed)
Contactless parking payment available at YLW

Kelowna International Airport parking now compatible with the PayByPhone application

The BC SPCA is adapting its fundraising after cancelling events due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
BC SPCA gets creative with fundraising as pandemic continues

The non-profit’s in-person fundraising events all had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)
Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

Vernon Fire Rescue Services responded to a single-vehicle rollover Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, after a vehicle came into contact with a pedestrian light pole at Kalamalka Lake Road and 14th Avenue. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Minor injuries in rollover after vehicle hits Vernon crosswalk pole

The vehicle flipped onto its side, closing Kalamalka Lake Road

Penticton city council heard from Dhorea Ramanula, of Paid Employment for People with Lived Experiences Tuesday, Jan. 19. Ramanula’s organization has operated public washrooms in Kelowna staffed by community support workers since April, she says Penticton could benefit from a similar facility. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)
Penticton interested in new public washroom concept to combat vandalism

Public washrooms with on-site support staff have been operating in Kelowna since April

Canada Post had remove a lot of letter boxes around Penticton after they were vandalized. This letter box at the United Church on Main St. remains unscathed. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Street mailbox vandals strike Penticton drop boxes

Canada Post had to remove a bunch of the vandalized units

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Vernon's Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with an influenza outbreak amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)
Two more deaths at Vernon care home

Noric House case numbers remain steady, but death toll rises

Most Read