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

Sara Guenther, 102-years-old is the first resident in Vanderhoof to have received the COVID-19 vaccine. (Northern Health photo)
Vanderhoof receives first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine

Long-term care residents at the Stuart Nechako Manor along with staff were vaccinated Friday.

The COVID-19 outbreak at the two Coastal GasLink workforce lodges has officially been declared over. (Lakes District News file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Coastal GasLink worksites declared over

In total, 56 cases were associated with the outbreak in the Burns Lake and Nechako LHAs

Brett Alexander Jones is wanted on several warrants province-wide, in connection with multiple charges. Jan. 21, 2021. Kitimat RCMP photo
Kitimat RCMP searching for man wanted on several warrants province-wide

Jones is described as a five-foot 10-inches Caucasian man, with blond hair and blue eyes.

Administering naloxone to a person experiencing a benzo-related overdose event won’t help. Naloxone is used to neutralize opioids. (Jenna Hauck/The Progress file photo)
Northern Health warning drug users of potential benzo contamination

The drug does not respond to naloxone, and is being included in street drugs

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Police in Vancouver looking for male suspect who allegedly spat and attacked a store manager for not wearing a mask, at 7-Eleven near Alma Street and West 10th Avenue just before noon on Dec. 17, 2020. (Vancouver police handout)
VIDEO: Man spits on 7-Eleven manager over mask rule, sparking Vancouver police probe

‘Unfortunately, the store manager sustained a cut to his head during the assault’

The Vancouver-based SAR team successfully rescued two lost snowshoers off of the west side of Tim Jones Peak in the early morning of Monday, Jan. 19. (North Shore Rescue photo)
B.C.’s busiest SAR team raises alarm after 2021 begins with fatality, multiple rescues

‘People beyond ski resort areas of Seymour, Grouse, and Cypress go without cell reception,’ SAR warns

Most Read