CURRENT LANDSCAPE

17,330 ICT professionals are employed in Nova Scotia in early 2015. Of them, 2,500 are youth aged 25 or younger, 2,420 are nearing retirement, 4,460 are women, and 4,590 are immigrants. In addition, 14,160 work in Halifax and another 3,170 work in the rest of the province.  Industries outside the ICT sector are major users of ICT products and services. The demand for top ICT talent continues to grow and has resulted in expanding career options for ICT professionals, placing competitive pressure on the employers seeking technical ICT talent. Among employed ICT professionals, 8,530 work in the ICT sector, while 8,800 work in other sectors (e.g. digital media, health).

As the current ICT workforce ages, not many youth are opting for ICT careers, leaving a void that could potentially limit Nova Scotia’s future competitiveness before long. Significantly fewer youth work in ICT professions than in other jobs. In contrast, ICT professions have a greater proportion of workers in the older age groups compared to the total provincial workforce.

ICT Employment

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Source: ICTC; Statistics Canada

 

FUTURE OUTLOOK

Under three economic scenarios over a 5-year horizon, a combination of employment growth and replacement requirements produces estimates of cumulative hiring requirements. It is projected that the availability of homegrown ICT talent will not be sufficient to meet these hiring requirements. Under a baseline scenario, the combination of employment growth and replacement demand due to retirements and other exits could result in needing to fill 3,200 ICT positions over the next five years. By 2019, cumulative hiring requirements for ICT talent are expected to be over 2,900 in Halifax and 300 in rest of Nova Scotia.

Projected hiring requirements to 2019 by municipality

  Employment in 2015 Cumulative hiring requirements to 2019
Halifax 14,160 2,929
Nova Scotia – other 3,170 313
Total 17,330 3,242
Source: ICTC, 2015

 

Under a contractionary scenario, hiring requirements are projected to decline to 2,900 compared to the baseline scenario hiring requirements of 3,200. Alternatively, in an expansionary scenario, Nova Scotia employers will need to hire 4,500 ICT professionals. This outlook underscores the significance of accessing all available talent to address the demand-supply imbalance in ICT professions.

Projected hiring requirements to 2019 by scenario

Scenario Cumulative hiring requirements to 2019
Contractionary 2,987
Baseline 3,242
Expansionary 4,560
Source: ICTC, 2015

 

Demand-supply imbalances will affect some ICT occupations more than others. As a result of employment growth – combined with replacement demand due to skills mismatch, retirements, and other exits – Nova Scotia would need to fill the following ICT positions:

  • 590 computer and information systems managers
  • 550 electrical and electronics engineers
  • 530 software engineers
  • 420 information systems analysts and consultants
  • 340 database analysts and data administrators
  • 330 computer programmers and interactive media developers
  • 300 computer and network operators and web technicians
  • 220 web designers and developers