CURRENT LANDSCAPE

811,200 ICT professionals are employed in Canada in early 2015. Of them, 51,600 are youth aged 25 or younger, 90,900 are nearing retirement, 197,900 are women, and 290,300 are immigrants. 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, 357,000 (44%) work in the ICT sector, while 454,200 (56%) work in other sectors (e.g. finance, health).

As the current ICT workforce ages, not many youth are opting for ICT careers, leaving a void that could potentially limit Canada’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 Canadian workforce.

ICT Employment

fig2

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. Under a baseline scenario, over 84,000 new ICT jobs are expected to be created in Canada by 2019. It is projected that the availability of homegrown ICT talent will not be sufficient to meet these hiring requirements. Combined with replacement demand due to retirements and other exits, Canada would need to fill over 182,000 ICT professionals over the next five years. By 2019, cumulative hiring requirements for ICT talent are expected to be over 76,000 in Ontario, over 49,000 in Quebec, over 20,000 in British Columbia, over 17,000 in Alberta, over 4,000 in Manitoba, and over 3,900 in Saskatchewan.

Projected hiring requirements to 2019 by province

  Cumulative hiring requirements
to 2019
British Columbia 20,900
Alberta 17,300
Saskatchewan 3,900
Manitoba 4,000
Ontario 76,300
Quebec 49,600
New Brunswick 2,200
Nova Scotia 3,200
Prince Edward Island 1,500
Newfoundland and Labrador 3,800
Total 182,700
Source: ICTC, 2015

Under a contractionary scenario, hiring requirements are projected to decline to 161,000 compared to the baseline scenario hiring requirements of 182,000. Alternatively, in an expansionary scenario, Canadian employers will need to hire 232,000 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 161,400
Baseline 182,700
Expansionary 232,800
Source: ICTC, 2015

 

As a result of employment growth – combined with replacement demand due to skills mismatch, retirements, and other exits, demand-supply imbalances will affect some occupations more than others…

High demand occupations:
  • information systems analysts and consultants
  • computer and network operators and web technicians
  • computer programmers and interactive media developers
  • software engineers
  • graphic designers and illustrators
  • computer and information systems managers
  • database analysts and data administrators
Medium demand occupations:
  • electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
  • web designers and developers
  • computer engineers
  • electrical and electronics engineers
  • user support technicians
  • systems testing technicians
Low demand occupations:
  • telecommunications carriers managers
  • broadcast technicians