CURRENT LANDSCAPE

100,730 ICT professionals are employed in British Columbia in early 2015. Of them, 6,130 are youth aged 25 or younger, 6,810 are nearing retirement, 25,830 are women, and 40,640 are immigrants. In addition, 74,530 work in Vancouver, 7,870 work in Victoria, and another 18,330 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, 44,300 work in the ICT sector, while 56,430 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 British Columbia’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

fig3

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 14,000 new ICT jobs are expected to be created in British Columbia 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, British Columbia would have to fill 20,900 ICT positions over the next five years. By 2019, cumulative hiring requirements for ICT talent are expected to be over 15,500 in Vancouver, over 1,700 in Victoria, and over 3,600 in rest of British Columbia.

Projected hiring requirements to 2019 by municipality

  Employment
in 2015
Cumulative hiring requirements
to 2019
Vancouver 74,530 15,516
Victoria 7,870 1,791
British Columbia – other 18,330 3,643
Total 100,730 20,950
Source: ICTC, 2015

Under a contractionary scenario, hiring requirements are projected to decline to 19,100 compared to the baseline scenario hiring requirements of 20,900. Alternatively, in an expansionary scenario, British Columbia employers will need to hire as many as 35,000 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 19,130
Baseline 20,950
Expansionary 35,045
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 – British Columbia would need to fill the following ICT positions:

  • 4,430 computer programmers and interactive media developers
  • 2,330 software engineers
  • 2,020 user support technicians
  • 1,750 database analysts and data administrators
  • 1,380 graphic designers and illustrators
  • 1,380 computer and information systems managers
  • 1,220 information systems analysts and consultants
  • 1,180 computer and network operators and web technicians
  • 1,100 web designers and developers
  • 1,020 electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians