CURRENT LANDSCAPE

74,530 ICT professionals are employed in Alberta in early 2015. Of them, 2,170 are youth aged 25 or younger, 8,300 are nearing retirement, 18,430 are women, and 23,320 are immigrants. In addition, 44,970 work in Calgary, 18,770 work in Edmonton, and another 10,790 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, 27,800 work in the ICT sector, while 46,730 work in other sectors (e.g. energy, finance, health).

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

fig4

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 8,900 new ICT jobs are expected to be created in Alberta 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, Alberta would have to fill 17,300 ICT positions over the next five years. By 2019, cumulative hiring requirements for ICT talent are expected to be over 10,600 in Calgary, over 4,000 in Edmonton, and over 2,500 in rest of Alberta.

Projected hiring requirements to 2019 by municipality

  Employment
in 2015
Cumulative hiring requirements
to 2019
Calgary 44,970 10,603
Edmonton 18,770 4,065
Alberta – other 10,790 2,591
Total                                             74,530                                             17,259
Source: ICTC, 2015

 

Under a contractionary scenario, hiring requirements are projected to decline to 15,300 compared to the baseline scenario hiring requirements of 17,300. Alternatively, in an expansionary scenario, Alberta employers will need to hire over 19,700 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 15,322
Baseline 17,259
Expansionary 19,793
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 – Alberta would need to fill the following ICT positions:

  • 5,380 information systems analysts and consultants
  • 3,110 software engineers
  • 1,750 computer and network operators and web technicians
  • 1,630 user support technicians
  • 1,550 database analysts and data administrators
  • 1,320 electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
  • 1,120 electrical and electronics engineers
  • 1,030 computer engineers