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Global Tech Workers Flock to Canada: 32,000 Newcomers in 1 Year?

Did you hear a report by the Technology Councils of North America (TECNA) and Canada’s Tech Network (CTN) just came out saying that over 32,000 tech industry workers came to Canada between April 2022 and March 2023?

We’ll explore Canada’s top tech worker destinations in the following sections.

Reviewing the TECNA and CTN Reports

As per reports, Canada is becoming a hub for tech workers. Their national policy that’s friendly to immigrants and their lower labor costs are attracting a lot of talent. According to TECNA and CTN reports, remote work makes it easier for tech workers to move away from traditional tech cities in North America. They also mentioned that the pandemic might play a role in this trend.

The report also suggests that Canada attracts tech talent from India, Nigeria, and Brazil. It’s cool that people from all over the world come here to work in tech. Another reason Canada’s tech industry is booming is because US companies are investing more in Canada. It might be because of the high pay and proximity.

Further, Canada’s software developer workforce has grown rapidly. In fact, as of 2022, approximately 400,000 software developers were employed in the country. And it’s not just the big cities experiencing this growth – smaller provinces like Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, and Labrador have seen a 16.3% increase in their tech workforce year-over-year.

The highest growth is happening in smaller, rural Canadian cities like Windsor, Ontario. It’s a beautiful reflection of how people embrace the countryside, especially with remote work becoming more common. According to TECNA and CTN, specific tech skills are highly valued in Canada. They include customer service, Microsoft Azure, analytical skills, Amazon Web Services, React.js, Jira, Data Science, GitHub, Customer Relationship Management, and Customer Satisfaction. This information can be beneficial if you plan to move to Canada.

TECNA/CTN released their report on the most attractive cities for tech talent. Three cities in Ontario and one in Quebec made the top three. Mississauga was the city with the highest ranking, followed by Montreal and Waterloo. These cities are great tech hubs for newcomers, so let’s explore them.

Mississauga

Mississauga has almost 1,000 IT companies. It’s also got North America’s second-largest cluster of information and communications technology (ICT) with more than 300,000 techies! It’s a hub for some of the biggest global IT companies like Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, HP, and Cognizant. Also, the Mississauga Innovation and Technology Acceleration Program (MITAP) supports tech innovation.

In Mississauga, notable start-ups like SOTI, Guidewire Software, HCL Technologies, and Infosys are leading the way. This tech revolution is being driven by MITAP, which supports local businesses with funding, mentoring, and resources. A projected 33% population growth by 2051 means Mississauga will be a hotbed of tech talent for years. It will be a wild ride as Mississauga takes over the tech world.

Montreal

Montreal has one of Canada’s most dynamic tech ecosystems, with a 31% growth rate between 2015 and 2020. As Canada’s second-largest tech market, this city is known as a major hub for artificial intelligence and information technology (IT), the location of operations for global companies such as Google, Microsoft, Meta, Samsung, and Intel.

Montreal has over 200 game development studios, including some of the biggest names in the industry, like Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, and WB Games. As well as that, the city has nurtured many successful tech companies like CGI, Hopper, Element AI, Imagia, and Nuvei.

It’s great to see Montreal hosting start-up events like Startupfest and MTL Connect, undoubtedly contributing to the thriving tech scene there. It’s no secret that Quebec provides academic solid support for the tech industry, with almost 18,000 students studying tech programs.

Waterloo

Waterloo is a great place for tech businesses! Over 1,570 tech-related companies, including big names like BlackBerry and D2L, are here. The city has an awesome start-up culture that’s considered one of the finest in the world.

This is because universities like the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Conestoga College produce many techies. Waterloo has a great quality of life, which is why so many people want to live and work here.

Waterloo has almost twice as many successful ICT startups as any other city worldwide. It’s pretty impressive! And it’s attracted a lot of venture capital investment, becoming a major tech hub.

Global efforts by Canada to recruit tech workers

Canada also makes significant efforts to attract global tech talent, according to the TECNA/CTN report.

Technology in Canada is growing with initiatives like the government’s Tech Talent Strategy. There are also category-based Express Entry draws to attract more tech workers.

Canada’s Tech Talent Strategy: Canada will establish an Innovation Stream under the International Mobility Program (IMP) to position itself as a global leader in tech talent recruitment.

Inviting digital nomads to Canada

North America would benefit from simplifying the work permit process for H-1B specialty occupation Canada PR visa holders in the US who want to work in Canada. This would improve labor mobility and give high-skilled tech workers more opportunities. It would also be a great idea to make existing programs more efficient and effective to support these workers.

Tech-Occupation Category-Based Express Entry

The government will start selecting people for federal Canada immigration on June 28, 2023, based on their skills and goals. You qualify for one of the six categories if you’ve worked in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. The STEM industry in Canada is getting a boost from Canada’s priority to recruit more global talent.

So far, IRCC has only held a category-based draw for this group on July 5, 2023. For this draw, IRCC invited 500 applicants with a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 486 to apply for permanent residence.