The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) predicts there will be a need for around 75,000 new software developers and engineers in Canada between 2021 and 2025.
Are Software Engineers in Demand in Canada?
Yes, Software Engineers are in high demand across Canada due to the country’s rapidly growing knowledge Information and technology sector. Software developers and engineers are listed as one of the top in-demand jobs in Canada on job sites like Indeed. The average software developer salary in Canada is around CAD $76,000.
Surveys of Canadian tech companies show that hiring software engineers is a top priority. 71% said they planned to increase hires in 2022.
Growing Need for Technical Skills
Canada’s digital transformation and adoption of new technologies like artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and automation are driving demand for skilled IT professionals and engineers.
Technical skills are needed in nearly every industry today from finance and healthcare to manufacturing and energy.
As Canada continues to nurture technology hubs and innovation centers in major cities like Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Waterloo, demand for software developers, data scientists, cybersecurity experts, network engineers, and other IT roles continues to rise.
Startups and global tech giants alike are looking to hire talent.
Some key drivers of demand include:
- Cloud computing – As more companies migrate to the cloud, they need engineers with expertise in cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. Cloud computing skills are highly transferable across industries.
- Artificial Intelligence – AI is being rapidly adopted for applications like predictive analytics, natural language processing, and machine learning. Technical professionals are needed to develop and implement these AI systems.
- Cybersecurity – With data breaches on the rise, companies are heavily investing in cybersecurity and compliance. This requires IT security engineers, ethical hackers, and other cyber experts.
- Internet of Things (IoT) – Connected smart devices and sensors are transforming industries like manufacturing, energy, and transportation. IoT engineers are required to build and manage these systems.
- Big Data – Collecting, storing, and analyzing enormous datasets provides business insights through data science and analytics. Data engineers and scientists are in demand to handle big data.
- Mobile Applications – Companies rely on mobile apps to engage customers and employees. App developers skilled in Android, iOS, and React Native are needed.
- Blockchain – Cryptocurrency and blockchain are gaining adoption across finance, logistics, and other sectors. Blockchain developers and engineers are scarce but valued.
This range of emerging technologies and digital trends is fueling continuous demand for specialized IT engineering skills in Canada.
Are you looking to pursue a career in software engineering in the USA, if yes, then check out the demands for software engineering in the USA.
Key Statistics on IT Job Growth
Multiple research studies highlight the rapid growth of tech employment in Canada:
- According to the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), Canada’s digital economy has over 872,000 workers and could need another 216,000 IT workers between 2021-2026. This represents potential job growth of nearly 25%.
- The tech sector is growing 3.7 times faster than the overall labor market in Canada as per ICTC’s 2021 outlook report. This pace is expected to continue.
- British Columbia may see tech employment grow by 29% by 2026 to over 260,000 jobs, while Ontario could see 22% growth reaching over 560,000 tech jobs as per ICTC.
- Software and app developers are Canada’s #1 most in-demand tech occupation according to job search platform Indeed. The category saw 39% job postings growth in 2021 compared to 2020.
- Cybersecurity talent was Indeed Canada’s 2nd most in-demand tech job in 2022, with job postings up by 55% compared to 2021. This growth massively outpaces overall labor market growth.
- According to TECHNATION, over 60% of Canada’s tech executives reported talent shortages in 2021, indicating demand continues to outstrip supply.
Clearly, multiple data sources point to strong, consistent growth in demand for Canada’s IT and engineering professionals that is projected to continue over the next 5-10 years.
High Salaries Reflect the Demand
With demand outsmarting supply for technical talent, salaries also continue to rise especially in major tech hubs:
- The average salary for software developers and engineers can range from $75,000 to $100,000 in cities like Toronto and Vancouver as per recent Glassdoor data.
- Senior and specialized engineering roles like machine learning engineers can earn $120,000 to $150,000 per year or more at leading companies.
- Salaries for IT managers, data scientists, DevOps engineers, security engineers, and other roles also remain competitive and trend up annually above inflation.
- For example, the average salary for an AWS cloud engineer in Toronto is approximately $110,000 according to recent listings.
- Cybersecurity engineers earn an average of $105,000 in Montreal based on Glassdoor salary data.
- Mobile app developers in Vancouver see average salaries of $92,000 based on Indeed data.
Salaries tend to be lower for junior roles just starting out and higher for senior talent:
- Entry-level software developers may start between $60,000 to $75,000 in cities like Calgary and Waterloo.
- With 5+ years of experience, software developer salaries exceed $100,000 even in smaller cities like Edmonton and Ottawa.
- Principal and Lead Engineering roles can pay as high as $160,000 to $180,000 at top companies in Toronto.
Along with rising pay, companies are offering more strong benefits packages including health and dental coverage, retirement contributions, paid time off, work-from-home options, and annual bonuses to attract and retain technical talent.
Clearly, high salaries for IT professionals in Canada reflect their high demand and value to employers. This creates fantastic career opportunities for those with the right technical skills.
Thriving Tech Hubs Across Canada
Canada’s major technology hubs provide a wealth of job opportunities for IT professionals. Here’s an insight into key regions with growing tech economies:
As Canada’s largest city and financial center, Toronto has developed a booming technology ecosystem. Major companies like Shopify, Netflix, Microsoft, Google, Oracle, and Amazon all have offices in Toronto hiring technical talent.
The city also boasts a thriving startup scene centered around the MaRS Discovery District. Key roles in demand are full-stack developers, data engineers, DevOps engineers, and product managers.
Vancouver has established itself as a leading hub for video game development and visual effects. Major studios like Electronic Arts, Sony Imageworks, and Industrial Light and Magic have a strong presence. Startups are prolific too in fields like eCommerce, clean tech, and life sciences.
Vancouver needs software developers across mobile, web, and back-end systems as well as IT project managers.
Thanks to a vibrant startup culture and university programs, Montreal has excelled in fields like AI, deep learning, and games. Ubisoft, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Shopify, Morgan Stanley, and other large firms have engineering teams in the city.
Montreal offers strong opportunities for AI engineers, mobile developers, DevOps professionals, and cloud architects.
With the University of Waterloo producing many talented graduates, the region has thriving technology and engineering companies. Homegrown startups like Wattpad and Kik have grown successfully alongside offices from Google, Oracle, Intel, Ericsson, and more.
Waterloo has openings for software developers, database engineers, analysts, and product designers.
Ottawa & Gatineau
As Canada’s capital and home to many government technology projects, the Ottawa/Gatineau region has a sizeable IT services industry. Ciena, IBM, Nokia, Cisco, Apple, and CGI all have engineering teams in the area. The telecom and cybersecurity industries are also strong.
A key demand is for software developers, systems administrators, network engineers, and security analysts.
This snapshot highlights that major tech hubs across Canada all offer great opportunities for IT professionals in diverse industries ranging from games and visual effects to telecom, eCommerce, AI, and cloud computing.
Leading Industries Hiring Tech Talent
While the technology sector drives a large amount of demand directly, many other industries are heavily recruiting IT professionals as every industry becomes more digital:
Banks, insurance companies, accounting firms, and investment companies all require IT engineers and developers to build and maintain financial systems, trading platforms, mobile banking apps, data analytics, and security infrastructure.
Top financial firms hiring include RBC, TD Bank, Scotiabank, CIBC, BMO, Manulife, Sunlife, KPMG, and Deloitte.
Energy & Utilities
From power generation to oil and gas, energy companies like Enbridge, TC Energy, Hydro One, Ontario Power Generation, Suncor, and more leverage software, analytics, IoT, and automation to improve sustainability, efficiency, and reliability. This drives demand for a wide range of IT experts.
Major healthcare providers need developers, data engineers, cybersecurity experts, and more to build hospital information systems, electronic health records, patient apps, data analytics for population health, and virtual care platforms.
Top employers include Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University Health Network, Trillium Health Partners, and Michael Garron Hospital.
Retail & eCommerce
Retail giants like Loblaws, Canadian Tire, and Hudson’s Bay as well as eCommerce disruptors like Shopify and Wattpad require extensive IT teams to power their customer-facing websites and apps as well as back-end supply chain tech.
Automotive & Transport
Major auto companies and parts suppliers like Magna, Linamar, and Martinrea, alongside railroads like CN Rail and CP Rail, are transforming with smart factories, connected vehicles, logistics optimization, and autonomous tech. This drives IT hiring.
Top telecoms and broadband providers like Bell, Telus, Rogers, Shaw, and Quebecor need extensive network engineering and IT application development talent to deliver leading connectivity services across mobile and internet offerings.
Essentially, companies across all of Canada’s major industries are seeking IT professionals to help drive efficiency, productivity, and competitive advantage through software and technology.
Tapping Into Immigrant Talent
With strong demand and tight labor market conditions, Canadian tech companies have been successfully tapping into skilled immigrant talent through targeted immigration programs like the Express Entry system and provincial nominee programs.
International students graduating from Canada’s top universities are an important pipeline. Startup visa programs also attract immigrant entrepreneurs to launch companies and create jobs in Canada.
The federal Global Skills Strategy provides expedited visas and permits for highly skilled workers. Initiatives like the Global Talent Stream under Express Entry facilitate tech talent hiring with a 2-week process for LMIAs to fill skills gaps.
Immigration level plans target growing numbers of economic immigrants in tech occupations. Provinces like BC, Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta actively recruit IT workers abroad through overseas hiring events and missions.
Given Canada’s aging population, immigrant tech talent will become increasingly vital to meet labor needs in the years ahead across engineering, development, data science, cybersecurity, and other areas as digital transformation continues.
Conclusion: Exciting Outlook for Tech Careers
In conclusion, the latest labor market outlook reports and hiring data present an exciting picture for tech employment in Canada looking out over the next decade.
Strong job growth is projected across a variety of IT occupations spanning development, data, cybersecurity, mobile, engineering, and more.
Top technology firms, as well as leading companies across finance, healthcare, energy, manufacturing, and other sectors, are competing for technical talent.
With technology reshaping industries and the economy, those with in-demand technical skills have access to excellent career opportunities across Canada’s thriving innovation hubs.
Immigrants with IT backgrounds are especially valued under several fast-track tech visa and immigration programs.
The future demand for Canada’s tech workers shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. For skilled IT professionals and engineers, Canada presents a land of immense possibility to build a brighter future.