Technology jobs in Canada have proven to be more resilient during the pandemic compared to those in the rest of the economy, according to the Brookfield Institute. However, the longer-term impact on technology jobs is harder to predict, it says.
Employment in the technology sector recovered quickly after an initial dip when the crisis began. “As many people’s daily lives increasingly take place online and businesses of all kind shift to online ordering and service channels, tech workers are becoming critical to the success of most industries,” says Brookfield.
Some say the accelerated digital transformation will increase the skills gap for employers. This is an opportunity to invest in a skills-based economy, said Shaun Thorson, the CEO of Skills Canada at a recent Parliamentary Committee.
How will all of this affect the demand for tech skills? And how can IT professionals prepare for the future?
ITWC and CanadianCIO, in collaboration with AWS, have launched the second annual 2021 Canadian IT Skills Survey to find the answers.
A period of rapid innovation
The COVID-19 crisis has had a dramatic impact on the pace of digital transformation in Canada. Based on the latest CanadianCIO Census, seventy-eight per cent of IT leaders say their transformation plans, or certain aspects of them, have accelerated because of the pandemic.
The Census notes that leading-edge technologies like artificial intelligence and robotic process automation have been given a boost. “We’ve learned to be innovative through crisis,” said a CIO in the IT sector. “We were on the verge of rapid digitization before. Now, things we see in sci-fi movies will become reality sooner.”
The shift to remote work will also have an impact. Many anticipate increased spending on cloud-based tools, security and collaboration applications. However, CIOs also expect that they might be faced with reduced budgets for hiring in the short-term.
The 2021 Canadian IT Skills Survey
The goal of the Canadian IT Skills Survey is to help tech workers in Canada future-proof their careers during this time of uncertainty.
The national survey will help uncover the essential skills needed to survive and thrive in the coming years. It asks IT professionals about what trends they believe will have the biggest impact on business and their job roles in the next five years. It also seeks their opinions on the skills, certifications and job strategies they need to embrace to be successful going forward.
The insider views of IT professionals and advice from top CIOs across Canada will form the basis of a report. It will be shared with all participants who fill in the survey to help them plan for the future.