There’s no denying that British Columbia is one the best places in the world to live. It’s naturally beautiful, it’s incredibly diverse, and the quality of life here is unreal. Besides, its abundance in stunning sceneries, recreational activities, and super-cool people, BC has one of the strongest economies in Canada. It also has one of the best tech ecosystems in the world, ranked number one nationally and fifteenth globally. Working in tech in BC has some incredible advantages that are offered nowhere else. Here are the five reasons why your next tech job needs to be in BC.
BC’s tech sector is growing fast and there aren’t enough qualified people to fill all of the open roles. The 2016 TechTalentBC report estimates that over the next five year there will be over 30,000 unfilled jobs in the tech sector. Contrary to popular belief, tech companies are looking to hire more than just programmers. With so many startups looking to grow, there is a huge need for talented people in sales, marketing, and other IT roles. As an added bonus, this increase in demand for tech talent has caused salaries to go up. According to the HR Tech Group’s annual BC tech survey, the average tech professional salary in BC went up 5.8% in 2016—over double the national salary growth rate.
BC is truly becoming a world-class tech ecosystem. No longer a hub for small startups, companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Salesforce, and SAP have offices in the province. These tech heavy hitters are flocking to the province to take advantage of the emerging talent (recent graduates from our awesome universities) and to invest into BC’s growing tech sector. Another major reason for these companies to come to Vancouver is our proximity to three other major tech hubs—Seattle, Silicon Valley, and Asia. What’s in it for you? These companies are great for your resume, have some of the best offices in the region (and around the world), and have ample opportunities for growth.
The government is putting their money where tech is. As outlined in Budget 2017, the federal government is going to invest over $400 million dollars in developing tech talent. Over the next four years, they plan to spend $225 million to establish a new organization that will support skills development in the tech industry. They’ve also furthered their investment in Mitacs with $221 million over five years to provide 10,000 work-integrated learning placements for Canadian post-secondary students and graduates each year. If you’ve ever considered a career in tech now is the time to make the leap.
Unlike our neighbours to the south, Canada and B.C. are all about enhancing our cultural mosaic. Our Prime Minister even famously tweeted about it. To support a strong and diverse province, the BC government launched the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) in 2015. The PNP is designed to expedite the immigration process for highly skilled workers to get permanent residence in BC. In April, the province extended 458 invitations in its biggest PNP draw of the year. Taking this further Canada’s federal government is launching the Global Skills Strategy in June 2017 to “access the skills and expertise of talented workers from around the world.” BC is incredibly diverse—almost 30 percent of the population is from another country.
Vancouver is chosen as one of the world’s most livable/best cities year after year. The reason? Vancouver and BC are incredible places to work and live. Rich in natural beauty and recreational activities—there isn’t a lot to complain about it. With mild temperatures, low crime rates, a stable political system, and a healthcare system that is envied around the world, British Columbians are pretty lucky to call this province home. For the outdoor enthusiasts, there are hundreds of activities to enjoy—anything from leisurely walks to heli-skiing. For those who prefer the great indoors, BC offers world-class shopping and cultural experiences.