CDI Corporation

Recent study finds Canada needs more tech grads

Canada needs more technology graduates in the next decade as the demand to fill jobs grows, according to a new study.

The report, titled “Digital talent: Road to 2020” and published by the Information and Communications Technology Council in collaboration with Microsoft Corp. and other organizations, forecasted that by 2019, 182,000 tech jobs will need to be filled, followed by 32,000 positions the next year.

However, the study authors determined that Canada will need more tech graduates to fill these positions, reported the Ottawa Citizen. Some 12,800 people graduated with degrees in fields related to information and communications technology in 2015.

According to the Financial Post, one of the main problems facing the technology industry is attracting new candidates, with more than 53 percent of respondents naming recruitment as an issue in a survey by the ICTC.

Another issue is the rapid pace at which the skill sets required to work in the industry change, the source noted.

“This makes it remarkably hard to teach modern, relevant software development practice. There are many techniques that will be obsolete by the time a curriculum for them is finalized, taught and used by its graduates,” said Harrison Brundage in an interview with the newspaper. Brundage left his degree program at McGill University to work as a software developer at Shopify, a growing start-up.

However, the responsibility to revive interest in the industry does not solely lie with higher education. In its report, the ICTC recommended that the Canadian government implement a comprehensive “Digital Talent Strategy” that boosts interest in IT studies among youth. The organization suggested that children are introduced to coding and computer science as young as age 5 and urged the government to make computer science mandatory for all kindergarten students, the Ottawa Citizen reported.