Information Technology Workers Thrive in Canada
Canada’s Information Technology (IT) sector is currently growing. In recent years, the Canadian Government has taken steps to attract the world’s best IT companies and most promising professionals. Some IT workers, such as computer engineers, may be eligible to apply for Canadian Permanent Residency without a job offer, through the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) or Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW) programs. Many IT workers can also come to Canada as temporary foreign workers if they obtain a Canadian job offer and work permit. Once in Canada, IT workers can enjoy high-paying jobs and one of the highest qualities of life in the world.
The IT Industry in Canada
Information Technology is one of the most successful industries in Canada today. With statistically full employment, professionals in the field appear to have a high chance of finding and keeping jobs. IT professionals are also compensated very well for their expertise; The Information Technology Association of Canada stated in a recent publication that IT professionals are paid an average wage that is 52% higher than the national standard.
The average Canadian computer engineer makes a salary ranging from $70,000 to over $100,000 a year, depending on their experience and expertise. Web Designers and Database Analysts were named on a recent list as earning some of the 20 highest starting salaries in Canada. Even recent graduates in these fields with little or no career experience make on average more money than their peers in other industries, beginning work at a salary of approximately $45,000/year.
The Need for Foreign Workers
In 2013 The Information and Technology Association of Canada stated that “success in recruiting and retraining foreign trained professionals is key to business health”. Indeed, with a predicted 106,000 unfilled IT jobs in the next four years alone, foreign workers are likely to become increasingly necessary to ensure the industry’s continued growth.
In a recent study for Industry Canada, it was revealed that every interviewed IT firm was actively hiring new employees. Of these, three quarters believed that there was a significant lack of local Canadian talent, and a full two thirds used foreign recruitment to retain a significant percentage of their new hires.
Thankfully, for IT professionals there are a number of ways to come to Canada and fill these job vacancies. Workers in this sector have a vast array of potential job opportunities and the Canadian has taken measures to help these valuable employees immigrate to Canada relatively quickly and easily.
Permanent Residency: The IT Edge
There is a range of immigration programs open to IT professionals. Two popular Canadian immigration categories, the FSW and QSW programs, have included certain IT fields on their lists of eligible occupations/areas of training. The FSW program is currently open to computer engineers, while the QSW program awards points for a wide range of computer-related professions. These include computer engineering, computer support, computer science, and computer science techniques.
In addition, Canada recently opened an exciting new program designed to attract promising immigrant entrepreneurs. The Entrepreneur Start-Up Visa program grants successful applicants Canadian Permanent Residency and helps them to secure funding and support to set up their business in Canada.
The program has been advertised in places such as Silicon Valley in the United States. The Government of Canada has promoted it as a straightforward alternative for prospective immigrants who are frustrated with difficult immigration processes in other countries and are looking to settle and begin their business in earnest.
“Our new Start-Up Visa will help make Canada the destination of choice for the world’s best and brightest to launch their companies,” said former Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. “[It] underscores our commitment to supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in the Canadian labour market.”
Temporary Work: Help Wanted Across Canada
With an economy searching for talented IT professionals, IT workers with an interest in working in Canada do not necessarily need to wait to obtain Canadian PR.
There are over 250,000 foreign workers across Canada working in a variety of fields. In order to come to Canada as a temporary worker, one must be offered a job in Canada and receive a Temporary Work Permit. Interested individuals can search for jobs in Canada.
Canada has a number of international agreements that help facilitate the entry of foreign workers. Perhaps the most popular is the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which facilitates the work permit process for US and Mexican citizens coming to Canada to work in specified professions. Both Computer Systems Analysts and Graphic Designers are listed amongst these professions.
Information Technology professionals are some of the most sought-after workers in today’s economy. I have helped many clients with IT backgrounds come to Canada, and they have gone on to incredibly successful careers in virtually every Canadian province.
Prospects in Canada are especially bright for IT professionals. As the world continues to move in the direction of greater innovation and technological capacity, it is likely that these prospects will remain extremely good for many years to come.