With double-digit growth in tech talent over the last five years and an ‘A’ grade for the quality of labour force, Calgary tops the list of mid-sized Canadian tech markets in CBRE’s 2020 Scoring Canadian Tech Talent report.
“Our efforts to diversify and advance our innovation ecosystem in Calgary are paying off,” says Mary Moran, President and Chief Executive Officer, Calgary Economic Development. “We are seeing impressive growth in our tech sector as we deliver on our city’s economic strategy, Calgary in the New Economy.”
The report ranks 20 of Canada’s major cities against 13 metrics to measure areas such as competitive advantages, market depth, vitality and attractiveness to tech employers and employees. Calgary’s overall score rose 5.6 points year over year.
Calgary placed ahead other mid-sized tech markets including Victoria, Halifax and Quebec City, ranking in sixth place behind the country’s major tech markets Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Waterloo Region and Montreal.
“Technology is Calgary’s growth opportunity and is woven across established and emerging industries,” says Moran. “We are living our vision as a city of choice in Canada where the best entrepreneurs come to embrace innovation and solve the world’s greatest challenges.”
Tech talent concentration metrics held the highest weight in the CBRE’s scorecard. CBRE reported there are 42,500 tech workers in Calgary, an increase of 17.1 per cent in the last five years, and tech occupations make up 5.7 per cent of total employment.
While tech companies consider Canada’s many benefits like stable political environment, welcoming culture, and livability, these factors are almost incidental when compared to the critical role of tech talent. According to the report, the demand for office space in Canadian cities was also driven by this one factor—strong tech talent.
“We have to embrace advanced technology and innovative thinking to create jobs, fill office vacancies and be well-positioned for the future,” says Moran. “We are an opportunity-rich city and home to top talent who have what it takes.”
The CBRE study reports Calgary offers 775 total tech degrees, which is up 15.3 per cent between 2014 to 2018.