|By Cameron McCallum,
Regional Vice President at Eagle
In 2017, Alberta led the country in growth and I think we were all celebrating the end of a recession that decimated the oil patch and put the brakes on Alberta’s economy. While the news in 2018 was ok (growth in the 2.5% range), domestic and international forces conspired against the province and continued to stifle confidence.
For 2019, with Alberta still unable to get its oil to current and potential new markets, growth is expected in the 2% range which is disappointing when you consider that we have in abundance, what the entire world craves, energy!
So what about Edmonton? The city and region saw a challenging year but the good news is that growth is expected to come in at around 2.6% with a similar 2.7% target in 2019. The mix of public and private sector along with a more diversified economy seems to provide the city and region with a bit of insulation from the vagaries of international policy and political upheaval.
If you are an Information Technology professional, you probably found 2018 to be a decent year for finding contracts or permanent hire roles. Our clients were busy this year and we saw a number of large-scale projects initiated or moved into implementation. While the contracting market remained robust, the biggest change was in the “permanent hire” category with many of Eagle’s clients hiring for key positions after years of holding back during the recession or to address an identified shortage caused by the adoption of new business and technology initiatives.
Much of this was driven by the following:
- Move from on premise to Cloud, and integration of cloud with on premise applications and systems.
- Continued need to manage and manipulate data in the private and public sectors as they strive to improve service delivery to their partners, clients or constituents.
- Pressure on organizations to upgrade their business systems (and therefore their core IS) as vendors retire support for older versions and;
- The continued advent of new products which made it easier to deploy to mobile and web platforms.
So what is hot in the market. We saw the following “Hot Skills” in 2018 and all indications are that the following will be in demand in 2019.
- Microsoft Stack Expertise (C#, HTML, CSS etc.)
- Infrastructure Specialists
- Network Analysts (for cloud preparation)
- Agile Project Managers
- Business Analysts