|By Kelly Benson,
Branch Manager at Eagle
While the employment numbers were relatively strong across the country in 2019, Calgary’s recovery remains frustratingly slow. Our city still faces many of the same challenges with low oil prices, limited markets for our resources, low consumer spending and too high unemployment rates. The good news in all of this is that many of our clients are now focused on looking forward with an optimistic belief that the biggest challenges are now behind us.
We are so used to hearing about all the things that are not going well, that it often puts a damper on the things that are going well. When we look for positive narrative, we see a lot of great things happening in our city and much of the positive news is in the IT and Tech space:
- Low unemployment rates in Calgary for technology workers
- According to Calgary Economic Development, there are over 2,000 open tech jobs
- Major tech hiring initiatives to raise awareness of the city’s burgeoning tech scene
- Alberta Clean Tech Sector Poised for Liftoff
Tech job activity has been steadily increasing over the past few years and a lot of that is being driven by a shift to digital. With digital transformation, the definition of a career in IT is also shifting. The result is that tech jobs are on the rise and we continue to see demand increasing for tech roles in non-tech companies. Afterall, the banks no longer employ primarily bankers and energy companies employ far more than just geoscientists.
No longer do we only think of the big tech companies when we think of Data Engineers and Software Developers. More and more of our big corporate clients are developing their own internal Innovation Labs where they are experimenting with leading-edge technology including Advanced Analytics, Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain.
The biggest challenge for business in Calgary is that the demand for good tech talent is high. Many of our largest clients are embarking on similar journeys at the same time, which is creating temporary skills shortages. Because Calgary lagged other markets in new technology adoption, the availability of talent experienced in the newer technology is lagging and we are being forced to look for talent outside the city to get access to certain expertise more often than we would like.
At Eagle, we have seen demand for IT talent steadily increasing over the past year that is combined with a steady decrease in the number of active job seekers applying for roles. More work available. Less people to do that work. Doesn’t that sound like a good problem to have? It depends who you ask! The talent supply and demand gap is getting wider and is a top concern for executives.
Where is the current demand in Calgary?
- SAP S/4HANA
- Data Analytics/Data Engineering
- Data Science
- Development – Java (React/Angular/Node)
- Cloud expertise–AWS, Azure