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Vancouver’s Tech Sector Experienced Highest Growth Rate in North America

Canada’s tech scene has always had a bit of catching up compared to its American counterpart. However, a recent Tech-30 report from the commercial real estate firm CBRE has found that Vancouver is set to become one of the fastest-growing hubs for tech workers among other major Canadian and North American cities. 

Just how fast are we growing?

Vancouver, the country’s third largest urban region, saw a whopping 28,300 new high-tech-related job openings within the last two years, which translates to a 44.2% increase in the job pool. This makes Vancouver the city that experienced the most growth across all of North America. Meanwhile, other tech giants like Toronto saw a 37% increase or +60,400 new jobs, Austin saw a 25% increase or +15,700 new jobs, Seattle saw an 18.6% increase or +37,600 new jobs, and Montreal saw a 15.8% increase or +13,700 new jobs. In these cities, high-tech jobs typically refer to those who work with the latest electronic-based goods and services, software, products, AI and more. 

According to the report, around 50% of the top 30 tech hubs were driven by semi-remote work during COVID-19, which contributed to the loss in growth. But in Vancouver, companies instead added 12,500 jobs that would use office spaces. By 2021, the city had a total of 92,300 tech-related jobs, with the average salary of a software engineer hovering right around CAD 97,900. However, a large chunk of this growth is propelled by Amazon, particularly, Microsoft’s expansion in downtown Vancouver. It has been reported that Microsoft is set to open a new 20-storey office hub downtown in addition to its four other offices on Water Street, Granville Street and Beatty Street.  

In addition to this, CBRE predicts that Vancouver, alongside other major North American tech cities like Silicon Valley, San Diego, Boston and Raleigh-Durham, is expected to continue growing based on factors like momentum, office market performance, market depth, location attractiveness and post-pandemic demand recovery.  

In-demand tech jobs and their salaries

Job titles and salaries heavily depend on what company you work at, but below are some common job titles and their median wages per hour in the Canadian tech industry. 

  • Web developer: $30.00/hr
  • Software engineer: $48.08/hr
  • Data scientist: $37.50/hr
  • Cloud architect: $41.03/hr
  • User experience designer: $27.47/hr
  • IT consultant: $41.03/hr
  • Computer programmer: $38.46/hr

Check out these schools and their tech-related programs

If you’re looking to develop, build or sharpen your technical skills, look no further. The following colleges and post-secondary institutions and their programs aim to help people gain experience of what it is like working with technology and how they can enter the tech workforce. 

Langara College

BCIT (British Columbia Institute of Technology)

VCC (Vancouver Community College)

UFV (University of the Fraser Valley)

Canadian College

Sources: Vancouver has recorded the most tech job growth in North America, Job Bank: Government of Canada

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