Why you should study in Canada if you want a career in tech

Kristina Spencer
Kristina Spencer

21 October 2020 • 4 min read

The World Economic Forum ranks Canada as the 16th country for innovation worldwide. The uncertain political climate and immigration policies south of the border has made Canada a very attractive option for businesses to open up shop there, as well as grow and relocate their workforce. The technology stocks are on the rise — from 2013 to 2019, the stock value has risen by a significant 30 percent; the technology sector was recently named as one of the fastest growing industries in the country.

All of the above makes Canada a very attractive option if you are willing to pursue a career in tech. More and more technology businesses are opening offices in Canada, including Google, Facebook and Amazon. Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal frequent the list of best cities to live in worldwide, as well as the top cities for tech innovation and talent. 

Both Ontario and British Columbia are racing to become the new tech utopias, and as the industry grows rapidly, companies are finding a shortage of qualified candidates to fill the new roles. In case you needed more convincing, below are the reasons why Canada is a great place to study if you want a career in tech. 

Government support

The Canadian government has identified tech as a vital industry to its development as well as one of Canada’s largest economic sectors, and has put their money where their mouth is. In 2018, the country invested over 1 billion CAD in the tech industry, creating a surge for skilled candidates within the sector. 

Entrepreneurial spirit

The government is also encouraging businesses to invest in the technology sector. In 2019, Ontario generated just over 42 percent of the country’s ICT sector revenue, followed by Quebec and British Columbia. As a result, the area surrounding Toronto has become one of the country’s biggest hubs for students in the tech sector, as well as prospective employees — Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge, known as the Tri-Cities area, in Southwestern Ontario, is a place where many students and graduates are heading in search for education and jobs.

According to a 2019 report, there are an estimated 1.72 million tech workers in the country, while employment increased by 3.6 percent year-on-year. The presence of such tech giants as Facebook, Google and Airbnb create the energy of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. A growing tech talent pool and access to venture capital is allowing Canadian companies to rival the Silicon Valley as the start-up mecca: in 2019, five Canadian companies made it on to the CNBC 2019 Upstart 100 list. 

Work permits

For an international student the pressure of getting a job right after graduation is high — many countries do not provide graduates with a work permit unless there is a firm offer from an accredited company in place. Canada is very welcoming to international students, providing them with a work permit after graduation, even if you haven’t found a job yet (the length of the permit depends on the length of your program, but typically, if you finished a four-year degree, you are looking at a three-year work visa). 

On top of that, Canadian government provides more support to skilled tech workers — the Global Talent Scheme aims to process work permit applications for highly skilled workers in STEM and IT within two weeks. The path to a permanent residence in Canada is also less complicated in comparison to other countries; with a work permit, you can secure the residency within 12 months as long as you meet the requirements. 

Canadian attitude

Canadians are some of the most welcoming people to immigrants; its big cities are extremely culturally diverse, a proud fact for the nation. In Toronto alone, there is Chinatown, Greektown, Little Italy and Little Portugal. Over 20 percent of the Canadian population are foreign-born. These qualities make Canada a very attractive place for global investments as well as attracting international talent. 

This attitude mirrors the government’s immigration policies and allows companies to nurture diverse talent that can offer creative solutions for the tech sector, making it more competitive on the global market. 

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Kristina Spencer
Written By
Kristina Spencer

Kristina Spencer is a writer, editor and producer based in London, UK. She’s written for Vanity Fair, Vogue Business, The Business of Fashion and more.


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