New study reveals most in-demand occupations in Canada in 2018

Stephen Smith, Eman Katem
Published: February 8, 2018

A new study detailing the most in-demand occupations in Canada in 2018 shows business analysts, IT project managers and software engineers among the top 10.

The annual study by the human resources company Randstad Canada showed business analysts in fifth place, IT project managers in seventh place and software engineers ranking ninth overall.

The study looked at job openings, job placements and other data from various Canadian markets that were collected and compiled by Randstad Canada and business research consultants CEB/Gartner.

"Tech continues to be one of Canada's best job sectors, rapidly adding new jobs for developers and analysts of all kinds," the study says.

The findings were published on the eve of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first visit to San Francisco, where he pitched Canada as a destination for U.S. tech companies.

Trudeau and the Canadian government are working to capitalize on the uncertainty among tech companies and skilled foreign tech workers in the United States caused by President Donald Trump's hard-line policies on immigration and trade.

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Coding skills "intensely in demand"

Drilling down into its IT-sector findings, the study says developers “with knowledge of both front and back-end coding are intensely in demand,” especially full stack developers. Java remained the top developer skill, with SQL in second. Python and .net are also considered in-demand.

The study listed the top 8 tech-sector jobs as:

  1. Project manager
  2. Software engineer
  3. Web developer
  4. Program analyst
  5. Java developer

Randstad says Canada’s IT sector employs 488,000 professionals and added 11,500 new jobs in 2017. Nearly 50 per cent of those jobs (5,000) were created in Toronto and 2,000 were created in Montreal.

Targeted IT immigration programs

The demand for workers with tech expertise has led Canada and a number of its provinces to implement targeted immigration programs designed to facilitate their entry into the country.

The federal government's Global Talent Stream was created last year to expedite the processing of work permits for highly skilled workers in a number of tech occupations.

At the provincial level, British Columbia holds weekly draws for tech workers with a job offer through its Tech Pilot program and Ontario has conducted tech-specific searches of the federal Express Entry pool through its Human Capital Priorities Stream.

Tech jobs also figure prominently among the in-demand occupations in provinces such as Saskatchewan, ManitobaNew Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

General labourers top overall list

In terms of Randstad’s overall list of in-demand jobs in Canada, general labourers led the top 10, with sales representatives and accountants rounding out the top three.

The top 10 jobs were as follows:

  1. General labourer
  2. Sales representative
  3. Accountant
  4. Engineering project manager
  5. Business analyst
  6. Customer service rep
  7. IT project manager
  8. Account manager
  9. Software engineer
  10. Forklift operator

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