The pandemic has overhauled the way Canadians work. While some sectors have seen widespread job loss, others are on the lookout for even more talent.
The federal government did some research into how the pandemic has affected the labour force in each province and territory. In Ontario, researchers analyzed 109 occupations that saw big changes in employment compared to pre-COVID days.
From these findings, here are some of the occupations that have seen an increased demand for labour during the pandemic. They are listed in order of their National Occupational Classification (NOC) code. For more on specific job prospects, the federal government offers a trend analysis tool where jobseekers can view the trends in their own occupations of interest.
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Although spending on traditional advertising has dropped during the pandemic, which has affected employment, the industry is increasingly going digital. Plus, preliminary budgets suggest companies plan to increase spending on advertising, especially digital ads.
Therefore, there is an increase in job opportunities for those with knowledge of modern technological methods.
Companies that were previously limited in their ability to allow employees to work from home have become more reliant on computer and information systems managers.
Many companies intend to implement telework for the long term. Also, more virtual services such as e-commerce, medical appointments, job fairs and others could call for more IT workers.
All of these developments are expected to drive up demand for tech professionals as firms adapt to new ways of working.
These workers include immunologists, virologists, bio-information workers and pharmacologists who are researching COVID-19.
The research and development of more vaccines and treatments will continue to support job opportunities for workers in these occupations.
Also, now that the generation has experienced a pandemic first hand, the increased awareness is expected to drive more virus research opportunities.
Much like other IT occupations, information systems analysts and consultants have been crucial to helping companies transition to remote work. They were considered essential workers while Ontario was in lockdown.
There are a number of other factors that suggest a long-term demand for labour in this field. For example, more companies are expanding products and services online. Digital processes are growing and so is the risk of cyber-security breaches.
Also, artificial intelligence analysts may see more job openings due to increased interest in using AI solutions for various lines of business.
Throughout the pandemic, the government and other organizations have prioritized case tracking and COVID-19 data analysis. These workers have been involved in much of the COVID-data analysis process.
A continued interest in COVID-19 data and analysis will support these job opportunities.
Furthermore, concerns are high regarding data collection, storage, and management following more demand for virtual health and social services. The shift to online solutions will increase jobs in these occupations.
At the beginning of the pandemic, these workers were in demand to help design COVID-related digital media to support dissemination of information. Many were already set up to work from home due to the nature of their work.
An increase in demand for digital products and services will support opportunities for these workers, especially as the global e-learning market grows.
In Ontario, the provincial government is working with various organizations to create digital resources for online learning. Such initiatives are expected to support these workers.
Web designers and developers are integral in building COVID-19-related websites to help disseminate information. Due to the nature of their work, many of these workers already had telework capabilities before the pandemic.
The trend toward online shopping will support job opportunities for workers in this field. Also, more virtual services, such as medical appointments, may also support these jobs.
There was a shortage of lab techs even before the pandemic due to a high number of retirees and a low number of new grads available to take their place. The coronavirus outbreak has made the supply of these workers even more scarce, even though the number of employees in the field has increased.
Ontario is funding a new program to train laboratory workers to reduce the workload for certified medical laboratory technologists and their assistants.
As the population ages, and as the pandemic continues, the number of job vacancies in this occupation will continue to grow so long as there are not enough new graduates.
With more digital products comes more job opportunities for graphic designers and illustrators. Particularly in creating content and graphics for e-commerce platforms, online banking, and e-learning.
Demand for labour and immigration go hand-in-hand in Canada. The purpose of economic immigration is specifically to address labour shortages, and support Canada’s long-term economic growth.
So, it should come as no surprise that there are pathways to permanent residence tailored for workers in these in-demand occupations.
For starters, all of these occupations fall into the “skilled work” category. Meaning you can use work experience toward an application through the popular Express Entry system as long as you are eligible for any of the three Federal High Skilled programs: the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program.
Not only that, Ontario has its own Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) that can support permanent residency applications. Having an Express Entry profile opens the doors to Ontario’s enhanced PNPs. The Human Capital Priority Stream (HCPS) specifically offers pathways for tech workers and workers in other in-demand occupations.
For example, advertising and marketing managers were included in a recent Ontario PNP draw. Tech workers who are eligible for the HCPS may be invited to apply for a provincial nomination in an OINP Tech Draw. These draws cover six particular IT occupations including from the above list: computer systems and information managers; database analysts and data administrators; computer programmers and interactive media developers; and web designers and developers.
Outside of the Express Entry system, Ontario also has its own Expression of Interest (EOI) system that offers points for eligible candidates who are working in skilled occupations in the province. There are a number of other factors that improve candidates’ rankings as well such as salary, age, amount of Canadian work experience, and more. The Ontario EOI system is currently available to those who are eligible for an Employer Job Offer Category program, such as the Foreign Worker stream.
Those who work for themselves may be eligible for the Self-Employed Persons Program. About 30 per cent of graphic designers in Ontario are self-employed, according to government statistics.
Also, for a limited time, Canada is offering pathways for essential workers who worked in the country during the pandemic. Lab techs are among 40 healthcare occupations that may apply anytime before November 5, or until the intake cap of 20,000 applications is reached.
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