Digital industries around the world have been rapidly growing for a number of years, and the ever-expanding tech sector in Nova Scotia is speeding alongside it. During a year where the world slowed down for many, digital companies aimed to find solutions and opportunities to support our economy as we take steps toward recovering from this global pandemic.
In Nova Scotia, our tech industry is comprised of over 1300 companies, accounting for 8.2% of Nova Scotia’s business sector output. Nationally, employment growth in the ICT sector has been outpacing the overall economy for many years, between 2013 and 2019 average annual growth was 3.1%, but just 0.9% for the overall economy (Statistics Canada, 2019).
A rapidly growing tech sector is certainly something to celebrate, however, a big challenge facing Digital Nova Scotia members, and the Nova Scotia tech sector in general, is a talent gap. There is a shortage of qualified talent to fill technical roles like Senior Developers, QA Testers, Analysts and Engineers, all of which are needed to support the growth of the industry. As the global economy continues to undergo a digital transformation, the demand for tech talent across all industries is at an all-time high.
Digital Nova Scotia is continuously creating programs to address the demand for talent in our industry and our Skills for Hire program is open for applications. The program is upskilling unemployed and underemployed individuals to be prepared for entry-level tech jobs in web development, UX design and cybersecurity. To date, 88% of participants have felt motivated to seek job opportunities in the ICT sector.
The ICT and digital sector has become integrated into every profession. It’s in healthcare, oceans, automotive, education, and construction to name a few, and so we need to fuel the talent pipeline in order to prepare for our future. Digital Nova Scotia’s Opening Doors Project, exposed and educated teachers on the opportunities technology can hold for students, and produced videos, case studies and features on careers in tech. Through educational resources such as these, it is fundamental that we promote a diverse landscape of talent, as our industry thrives on the diversity of thought, cultural backgrounds and ideas to stimulate innovation.
Our industry is ever evolving, and the companies both established and growing within Nova Scotia continue to make a global impact, with both start-ups and multinational companies thriving here.
There are more pathways than ever to exciting and lucrative careers in the tech sector within Nova Scotia. Digital Nova Scotia’s programs, resources and members can be found at digitalnovascotia.com.