7 Sep

What the IT Shortage in Canada Means for IT Professionals

Posted by John Brandwagt

It’s good to be an IT professional in Canada right now. Not only because it’s one of the most exciting and ever-evolving industries in the world—it’s also one of the best in terms of getting hired and finding a great wage to match.

With various industries across the board needing to fill 182,000 IT positions over the next few years as a result of the IT shortage in Canada, IT professionals are sitting pretty as employers fight for their attention and their expertise. So—it’s pretty clear that IT professionals are desirable, but what does this really mean for their future and their prospects?

University is No Longer a Requirement

With the sudden and desperate realities of an IT shortage in Canada, supply can’t keep up with demand as new tech jobs keep cropping up with no experts to fill them. Finding qualified applicants is growing tougher for business owners, and unlike previous years, a prospective candidate’s level of education is no longer a deal-breaker for many employers.

Employers are also beginning to learn that many IT professionals are self-taught in ways that make them just as skilled as those who took traditional classes—making the normal schooling steps unnecessary to fill certain roles. Co-ops, internships, and even retail experience are also growing in value to employers—so if you feel like you might not have the exact requirements to meet a role, don’t be discouraged. Experience and aptitude rule, while schooling and traditional learning become secondary in importance.

Employers Will Come to You

If you’ve started promoting yourself as an IT professional across various social networks, it’s very possible that you will be approached by employers for interviews and even offered a position to fill their empty roles.

LinkedIn is a great place to start if you’re looking to be recruited by great companies—employers are constantly scanning this online professional network for those IT professionals with the skills and experience to suit their needs.

You Make the Rules

Because IT professionals are so desirable in today’s market, they have a lot more flexibility when it comes to the terms they’re hired under. When offered a new job, IT professionals can position themselves as a valuable asset and set their level of compensation accordingly.

While it’s never good etiquette to bring up salary during your first interview, candidates looking to get hired during the IT shortage have a lot more leverage than most industries for which benefits and packages they’re offered once they’re hired, making it a good time to start practicing your negotiating skills.

Keep Learning to Stay Relevant

While the IT shortage in Canada might make the job hunt look like a walk in the park for IT professionals, it shouldn’t mean that it’s time to start slacking off with learning new skills. IT is a constantly developing industry, and even though your unique skill sets are desirable now, the rate of innovation means that your skills could become commonplace in a just a year or two. In order to remain at the top of the food chain, IT professionals need to continue their education, even if it means just keeping up with the latest gadgets or reading the newest tech magazines.

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John Brandwagt

John is a Practice Leader at Inteqna. He’s been working in IT Search in Calgary since 1997. He works best with selective job seekers—those who excel at what they do and enjoy their current jobs. Since they don’t have time to look for themselves, he helps them find their dream jobs. From a client perspective, he helps organizations find the talent that will propel their business. John is involved in several of Calgary’s technical user groups and has held board roles in non-profit groups. He is a single dad of four boys who try to beat him at every physical activity from hiking to rugby.

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