More than half of employers in Canada have found it easier to get a job in information technology (IT) over the past decade, according to a new report from IT professionals.
The study, based on information from employers’ recruiting websites, found that the average age of a candidate’s first IT job was 40, compared with 32 in 2006.
While that’s lower than the average for other fields, the average IT job has increased in value, said the report by CareerBuilder Canada.
“The data show that in the past two years, job growth in IT has accelerated across all skill levels, with the largest increases in the IT workforce in science and technology, health care, and education,” the report said.
“A high proportion of the growth in these IT jobs is due to the increase in job vacancies, with IT occupations now filling over half of all available IT positions.
This growth is driven by a high number of IT employees being willing to relocate from other occupations, while retaining their skills and experience.”
Among the most important jobs in IT, the report found, are information systems analysts and data scientists.
More than half (56 per cent) of the IT job postings that CareerBuilder tracked in 2016 were in the health care sector, and in the education, social work and information technology sectors, and those sectors accounted for about 40 per cent of job openings.
The IT sector accounted for more than 70 per cent, according the report.
“There is a very high demand for IT jobs across the sectors, with a growing number of employers looking for IT employees who have the technical and creative skills that can help them build and manage complex data processing and data analytics applications, said Job Search Canada’s executive director, Diane R. Smith.”
This is why the IT industry has seen so much growth in recent years.
Employers are able to hire these talented professionals with skills that allow them to do their jobs better, while also being able to provide a competitive salary,” Smith said.
The report also found that a growing proportion of IT job applicants have an education degree, with more than half graduating with a degree.
The average salary for an IT professional was $60,000 in 2016, compared to $36,000 for a person in a similar position in other fields.
The IT industry also has the highest unemployment rate of any major occupation, with 6.7 per cent unemployment among the workforce.
About half of IT jobs have been filled since 2008, and more than 80 per cent are held by women, according this report.
Among the skills that IT workers in Canada use in the job market, the study found that almost two-thirds (65 per cent ) were in communications, including social media, video production, and video editing.
About three-quarters (75 per cent , or 5,700 employees) of IT professionals in Canada also had a bachelor’s degree.
Another key skill in IT is the ability to work collaboratively and effectively.
About six in 10 (58 per cent), or 6,700, of the 7,500 IT workers surveyed by Career Builder said they had the ability and the inclination to collaborate with others.”
For all of the companies that I spoke with in the data, they see that the key to success is to have a strong team, and it’s important to know how to have that teamwork and work ethic,” Smith added.