Why studying technology in Toronto is one of the smartest decisions you’ll make

Last updated October 3, 2019

While young children might be excited about getting back to school in early September, those thinking about starting a course or bootcamp in web development, data science or a similar tech-related discipline might have a few last-minute doubts.

Will studying tech really be worth the time and money? Will there be a payoff at the end — meaning, will there be better career prospects?

According to research that explored tech talent across North America, the answer for those studying in Toronto is a resounding “yes.”

Around mid-summer, a real estate services firm called CBRE Group released its annual ranking of the top cities for high-tech firms to set up shop or to hire high-tech workers. The report, Scoring Tech Talent 2018, is worth looking at in its entirety, but this coverage on Bloomberg sums up what prospective students of programming courses and workshops should know:

Toronto’s tech scene is so hot the city created more jobs than the San Francisco Bay area, Seattle and Washington, D.C., combined last year, while leapfrogging New York in a ranking of “talent markets.”  The city saw 28,900 tech jobs created, 14 percent more than in 2016, for a total of more than 241,000 workers, up 52 percent over the past five years . . . Downtown, tech accounted for more than a third of demand for office space.

The strength of Toronto’s tech scene and job market growth may also be a contributing factor to the rise in sold house prices in Toronto. For example, according to analysis from Zoocasa, the average condo price rose 66% to $627,927 between 2014 – 2019, while house prices increased by 42%, to an average of $1,167,968. While much of the demand from the tech sector has been concentrated on downtown markets, these are some of the most expensive real estate locales in the city. Fortunately, students willing to put in additional commute time can find more affordable options such as condos in North York or in Etobicoke.

This should be reassuring for those browsing Course Compare in search of options to improve their skills, transition to a new career or pursue a passion project, but there’s even more good news. The CRBE report shows the strength of Canada’s tech talent base is not limited to Toronto alone. Ottawa led as the North American city with the highest tech job concentration, dispelling its image as primarily the home of public sector workers.

The surge in tech-related employment shows no signs of slowing down either. “There still is a high level of demand and inadequate supply for the most sought-after tech skills,” the CBRE report said. This demand is not limited to software companies, startups or those that make computer hardware. CBRE said its data was based on a definition of “tech talent” as “workers who are leading global innovation that will shape our daily lives and economy for decades to come . . . under this definition, a software developer who works for a logistics or financial services company is included in our data.”

If that isn’t enough to get you motivated, Daily Hive reported to the CBRE report by offering a look at 12 different Toronto companies that had posted 100 different tech-related jobs over the month of August.

There has literally never been a better time to further your education in software development, UX design, data science, and any number of tech-related fields.

Shane Schick

Shane Schick tells stories that help people innovate and manage the change innovation brings. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing Magazine and B2B News Network. He is also the former Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief) at IT World Canada, a former technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and Yahoo Canada, and was the founding editor of ITBusiness.ca.

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