With 22 per cent growth in tech talent and total tech jobs over the past five years, Calgary ranked 28th among the Top 50 North American markets for the second consecutive year in CBRE’s 2022 Scoring Tech Talent report.
“Calgary is on the map as a growing tech city where bright minds and big ideas come together to tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges – the vision of our economic strategy Calgary in the New Economy,” said Brad Parry, President and CEO, Calgary Economic Development.
“We have a collaborative tech and innovation ecosystem that has invested in talent attraction, retention and development for years to come, to build out a pipeline that supports the great momentum we’re experiencing.”
The report ranks markets according to their competitive advantages and appeal to both employers and tech talent employees. The CBRE reported there are over 40,600 tech workers in Calgary and the city added 7,400 tech jobs from 2017 to 2021.
Calgary saw 3,852 tech degree completions from 2016 to 2020 and of the 19 markets in the report with a tech workforce of less than 50,000 workers, Calgary placed fourth in terms of tech talent concentration.
With Calgary’s recent ranking as the third most livable city in the world and first in North America by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the momentum is poised to continue as cities compete globally in a tight tech talent market changed by the growth in remote work. According to LinkedIn Talent Insights, Calgary is experiencing the fastest tech workforce growth in North America at 2.2 per cent.
The CBRE report states tech clusters with high concentrations of talent distinguish the top markets, which typically form around universities that invest the most in innovation and provide a steady flow of talent for local companies.
Calgary is home to seven post-secondary institutions and saw a 300 per cent increase in tech training program completions in 2019. The post-secondary institutions have a targeted focus on integrating an entrepreneurial mindset for students through centres including the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking, the Life Sciences Innovation Hub and the Creative Destruction Lab – Rockies.
The report also notes tech clusters form around leading companies, which draw more companies to a region and support an innovation ecosystem that spawns new entrepreneurs and startups.
Recent major tech headlines in Calgary include multinational tech corporations like IBM, Mphasis, AWS, Unity and Infosys opening Canadian headquarters in the city, drawn by the competitive and business-friendly policy environment, affordable office space and livability scores.
Calgary companies are forecasted to lead the $20 billion digital transformation spend in Alberta, with a growing number of startups and scaleups, including the unicorn, billion-dollar valued corporations Neo Financial, Benevity, Shareworks and Symend.
Many tech ‘soonicorns’ across sectors are projected to gain unicorn status through access to record levels of venture capital investment. Calgary recorded over $433 million in the first quarter of 2022, compared with the record-breaking $500 million annual total of 2021.
With a strong tech workforce that enjoys a vibrant community and culture of possibility, Calgary is being recognized as the place to build a meaningful career and a great life.
To learn more about opportunities at innovative Calgary companies, visit Live Tech, Love Life. Check out the tech ecosystem page for local careers across dynamic industry sectors.
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