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Breaking Into Tech

July 2018

Breaking Into Tech

Executive Summary

As Canada’s innovation-driven economy grows, so does its tech sector. With this growth, technology-enabled roles become more prevalent, and the skills required for these roles are vital to Canada’s economic expansion. This highlights the increasing importance for organizations supporting the tech sector’s growth and those assisting job seekers to understand the precise nature of the skills valued in these roles. Technology companies require a continuous pipeline of talent to sustain their growth. Many job seekers aspire to work for technology companies, but there remains a challenge in matching the right worker with the right skills to the right job in the right company.

Several potential factors contribute to this challenge, including companies lacking clarity on their skill needs, inaccuracies in job descriptions, and a shortage of workers with the specific skills and experience needed by employers. This report aims to examine the talent and skills aspects of specific in-demand careers within tech companies in the Waterloo Region, the skill and talent requirements of tech companies, and the various paths workers take to enter and move between these companies.

This report is a collaborative effort between Communitech, a technology innovation hub based in the Waterloo Region, and the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship, an independent policy and research institute at Ryerson University. Communitech is developing the Communitech Academy to facilitate the alignment of worker skills with talent needs in companies, while the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship is conducting the research to support this initiative. Through this collaboration, both organizations aim to provide a clearer understanding of how tech companies in the Waterloo region can tap into untapped talent pools effectively.