“British Columbia has a ready source of great jobs and careers in technology. Our education programs need to keep up with that demand.”
John Leech, executive director of the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of B.C. (ASTTBC), explains, “Every system we rely on – water, roads and transportation, telecommunications and Internet, hydro and natural gas, environment, health, forestry and many more – utilizes engineering and applied science technology professionals working in the background. B.C.’s telecom and IT, animation and many other sectors produce new careers every month.”
Here in the Capital Region, “our tech industry is very diverse,” says VIATeC executive director Dan Gunn. “Currently we have a lot of developer job openings but with over 800 technology companies we see opportunities in ocean sciences, advanced manufacturing, aerospace and wireless.
“It’s important to realize that as tech companies grow they need a variety of skill sets, from management to sales to administration. People interested in a career in tech should watch our online job board and event listings at viatec.ca to find current job openings and opportunities to network with the sector.”
As one of Greater Victoria’s leading sectors, significant growth in the tech industry is expected to continue.
“While global market conditions will continue to influence the pace of the growth, it is expected that the tech sector will see a total increase in revenues in excess of 30 per cent over the next five years,” Gunn notes.
Province-wide, ASTTBC has more than 10,000 members currently working in thousands of careers available to graduates of two-year diploma programs available at the B.C. Institute of Technology and other B.C. colleges and institutes.
“Our members enjoy rewarding, well-paid and often recession-proof careers in public service and the private sector alike,” Leech says.
“For huge numbers of young men and women, technology is the answer. In B.C. and across Canada, technology permeates every workplace and job. We need to get capable students involved and engaged in applied sciences and head off workforce shortages by building a B.C. ‘Science and Technology Culture.’”
Leech calls on government for renewed efforts to build student skills and confidence in math and science programming.
Leech lauds the recent “Year of Science” program that encouraged students toward so-called “STEM” subjects – science, technology, engineering and math. Citing the recent $6 million B.C. campaign to encourage careers in trades, Leech urges a similar effort to build awareness of engineering technology education and careers.
Leech says the opportunities for those seeking work in the technology field are considerable given a wave of retirements of present-generation B.C. technology professionals that is already under way.
Locally, VIATeC is taking a proactive approach.
“We continue to raise awareness of the quality of work available in the Greater Victoria tech sector among students starting as young as grade school,” Gunn says. “Many students, and their parents, don’t appreciate the value that continuing to study math and science can have on career and education options when they graduate. Students and parents can visit victoriatechjobs.com to watch videos about tech careers and to learn about local education options for getting a tech career.”
Even the region’s many visitors are part of the solution. “Our ongoing ‘Tectoria’ promotional campaign targets the three million-plus visitors and tourists to Victoria to ensure they know that we have jobs and investment opportunities in our city when they are ready to move here,” Gunn says.