It’s a good thing Toronto has a strong ice cream scene. This city is hot. But I’m not really here to talk about the sticky, steamy summer months, I’m here to discuss a different type of heat in this city: that of our growing technology sector.
CBRE, a commercial real estate and investment firm, released their annual Scoring Tech Talent Report, where Toronto was hailed as North America’s fastest growing tech market for the second year in a row. An astounding 82,000 tech jobs have been added to the city since 2012 — including 29,000 in 2017 alone. As a gal who grew up in this city, it’s exciting to see it gaining international traction.
So how did this plucky city gain this lucrative title? Toronto’s human capital is impressive. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Radio crunched the numbers and with an impressive 230 different nationalities, they dubbed Toronto the world’s most multicultural metropolis. Centralizing this diversity creates an environment rife with different skillsets, viewpoints and opportunities to innovate — three core elements of the disruption that drives technology. Pair that with accessibility, both in terms of an international airport and fluid immigration policies, and you get a desirable location for innovation.
Toronto has also made sizable investments in human capital and their ideas. In addition to innovation hubs like MaRS Discovery District and incubators like Ryerson DMZ, Canada’s Venture Capital Action Plan encourages Canadian private investors to invest in Canadian start-ups at a 2:1 ratio. Considering that Toronto is Canada’s financial hub, it makes sense that companies will migrate to the money and infrastructure that will support growth.
I’m not what one would refer to as technically inclined. I haven’t watched TV in a month because I can’t figure out how to get it to work post move. I had initially eschewed the tech industry because I assumed my non-technical tendencies meant I couldn’t add value in the field. But guess what? Tech companies need diverse skillsets. They need people who might not understand why there are rubies on the rails, but can apply the creative or analytical thinking required to successfully bring a product or service to market.
I wanted to work in tech. I wanted to be in an innovative, dynamic environment where I could wear five-panel hats to work and not be chained to a cubical. What I lack in technical skills I make up for in word nerdery and initiative — I just had to find a company with a gap that would benefit from those things. I started at Achievers as a Communication Campaign Specialist in 2015 and have worked my way up to Marketing Communication Manager. As soon as I traded in Bay Street button ups for Liberty Village leisure, I knew I had found my tribe. I started a worklife that was much more cohesive with who I am as an individual and more aligned with my goals for my personal life.
If you’ve been thinking about your career and wondering about where you want it to go, consider tech. It’s growing, it’s exploring unchartered territories and it’s all happening right here in Toronto.