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IT Employment Deficit: No Big Deal

If you’re an unemployed IT pro who can’t find work in this country, there’s something wrong with your picture.


New IDC research reports that there’s a whack of IT jobs that are going wanting in Canada: specifically, about 54,000 in 2014. It’s the result of a serious skill gap that has already cost Canadian organizations close to $1 billion.

This vexing scene, said IDC Canada’s research VP for services and enterprise applications in an interview coinciding with the report’s release, is thanks to a perfect storm of “not having the right personnel of the right kind at the right price to do the work.”

More specifically, the country’s education system is not generating the number of IT experts it needs to in order to meet the industry’s requirements.

Further, the research — based on interviews and surveys of Canadian businesses, and supplemented by calculating the costs of farming out work to IT manufacturers or bringing in contract employees (what IDC calls “staff augmentation”) — suggests the numbers aren’t going in the right direction, either. The skills gap, IDC predicts, will swell to 71,000 jobs by 2017.

The numbers for well-placed pros, however, are happier ones. In its recent compensation planning survey, HR firm Mercer predicted that high-tech workers will score the highest wage growth in 2016, with an anticipated upturn of three percent.

And in the meantime, survey respondents aren’t expressing extreme anxiety about this current paucity of professional technology expertise. Indeed, a majority of them told IDC that they didn’t consider an IT skills gap “a major issue,” a reality analysts chalk up to their having devised workarounds for the shortfall, including hiring from overseas, training internally and contracting out.

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