Tech jobs plentiful

A national report forecasts a shortage of homegrown talent to fill the demand for tech jobs by 2019.

More than 6,500 skilled individuals are the driving force of the Okanagan’s billion-dollar tech industry but a recent national report forecasts a shortage of the homegrown talent to fill the demand for tech jobs by 2019.

It is clear there are opportunities in the Okanagan to take advantage of job openings in the rapidly growing tech sector.

“Youth in our community looking for jobs, need to look no further than the tech sector,” said Phil Ashman, associate dean of science, technology and health at Okanagan College.

“With the right training, hands-on experience, and industry contacts, thriving careers are within grasp for our students.”

Since 2011, Accelerate Okanagan’s clients have hired more than 360 employees.

“This is why our partnership with Okanagan College is so important,” said Pilar Portela, Accelerate Okanagan chief executive officer.

“We provide direct access to the needs of the thriving Okanagan technology sector, which allows the College to create innovative curricula that will develop local, highly skilled, high-tech talent.”

In the Labour Market Outlook report released by the Information and Communication Technology Council of Canada, it is estimated there will be a talent supply shortage in filling 182,000 tech jobs in Canada in the next five years.

Top in-demand jobs expected in the province are computer programmers and interactive media developers, software engineers, and support technicians.

Ashman says Okanagan College is committed to training students to supply this demand.

“Through applied learning, our students gain hands-on experience that is valuable as they enter careers in technology,” he said.

“We are committed to fostering partnerships with industry in our region, and as such we are able to successfully help students find job-opportunities, ultimately helping meet the sector’s demand.”

The college offers a four-year computer information systems degree and a two-year computer information systems diploma, and the two-year network and telecommunications engineering technology diploma.