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Demand soaring for Calgary programming pros

Four fastest growing jobs in Calgary are all in tech according to jobsite

Calgary-based tech company Benevity celebrated the opening of their new office in Bridgeland on Thursday.

Jennifer Friesen / Calgary Freelance

Calgary-based tech company Benevity celebrated the opening of their new office in Bridgeland on Thursday.

Calgary companies are growing desperate for people with programming skills, according to new data from job search website

The four fastest growing categories of job listings on the website are for tech-related jobs – the number one being a full stack developer, which has seen a 545 per cent growth in listings over four years.

Rounding out the top four are product owner (which is a tech job), IT security specialist, and senior java developer – each with projected salaries north of $80,000.

The job with the fifth most growth in demand was nurse practitioner.

Anette Ceraficki, director of talent and people development at Calgary-based tech startup Benevity, said they’ve hired 30 software developers in the past year alone, and they’ve had to go looking in other markets to fill the demand.

“We definitely are feeling challenged sometimes,” said Ceraficki.

She said the pool of tech talent in Calgary is growing each year, but so too is the number of companies attempting to hire them.

“We do like to hire locally when we can, only because when we’ve tried to hire from other cities, they don’t necessarily want to move to Calgary,” she said.

The problem is not with the city itself, but the perceived availability of other jobs, should they be ready for a change in a few years.

She said compared with markets like Toronto, Calgary still doesn’t have that many tech options, despite the growing demand.

To address this, Benevity has opened satellite offices in Vancouver and Toronto. They’ve also been recruiting heavily at student job fairs.

“We’ve had to go to the UBC student jobs fair – we just can’t find enough grads here,” said Ceraficki. “We’re hoping the university does turn that around.”

Mary Moran, president and CEO of Calgary Economic Development, said she’s not surprised to see so many tech jobs topping the list.

“It speaks to the emerging tech sector here that is growing rapidly in Calgary, as well as the gap that we have in filling those jobs,” she said. “This reinforces why we are putting so much focus on building our tech talent for our existing industries and emerging sectors such as fintech that are increasingly important to our city.”

Jodi Kasten, Managing Director of Canada, said Canada’s four other major cities had similar demand for these sorts of jobs, and she expects that trend to continue.

“As the world becomes more technical and digital, more and more of these roles will exist,” she said.

Kasten noted that more and more schools are recognizing this and putting coding and programming in the core curriculum, even at the elementary level.

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