Leveraging LinkedIn data to uncover opportunities in Toronto’s technology sector

Today LinkedIn unveiled new data on Toronto’s tech sector at a press conference, joined by CivicAction and Mayor John Tory. Uncovering these insights for Toronto is a step towards making LinkedIn’s vision to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce a reality.

Just over 1.9 million people in the GTA are on LinkedIn, meaning more than half of the region’s labour force are using it to map their careers or build their networks. This means that we have a wealth of data at our fingertips from which to draw upon.

By using our Economic Graph to identify the connections between people, jobs, skills, educational training, companies, and professional knowledge, we can spot in real-time the trends pointing to economic opportunities. So what we did learn about Toronto, and where do we go from here? Here are some key trends we identified in the Greater Toronto Area’s burgeoning tech sector, and what can be done to turn these insights into opportunities:

Toronto is a major global player when it comes to tech

The Toronto region has a strong, highly-skilled workforce when it comes to technology. Of the 1.9 million members in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), 11 per cent are sharing that they have technology skills on LinkedIn. What does this mean for Toronto’s position in the global economy? When it comes to proportion of tech-skilled workers, we rank fifth just after the San Francisco Bay Area, Greater Seattle, Sydney and Stockholm and are ahead of large metropolitan areas like the Greater Chicago Area and Greater New York City Area.

This is good news for local companies looking to hire top talent with technological expertise. But why settle for fifth place? For the region to grow into a global leader in technology, the private and public sector will need to join forces to ensure that we continue to foster these skills and attract experienced workers from across the world, connecting professionals with opportunities. Let’s continue to strive to remain competitive and attractive to the global tech ecosystem.

Technology skills are in high demand

You may think of a career in technology as being huddled behind a computer at a hi-tech startup writing code. While this is certainly a viable (and important) career option for the technologically-inclined, technology skills are at a premium in nearly every industry sector that operates in Toronto including government, retail and oil and gas.

We must recognize that the demand for tech skills doesn’t start and end with the tech sector. Focusing on training for skills that companies are looking for will help our workforce take advantage of these opportunities that we’ve uncovered.

Starting out in Toronto? You’re in the right place

If you’re a Toronto professional with the right technology skills but not yet the experience to back them up, fear not. Our team found that Toronto is a great place to start a career in technology. A significant portion of tech-skilled LinkedIn members are in “early career roles,” a position that generally requires less than five years of experience. In fact, one in 10 Greater Toronto Area companies currently employ technology-skilled members in early career roles.

LinkedIn also identified skills that were most likely to be found among Toronto area members who were recently hired into early career roles. These categories are varied, and highlight several distinct types of technology-related work. What does this mean for our 1.9 million GTA members? If you’re hoping to launch a career in technology, focus on skills that companies are looking for in early career roles like mobile development and game development.

I’m excited by the possibilities that this research has revealed in Toronto and appreciate the chance to get a step closer to our vision of creating economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. This research has already resulted in commitments to action from institutions like Seneca College who will use it to update their curriculum and offer new accelerator programs based on the insights.

Much like the deeper insights that we’ve provided in New York CityChicago, and our ongoing partnerships to ReWork America in Phoenix and Colorado, this is no small feat, and cannot be achieved with small thinking. We’ll need to pair big data with bold initiatives and partner with institutions, companies and governments to realize LinkedIn’s goal.

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