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Bye-bye four-year degree. Canadian companies want workers faster.

The rapidly increasing skills shortage in Canada is so high that the private sector is taking action. Instead of waiting for universities to produce graduates, they are now developing training programs designed for jobs on offer.

The Biggest Challenge

For years, Canadian tech companies have struggled to hire qualified workers to fill their workforce. This struggle has worsened because of the effects of COVID-19 that dramatically accelerated the shift to a digital economy where STEM knowledge and skills are highly essential.

Take a look at the current state of education right now. In the past, experts believed that Internet-based education was only possible in the next decade. However, because of COVID-19, that estimate is drastically accelerated. It goes without saying that the Canadian workforce was not yet ready for the radical shift, especially because most jobs in Canada belonged in the non-technical sectors such as social assistance, healthcare, construction, and retail.

The Solution

It’s no secret that Canada was already experiencing a skills shortage even before the pandemic. The country was able to get by with the help of Canadian immigration, but this wasn’t an option anymore due to the pandemic-induced border closure.

This is why the private sector is now developing training programs meant for Canadian job offers instead of waiting on four-year degree graduates to fill the 70,000 vacant tech positions in the Toronto area alone. This aims to retain professionals and make them ready for tech-based Canadian jobs in order to fill the gap. The advantage of this is that it can also help those who lose their jobs in Canada during the pandemic to find new careers and opportunities.

Is Getting a Degree Still Necessary?

According to Elevate’s director of programming and employment, D’Andre Wilson-Ihejirika, traditional paths to landing digital and knowledge-based jobs are not always flexible enough to meet the requirements of the employers. On top of that, technology is ever-changing. By the time the students graduate with their 4-year degree, it is possible that the things that they learned will no longer be relevant.

The question now is; is it still necessary to get a degree in order to land a tech-based job? The answer is that it is not as necessary as it used to be. There are now other alternatives, such as training programs funded by the private sector that allow individuals to get tech-based jobs in Canada without necessarily having a degree.

Given that the industry will continue to expand in the coming years rapidly, more Canadian jobs related to tech will be created. It would be difficult for universities to keep up with the demand, so these positions will become more inclusive even for people without a degree.

Final Words

The pandemic has certainly flipped the world upside down, and Canada was not spared from it. But, just like always, when faced with difficult situations, resilient human beings turn challenges into opportunities to become better. That is also definitely the case for how Canada is now addressing its skills shortage dilemma.

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