Information Communication & Technology
Information Communication & Technology

The Information Communication and Technology (ICT) industry is a dynamic sector of Toronto’s economy.

This sector is changing and is composed of a large number of small, rapidly-growing companies, as well as some very large, long-established ones. The ICT sector closely collaborates with other sectors like healthcare, education, social/clean technology, media and entertainment.

The financial sector is one of the most ICT intensive. Between 5-10% of the ICT workforce is directly employed by the Toronto region’s financial services organizations. Many other ICT professionals are employed in firms that service and support financial institutions.

The adoption of new technology will increase the need for Information Systems Analysts and Consultants.

Distribution of the Labour force among all ICT occupations:

  • Professional, Scientific & Technical Services (44.3%)
  • Manufacturing (8.4%)
  • Public Administration (9.1%)
  • Information and Cultural (10.2%)
  • Finance and Insurance (8.1%)
  • Educational Services (4.1%)
  • Utilities (1.9%)
  • Health Care (2.1%)
  • Other (11.8%)

The unemployment rate for the ICT professionals is very low at 4%, and the need for new talent is increasing. The Information and Communication Technology Council indicated that sector employment growth remained relatively stable, at a rate of 2.3%, through 2010.

Segments of the ICT industry that are experiencing extensive growth include cloud computing, mobile platforms and applications, gaming, 3D and consumer privacy and security applications. These are contributing to the already established ICT subsectors of communications, robotics, and enterprise software.

Social networking is also a growing subsector in Toronto. For example, LinkedIn announced a new Canadian office in Toronto, which is already home to Facebook in Canada.

The industry needs workers with a leading-edge package of skills, for example, system analysis and design, combined with marketing operations management and HR management. It’s also in search of people with particular combinations of domain experience (e-health, e-finance and digital media) together with ICT expertise. The ICT sector expects challenges in recruiting computer programmers who have leading-edge or highly specialized skills and can combine the technical skills with essential soft skills such as team working, communications and problem-solving.

Skills shortages will be more acute in four occupations: computer and information system managers, telecommunications managers, information system analysts and consultants, and broadcast technicians. Technology trends, such as cloud computing and off-shoring, will weaken demand for Computer Network and User Support Technicians.

Labour Force

Toronto is home to 30% of Canada’s 40, 000 ICT firms. There are more than 11,500 ICT companies operating in the Toronto CMA-605 manufacturing firms, 11,000 service firms. The majority of these companies have fewer than 50 employees.

Women in the ICT sector are underrepresented. Only 23.3% of the industry workers are women and they tend to be found in occupations such as web-site design and multimedia. Most of the professionals (95.4%) work full time.

Age profile 

The ICT labour force is relatively young. 61.3% of the Toronto digital media workforce ranges between the ages of 25 to 44.

Educational attainment 

In the Toronto region, ICT professionals are highly educated. Over 70% have post-secondary qualifications and 14% hold Master or Doctorate degrees.

Toronto’s higher education institutions are active partners with ICT employers. Six Toronto colleges currently offer over 40 programs that prepare students for careers in the ICT industry. Toronto’s five Universities offer 21 ICT-related undergraduate and graduate programs.

The labour force is internationally-minded, with business and personal linkages to nearly every country in the world. Internationally educated professionals account for almost one quarter of Software Engineers.

Key facts 
  • Toronto ICT companies generated combined revenue of $52 billion with $21 billion in the manufacturing subsector and $30.4 billion in the services sector in 2009.
  • Service companies (including communications providers, software developers and consulting firms) comprise 95% of total ICT firms, and manufacturing companies account for about 5% of the total.
  • Manufacturing firms are usually much larger than service firms.
  • 39.6% of the top 250 Canadian ICT Companies are headquartered in Toronto.
  • The Toronto ICT sector employs 30% of Canada’s ICT workforce and 36.4% of ICT workers are under 35 years of age and 61.5% are under 45 years of age.
  • 96.6% of employees have a post secondary certificate, diploma or degree.
  • The average salary of ICT professionals is $ 64,725.