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Calgary’s Growing Technology Industry

This is a guest post from Calgary Job Board and Energy Job Shop

For the last ten years or so, technology has become a force to be reckoned with in the Canadian economy.

Montreal and Toronto have quickly become Canada’s top tech cities, experiencing a burst in growth and job creation.

During this time, Alberta had been notoriously rising and falling alongside the ups and downs of the oil and energy sector. 

That’s all about to change as Alberta’s highly-educated population, research facilities and global connections begin to open doorways to building a technology sector to rival other Canadian provinces.

Particularly in Calgary, where digital transformation is driving new solutions and technologies and attracting local businesses and investors.

Find out more about how Calgary is growing as a technology sector and how you can leverage your skills in the oilfield and energy industries to take advantage of this growth:


How is Calgary Growing as a Technology Sector?

Calgary is no stranger to creating and adopting transformative technologies when it comes to feeding, healing, fueling and moving.

Its concentration of headquarters and industrial sector base places Calgary at the heart of digital transformation.

While Calgary tends to automatically bring to mind the oil and gas companies that dominate its industry, there is a new kind of energy being created in what some describe as “Canada’s most adventurous tech city”.

For a long time, industries in Calgary (such as energy, agriculture and transportation) have started successful companies by hiring talented and innovative graduates from local colleges and universities.

The technology sector is starting to do the same, pooling candidates from research-driven universities.

Does this mean you’ve missed the mark on working in the technology sector by pursuing a career in the oil and gas industry?

Absolutely not! 

The skills you’ve acquired through your experience in the energy sector can be transitioned into this new and exciting economy.


What Kind of Jobs Are Available in the Technology Sector?

Perhaps the best news for those wishing to transition from the oil and gas industry into the tech sector is that not all technology-related jobs require you to sit in front of a computer writing programs all day.

In fact, many of the jobs in Calgary’s tech sector relate to the oilfield industry!

Here are some examples of jobs available in the technology sector:

  • Alternative energy
  • Renewable energy
  • Remote monitoring and data analytics
  • Information Technology (IT)
  • Communications
  • Logistics

Just because Calgary’s tech sector has been rising up in recent years does not mean that skills and experience in the oil and gas industry are going to become obsolete.

On the contrary, the oil and gas industry is always evolving and finding ways to incorporate technology into the way it operates!


Making the Move From Energy to Technology

There are many reasons why someone may want to move away from the oil and gas industry and into a new vocation.

With so many job displacements, lay-offs and downsizing, careers in the energy sector are always faced with these vulnerabilities.

The oilfield lifestyle also can take a toll after a while.

Also, with this exciting new technology sector gaining traction in Calgary, some individuals may simply seek a new career opportunity.

So the growth of Calgary’s tech sector is great news!

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) forecasts the demand for 9,000 core digital jobs in Alberta by 2023 with over 77,000 potential employment opportunities.

That means that now is the time to begin transitioning your skills from the energy sector to the technology sector:


Inventory Your Transferable Skills

Many people who wish to transition out of the oil and gas industry hesitate to do so because they feel their experience is too specialized.

This is why it’s important to take note of and understand your transferable skills. 

Employers in the tech industry seek employees that add value but may not initially understand how your experience in your current career path can benefit their company.

By presenting yourself along with your transferable skills, you can demonstrate how diverse your skill set is.

Examples of transferable skills include:

  • Planning and scheduling
  • Budget and cost control
  • Staff training
  • Customer service
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication skills
  • Time management skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Analytical and critical thinking
  • Leadership

These are just a few examples of transferable skills that can be gained by working in the oil and gas industry.

You can always speak to an employment counselor to better determine what your transferable skills are.


Upgrade Your Education and Training

While your experience in oil and gas may be useful in the technology sector, there is always more you can learn.

This will help you gain the knowledge and qualifications to pursue a career in technology.

Momentum offers a technology training program to get you the skills you need for a career in technology.


Do Your Research

The internet is a wealth of information when it comes to learning about available jobs and educating yourself in changes within the industry.

Sites such as Energy Job Shop help assist oil and gas workers transition into new and exciting careers by sharing educational articles as well as job leads that align with their skillset.

And with so many job leads posted to their site, you’ll likely find a career path you’ve never considered before!

Keep in mind that the technology sector is not your only option when transitioning your skillset into a career. If you’re ready for a change, you may also consider:

  • Construction
  • Industrial manufacturing
  • Supply chain
  • Military

These are just a handful of examples – so the possibilities are endless! And, with a little research, you can find a career best suited to your passions and talents.


Is the Tech Sector Right For You?

The only way to find out is to get out there and see what’s available!

If you find yourself feel stagnant in the oil and gas field, or are tired of working in an unstable industry, working in Calgary’s tech sector may be the right career move for you.

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