Vancouver’s bustling economy – populated by thousands of homegrown startups and internationally recognized companies – has captured the attention of skilled workers from around the world. The economic centre of British Columbia, Vancouver is also at the intersection of commerce with North America and the Asia-Pacific region. Coupled with the city’s reputation for offering exceptional quality of life, it’s no wonder that working in Vancouver holds appeal for international talent seeking to build or grow their careers.
Strength in diversity
Fast-track immigration policies make Vancouver a top choice for global talent. In 2021 alone, over 69,000 people immigrated from around the world to BC – the second highest level of international immigration to BC on record. Several government programs are in place to expedite this substantial inflow of skilled workers who are looking to apply their skills in the local economy, including the Federal Skilled Worker program, targeted to skilled workers who wish to immigrate to Canada permanently; the Start-up Visa program, designed for immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build businesses in Canada that can compete on a global scale; and the International Experience Canada program, which grants young people (aged 18-35) the opportunity to travel and work in Canada.
The sky’s the limit, when working in Vancouver
Vancouver’s knowledge-based economy and collaborative industries hold infinite possibilities for career growth. Here, cleantech startups like Portable Electric lend their services to the film industry, helping to improve sustainability on film sets. Science and research professionals, such as those at the University of British Columbia, team up with the virtual reality sector to build lifesaving health technology. And aeronautics companies collaborate with government, academia and other organizations to reach new frontiers with Advanced Air Mobility.
A hub for technology
Vancouver’s technology sector is rapidly expanding with companies of all shapes and sizes – from burgeoning startups to global brands – choosing the city as a home base for headquarters or new offices. Approximately 115,400 tech tech professionals work in Metro Vancouver, filling jobs in artificial intelligence, software as a service (SaaS), business intelligence, security and fintech, e-commerce and web technologies, among others. Plus, most of the world’s largest tech companies have offices in Vancouver, including Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and TELUS.
Working in Vancouver
Training and upskilling
BC’s highly regarded post-secondary institutions are developing industry-ready talent that’s helping Vancouver’s key sectors rapidly expand. The province’s leading university, The University of British Columbia (UBC), is consistently ranked among the top five percent of universities in the world, with international students making up over a quarter of the university population (fun fact: three Canadian prime ministers were educated at UBC, including current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau).
Greater Vancouver offers more than a dozen outstanding educational institutions that complement teaching and research expertise with strong international connections and a willingness to collaborate with business. Need proof? Across BC, universities have played pivotal roles in launching the academic careers of nine Nobel Prize winners, 69 Rhodes scholars and 65 Olympic medalists.
Vancouver is also home to several specialty educational institutions, focusing on key sectors like film, digital entertainment and interactive, art, and fashion design.