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Alberta tech industry continuing rapid growth in past two years: study

Last Updated Apr 22, 2021 at 3:31 pm MDT

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — As the oil and gas sector continues to try and rebound through a struggling market, the tech industry seems to be thriving according to the Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation, Doug Schweitzer and a recent report by the Alberta Enterprise Corporation (AEC).

As many businesses try to navigate and escape the challenges of the pandemic, the AEC 2021 Alberta Technology Deal Flow Study claims the number of tech companies in the province has doubled since 2012 with 40 per cent saying revenues exceeded more than $1 million, which is a 66 per cent rise in the past two years.

The majority of tech companies have set up shop in Calgary and Minister Schweitzer says the government wants to keep growing.

READ MORE: Alberta businesses aim to survive pandemic by innovating, working together

“Alberta is now a player in the tech sector in Canada, but we don’t just want to rest on this. We want to become a dominant player in Canada where we see continued success, continued momentum in the tech space,” Schweitzer said.

MobSquad founder and CEO Irfan Rawji added people typically chose petrochemical engineering in post-secondary education because of opportunities, but now computer science has garnered a lot of attention.

“Because today, while our average software engineer at Mobsquad is only about 30 years old — their average salary is about $130,000,” Rawji said.

Schweitzer says this shows the province wants to continue being a leader in many branches of the economy right across the country.

“It builds on the diversification on what we’re trying to accomplish in our province. We’re seeing a rebound in our traditional economic drivers, but we want to as well diversify what we have to offer to people and particularly young people in Alberta who are looking for career opportunities,” he said.

There are more than 3,000 tech companies within the province compared to just over 1,200 two years ago and will look to build on that after the announcement last month that Infosys will be opening an office in Calgary.

RELATED: Hundreds of jobs promised as tech giant Infosys plans expansion in Calgary

Now when it comes to the vaccine front and looking at the light at the end of the tunnel in the pandemic, Schweitzer says Alberta is continuing work at procuring doses for the long-term.

“We’ve got two companies that are in human trials on vaccines that have a presence here in Alberta as well. So, we’re optimistic about our ability to become a significant contributor to this industry.”