In 2007 Disney Interactive purchased a local start up (Club Penguin) for $700 million which caused the world to take notice. Since then, the region has become a tech hub with over 600 tech companies operating out of Kelowna including Bartel Entertainment, Bananatag, Dollar Bid Club, and many more calling Kelowna home. Incubators such as Accelerate Okanagan and the newly constructed Innovation Centre in the heart of Kelowna’s downtown have helped to build the industry within the region. In 2015 Accelerate Okanagan published their yearly Economic Report for the Okanagan Technology Sector which stated that a total economic impact of $1.3 billion, and over one billion dollars alone in direct input generated by companies in the 633 companies in the tech sector.
The $1.3 billion in total economic impact was over a 30% increase from the total economic impact recorded in 2013! It’s newer businesses which are helping to grow the Okanagan tech industry as well; nearly 60% of tech companies have been in business for five or less years, and over 30% of tech companies have been in business for two or less years. And these businesses need educated and qualified workers to help increase the size and quality of their companies, there are nearly 8000 workers involved in the Okanagan tech industry (either full-time, part-time, or contractors) with over half under the age of 35 years old. When current tech employees were surveyed whether they thought the current workforce is sustainable less than 10% of workers believed the tech industry workforce would decrease while over 30% of workers believed that the need of workers would increase by over 50% in the future.
Are you considering a job in the Okanagan Tech Industry? The most important question is do you have the skills necessary to translate into a job in the tech industry? Focus College’s programs can help you to build on your knowledge and lead you to success in the workforce. Whether it is after graduating from our HND Business program, or one of our Computer Science programs such as HND Computing: Software Development or the Information Technology Advanced Security Specialist (ITASS) program you can be sure that taking the first step can help put your Future in Focus.
For more information on the Okanagan Tech Sector, please refer to the Accelerate Okanagan Economic Impact of the Okanagan Tech Sector or visit the following articles: Vancouver Magazine, BetaKit, or the British Columbia Innovation Council’s (BCIC) website