January 13, 2024

How many STEM workers does Canada need?

Canada has been making headlines in recent years for its commitment to attracting skilled workers, particularly in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). In 2023, these STEM jobs have taken center stage in Canada's immigration landscape, thanks to the Express Entry category-based draws initiated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the driving forces behind this shift, the projected demand for STEM workers, and the opportunities it presents to aspiring immigrants.

Why STEM Is a Priority in Express Entry Draws

The choice to prioritize STEM professions in the Express Entry system didn't happen overnight. It stemmed from thorough analysis, feedback, and a recognition of labor market gaps. The federal government identified five priority occupational categories facing shortages: healthcare, STEM, transport, trades, and agriculture/agri-food. These category-based draws differ from standard Express Entry draws as they emphasize specific work experience over a candidate's Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.

Understanding the STEM Gap

The skills gap in Canada's STEM workforce became apparent towards the end of 2022. It was largely attributed to the impending retirement of experienced professionals and the ever-evolving landscape of technology and automation in various industries. Notably, Canada's Artificial Intelligence (AI) sector is experiencing rapid growth, fueling the demand for tech talent. In fact, the Global AI index ranked Canada fourth in terms of global competitiveness in innovation, implementation, and investment.

Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, highlighted Canada's ability to attract talent. The focus on STEM in Express Entry draws aims to support the science and technology sector by drawing skilled individuals necessary for innovation and growth. Canada's unique combination of talent attraction and entrepreneurial innovation positions it as the world's premier destination to start and scale technology companies.

The Growing Demand for STEM Workers

The Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS), operated by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), forecasts job openings across various professions from 2022 to 2031.

Here's a glimpse of what it projects for STEM professions:

Occupation New Job Openings
Software Engineers and Designers 44,300
Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers 80,500
Civil Engineering 26,100
Mechanical Engineering 12,700
Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering 3,800
Electrical and Electronics Engineering 12,600
Mathematicians, Statisticians, and Actuaries 4,600
Technical Occupations in Physical Sciences 12,200


These numbers signify a significant demand for STEM workers in Canada, necessitating the influx of hundreds of thousands of skilled professionals to fill upcoming vacancies and address labor shortages.

Opportunities for Prospective Immigrants

The demand for STEM workers in Canada presents a unique opportunity for prospective immigrants. The 2022 year-end Express Entry report revealed that the top three primary occupations among invitation recipients were all in the technology industry. Software engineers and designers, information system specialists, and computer systems developers and programmers were the most common occupations among candidates invited to apply through Express Entry in 2022.

This means that skilled STEM workers interested in immigrating to Canada may be eligible to do so through category-based Express Entry draws designed specifically for STEM professionals. By contributing to filling labor market gaps, they can play a pivotal role in strengthening Canada's STEM sector while forging meaningful careers in the country.

A Look at STEM Express Entry Draws So Far

IRCC has already conducted one round of invitations exclusively for skilled candidates in STEM occupations. This draw occurred on July 5th, inviting 500 candidates with STEM work experience to apply for permanent residence in Canada. For this draw, candidates needed a minimum CRS score of 486.

Winding up

The demand for STEM professionals in Canada is evident and growing. If you're considering a career move or immigration to Canada in the STEM field, you're in the right place at the right time. Stay informed about future Express Entry draws tailored to your expertise and explore the countless opportunities that await you in Canada's flourishing technology landscape.

Pelican Migration Consultants: Your Pathway to Canada

Embarking on the journey to work and live in Canada, especially as a skilled STEM professional, can be both exciting and challenging. At Pelican Migration Consultants, we specialize in guiding individuals like you through the intricate maze of Canadian immigration procedures. Our team of experienced immigration consultants in Dubai understands the nuances of immigration laws and regulations, ensuring your application process is smooth and successful.

With a focus on personalized support, we offer tailored solutions to meet your specific needs. Whether you're seeking assistance with visa applications, work permits, or permanent residency, we are here to simplify the process and maximize your chances of approval.

By choosing Pelican Migration Consultants, you're not just selecting a service – you're choosing a partner dedicated to making your Canadian dream a reality

For personalized immigration assistance and guidance, consider reaching out to Pelican Migration Consultants today. Your dream of working and living in Canada might be closer than you think.