Filling the STEM void: Canada’s most in-demand careers

Canada is home to some of the world’s most prominent technology companies: organizations like Shopify, Skipthedishes, Hootsuite, RBC, and many others are making waves on a global scale. As they inevitably continue to expand, they’ll need more employees with STEM (science, technology, math, and engineering) skills.

Workers with STEM skills are growing in demand. And this need is translating to the financial side of things: according to the 2016 census by Statistics Canada, the average income of a STEM graduate is more than $15,000 higher than graduates of non-STEM fields.

It’s not just tech in general that’s in need of fresh talent. If we zoom in, we can see that data skills, in particular, are in high demand — especially because of their wide applicability across all industries. From video game data analysis to using statistical models to create insights about the financial ecosystem, having the ability to assess data and present your findings is increasingly becoming essential.

With data becoming ingrained in everything we do, the future will rely on those who have an understanding of how to analyze and interpret this data, and make recommendations based on findings.

There’s a need for skilled tech talent, and the compensation is among the best of any industry. So why doesn’t everyone just go out and train in tech and data skills?

The short answer: developing these new skills can be difficult. You’ve probably already worked with data in some shape or form, reviewing a spreadsheet of statistics or managing customer data. But to truly learn how to master data, you need to commit to practicing every day.

The difficulty can be a bit of a put-off. But those that allow themselves to be repelled by the hard effort tend to end up regretting it. More than half of Canadians say that if given the opportunity to go back to when they were 18 years old, they would focus on a career in a STEM field.

The desire to change careers has only accelerated during the pandemic. According to Morneau Shepell’s monthly Mental Health Index, nearly a quarter of Canadians indicated that the pandemic has led them to reconsider their professional future and think about switching jobs.

It’s not too late to make a change.

Starting this month, Lighthouse Labs is launching the 21-Day Data Challenge. By spending just 10-20 minutes a day working at these challenges, participants can build up their data skillset in a fun, engaging way.

And it’s entirely free.

If you’re interested in exploring a career in technology, the 21-Day Data Challenge will give you a solid foundation to start learning about Python and data analytics.

By signing up, you’ll not only take the first step towards enhancing your skill set; you’ll be entered to win a number of prizes, including a Samsung Smart TV, Nintendo Switch, iPad, and the grand prize, a Peloton Bike Essentials Kit.

For every challenge you complete, you’ll be entered to win more prizes. Check out the full list of prizes on the Data Challenge website.


How does it work?

Lighthouse Labs has designed a 21-day online program that will challenge you to develop new skills by practicing them for 10-20 minutes each day.

Participants play as the protagonist, Dot, an urbanite who decides to move off-the-grid to a remote cabin. You’ll play the game by using data skills to help Dot thrive in their new environment. No prior data analysis experience is necessary to play. You don’t have to do it alone either, as you’ll have access to forums where you can get hints from fellow participants and Lighthouse Labs mentors.

The challenge begins on February 17th and runs through to March 9th.

For those that are looking to take things one step further, Lighthouse Labs offers immersive, personalized, accelerated data and coding bootcamps. These programs give students everything they need to break into a career in data or tech.

Lighthouse Labs is a leader in digital skills training. It’s dedicated to training the next generation of software developers and data scientists. Since 2013, Lighthouse Labs has introduced over 30,000 Canadians to coding, and in early 2020, they released their Data Science and Data Analytics programs. Their most recent student outcomes report revealed that 95 percent of graduates from bootcamp are hired within 180 days.

Sign up for the 21-Day Data Challenge to begin your journey with data at https://data-challenge.lighthouselabs.ca/start.


Sponsored by Lighthouse Labs

Lighthouse Labs is able to make this challenge possible with the support of their partners. A special thank you to Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Global Skillshub, Tech Talent Canada and Riipen.

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