Job prospects Software Designer in Ontario

Job opportunities for Software engineers and designers (NOC 2173) are good in Ontario over the next 3 years. These job prospects are also applicable to people working as a software designer.

Note that these employment prospects were published in December 2019 based on information available at that time. You can read our new special report to learn about the impact of COVID-19 on some occupations in your province or territory. You can also visit the Canadian Online Job Posting Dashboard to find the latest data on the demand and work requirements for this occupation.

Job opportunities in Ontario

software designer
Prospects over the next 3 years

The employment outlook will be good for Software engineers and designers (NOC 2173) in Ontario for the 2019-2021 period.

The following factors contributed to this outlook:

  • Employment growth will lead to several new positions.
  • Not many positions will become available due to retirements.
  • There are a small number of unemployed workers with recent experience in this occupation.

Software engineers and designers are employed across a variety of industries, but mainly for companies providing computer systems design and related services. Other key employers include wholesalers of computer and communications equipment, software publishers, and the finance and insurance services sector.

This occupation experienced significant employment growth over the last decade due to the increasing reliance on computer software and the Internet for many common services. Yet during the forecast period, one of the key drivers of employment will be the technologies being introduced in the automotive industry. Large automotive manufacturers and software producers have been investing in projects in different areas of the province to develop new features in connected cars and to advance self-driving car projects. Software engineers should also benefit from other significant investments in facilities, including by a ride-sharing transportation service provider in a new engineering laboratory. Expansions in technology and innovation hubs by other companies also bode well for employment in the occupation.

In addition, as the financial services continue to transform their operating platforms, several opportunities are expected for software engineers and designers in these institutions, in digital laboratories, and among the growing number of financial technology (FinTech) start-up companies. Private and public sector venture capital funding is helping to spur growth in the emerging FinTech cluster and other sectors.

Within this occupation, artificial intelligence designers and related roles should also experience an increasing amount of job prospects. Artificial intelligence (AI) allows machines and built-in software to perform tasks which are usually undertaken by human beings, such as learning and processing information. There is a growing interest in applying these techniques to many types of business activities, including e-commerce, finance, healthcare, legal services and manufacturing. A research institute to develop AI-related expertise specific to deep learning and machine learning has been established in Toronto and this effort should result in a wider use of the technology by companies in Ontario over the longer term, and support employment demand for these professionals.

Similarly, cloud architects in this occupation should see a fair amount of job openings as more information technology services are virtualized, and resulting from initiatives associated with the 'smart city' concept.

Other dominant technological trends will drive job prospects for software engineers and designers, including block chain infrastructure, 3D printing and virtual and augmented reality. A fair amount of job openings should also be generated in the province's growing video game industry.

The most recently available data shows that this occupation accounts for the second highest share of graduates (24%) of computer science bachelor degree programs from universities in Ontario. Graduates of college programs also add to the supply of new entrants.

It is noticeable that in Ontario, a higher share of software engineers and designers (32%) have attained a university certificate, diploma or degree above the bachelor's level, when compared with the other four computer and information systems professional occupations.

In addition to a bachelor's or master's degree in computer science, software engineering or a related discipline, employers tend to seek individuals who are proficient in the latest technologies, including cloud infrastructure, and programming languages such as Java and Structured Query Language (SQL). The requirement for recruits with over 5 years' experience is also common, as well as the ability to apply Agile engineering best practices in the work environment. Along with sound technical knowledge, professionals with strong communication and soft skills may fare better in the labour market.

Apart from job fairs and other traditional hiring methods, employers and other stakeholders are increasingly organising 'hackathons' as a way of identifying and recruiting top IT talent.

Here are some key facts about Software engineers and designers in the Ontario region:

  • Approximately 28,750 people work in this occupation.
  • Software engineers and designers mainly work in the following sectors:
    • Computer systems design services (NAICS 5415): 40%
    • Information and cultural industries (NAICS 51): 11%
    • Other professional, scientific and technical services (NAICS 5414, 5416-5419): 9%
    • Wholesale trade (NAICS 41): 8%
    • Monetary Authorities - central bank and securities, commodity contracts and other intermediation and related activities (NAICS 521, 522, 523): 7%
  • The distribution of full-time and part-time workers in this occupation is:
    • Full-time workers: more than 95% compared to 79% for all occupations
    • Part-time workers: less than 5% compared to 21% for all occupations
  • 73% of software engineers and designers work all year, while 27% work only part of the year, compared to 63% and 37% respectively among all occupations. Those who worked only part of the year did so for an average of 34 weeks compared to 31 weeks for all occupations.
  • 8% of software engineers and designers are self-employed compared to an average of 12% for all occupations.
  • Breakdown by region

    Explore job prospects in Ontario by economic region.

    Legend: The job opportunities can be: Undetermined Limited Fair Good

    Source Labour Market Information | Prospects Methodology

    You can also look at this data on a map. Go to LMI Explore

    Job prospects elsewhere in Canada

    We expect that there will be a labour SHORTAGE for Software engineers and designers (NOC 2173) in Canada over the next 10 years.

    Learn more

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