Waterloo Region has become a technology hub. Communitech describes the local tech sector as follows: " Waterloo Region is THE place for a technology professional to build a career. More than 500 different tech companies, ranging from wireless to software, web/internet to digital media, bioinformatics and environmental, hardware and advanced manufacturing, opportunities abound."
This reputation draws a lot of talented technology professionals to the community, and can often mean that competition is high for finding work in the tech sector. It is important to focus on a highly networked and strategic job search in order to find work in this climate.
If you are interested in building or honing your IT skills, we invite you to use The Working Centre's Access to Technology resources, which offer IT skills assessment, training and certification.
In addition to the many technical skills required in the IT sector, most employers also emphasize the importance of soft skills - communication skills, conflict resolution and negotiation, personal effectiveness, creative problem solving, strategic thinking, and team building.
An employer will likely have a range of applicants for a given job with similar technical skills. The employer wants to ensure that they are hiring an individual who is the best fit for their organization, would be best to make presentations and meet with clients, gracefully work within or lead a team, and represent their company. Over the last few decades soft skills have become increasingly important, particularly within technical fields.
You can practice many of these soft skills as you do your job search - presenting your skills effectively to an employer is an ideal way to demonstrate your soft skills. You may want to have a conversation about this with your Employment Counsellor. They can help you to assess your soft skills and make a plan to further develop your soft skills.
Occupational English for New Canadians
As an IT professional, a prospective employer will need to be confident that you can effectively use English on the job. This can mean using technical jargon properly. Some words, terms and acronyms may even be regional.
Some strategies for building sector specific language skills include:
- Formal training - Sector specific language training programs are offered from time to time. Look through the English language section of this website for ideas and connections to further training, or talk to a Working Centre employment counsellor.
- Network within your field to hear and practic relevant occupationally specific language usage. A mentor from the sector can help you to practice appropriate language usage.
- Seek out occupational publications to not only keep up to date on developments in your profession but continuously improve your knowledge of occupational language.