Why do so many developers move to Canada?

Canada has become the destination of choice for developers from around the world. In addition to the goodwill that Canadians enjoy, the country has an incomparable quality of life that makes it attractive across the Atlantic. 

You probably know a colleague or even a family member who has decided to leave everything behind to live in Canada and start a new chapter in their life and career. Here are a few reasons why Canada is so attractive.

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Living in Canada: A life experience

In France in 2019, 76% of digital employees want to move abroad, according to a study by BCG and Cadremploi. Although French universities are ranked among the best in the world, the country is struggling to retain its students once they graduate. Digital experts tend to go to the United States, Germany and Canada, the top three countries ahead of Australia and the United Kingdom. France only comes 7th in the ranking of the most attractive destinations. 

For digital professionals, immersion in a new culture is a real springboard in their professional and personal lives.

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Living in Canada: An incomparable quality of life

Each year, U.S. News and World Report's Best Countries Report The report ranks countries in a number of categories, and quality of life plays a major role, as it is one of the main motivating factors for future expatriates. This is also Canada's great strength, as the country ranks number 1 in quality of life in the world.

This can be explained by a rich and accessible natural environment, several choice cities where life is good(Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal...), strong and human values (individual freedoms are very important in Canada, volunteering, mutual aid, warm attitude are very widespread values). Inclusiveness is also one of Canada's strong points; here, laws and society condemn any form of discrimination based on gender, race, religion, appearance, etc. 

Health care is also an important aspect of quality of life: in Canada, 13 provincial and territorial health insurance plans ensure that Canadian residents have satisfactory access to medical and hospital services without having to pay for them. 

Finally, according to the OECD's Live Well Index, Canada scores 9.1 out of 10 on safety and 81% of Canadians say they feel safe walking alone at night - compared to 69% on average. The homicide rate is as low as 1.4% per 100,000 population - compared to 3.6% in OECD countries.

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For some time now, Canada has been experiencing a shortage of Information Technology (IT) workers; Maplr had made this a full article early 2019:

"The problem is that the Canadian school system is not producing enough qualified students to fill the gap. Between 2004 and 2019, it is estimated that the number of future computer scientists in Canadian schools has not changed. In Quebec, for example, 3,000 new computer scientists graduate each year... While in the same period of time, more than 10,000 jobs are created. It is therefore important to encourage Canadians to go into this field; however, even with the most optimistic forecasts, this will not be enough."

As a result, Canadian IT companies are now turning to international recruitment in order to operate - 88% of tech companies consider hiring through immigration as a solution to current recruitment challenges. For the French and other Francophones, the advantage is there, since by 2021, Quebec alone will need 45,000 additional workers in the IT field. In Ontario, there is talk of 88,000 jobs being created by the same year.

Attractive salary conditions

Lalary, salary conditions are also very attractive for foreign workers: more than 50% of Canadian employers consider that a competitive salary is the key to attracting and retaining talent in the IT and computer sector. On average, for the same position, salaries are 30% higher in Canada than in France: junior profiles earn a minimum of CAD$60,000 per year, intermediate profiles CAD$75,000 per year and senior profiles CAD$90,000 per year.

In 2019, Hays led survey on what Canadian IT employers will do to retain their employees: the ability to work from home (56%), expanded health benefits (54%), flexible work hours (49%), more than 10 days holiday for new hires (45%), RRSP contributions (39%), individual performance bonuses (32%)...

The IT job market in Canada is both active and attractive: the unemployment rate is very low and there are many vacancies on a continuous basis. 

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A working environment focused on the well-being of employees

In Canada, many companies offer telecommuting and flexible working arrangements for their employees. It is also customary to finish at 5pm on average, as the country greatly favours work-life balance, leaving people more time to enjoy their family, do activities, see friends... 

Internal communication is built in the opposite way to what we know in France: in Canada, management is horizontal, exchanges take place more quickly between employees and management andthere are real opportunities fordevelopment. 

The work environment is very low-stress and employees' personal motivation, involvement and commitment to their company are valued as much or more than their performance. There is no culture of presenteeism and trust is built naturally. 

In France, as in the UK and Russia, only 22% of developers say they are "very happy", while in Canada the satisfaction rate is around 33% .

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French IT talent has a good reputation

Graduates of French schools and universities are highly valued in Canada: this is due to the good reputation of French studies, good qualifications, advanced technical knowledge and a generally exemplary academic record. 

In Canada, we are not interested in a school label: each person is considered for what he or she is worth in terms of involvement in projects and teams and through their "soft skills", the competencies that make each of us more competitive and unique in the eyes of employers.

Immigration facilities for living in Canada

Today, it is easy to immigrate to Canada, there are many choices available to those wishing to settle there to work and the simplicity of the procedures reassures even the most reluctant to deal with the administration: Working Holiday Permit (allowing you to work in any field and valid for up to two years), Young Professionals Permit for those under 35 years old (permit attached to the company that sponsors you)...

Computer designers and developers are among the most sought-after skilled workers in Canada, particularly through priority immigration programs and work permits.

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A booming tech ecosystem

Montreal, Quebec's largest city, is not only the world leader in artificial intelligence and video games, but also the IT capital of Canada. According to a recent report, Machine Learning is by far the skill that developers plan to acquire the most in 2019, followed closely by video game development.

In the process of becoming the "silicon valley" of Canada, the city enjoys numerous tech events, meetups and conferences. A rich and lively ecosystem that motivates French developers to start a new life across the Atlantic.

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Living in Canada: Conclusion

Attractive, inclusive and in constant need of new talent, Canada is a destination of choice for French developers. In addition to offering a motivating professional environment, the quality of life in the country is a real added value that encourages workers to settle there.

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