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7 takeaways from the 2023 Labour Market Outlook for in-demand careers


The Province of British Columbia released its 2023 Labour Market Outlook report, which revealed that about one million job openings are expected in the next decade. In an era of rapidly changing workforce demands, the annual report provides useful insights to help post-secondary students and those thinking about entering, switching, or advancing their careers in the workforce, make informed decisions on optimizing their career, skills training, and education for a good-paying job. In particular, it is a valuable resource for identifying job opportunities, growth sectors, and skills development for British Columbians of all ages to use in planning ahead and investing in a future-proof and in-demand education, career, or business. 

As BCIT is at the forefront of connecting education, industry, and government in support of building an agile workforce, we are ready to help you leverage the labour market needs of today and over the next decade. Here are top 7 takeaways from BCIT for students and working professionals as you navigate an in-demand career in the changing workforce: 

1) About 75% of all job openings will require some level of post-secondary education or training.

Access to education and training is key to a good-paying job. Many polytechnic institutes, BCIT included, offer a wide selection of certificate, diploma, and degree programs in a variety of paces and formats that prepares you with the hands-on and relevant skills for an in-demand job. Even starting small with a Free Online Learning course or microcredential can be a stepping stone into additional badges or a certificate. Attend full-time, part-time, virtually, or in-person—it's up to you to create a customized and flexible learning option that fits with your busy schedule. 

2) Five industries will generate about half of all jobs openings.

As one of BC's largest post-secondary institutes with five campuses, BCIT offers over 300 programs – from business and media, computing and IT, engineering, health sciences, trades and apprenticeships, and applied and natural sciences – many of which equip you with the skills and training for an in-demand career.

The BCIT curriculum is developed through close consultation with industry, and delivered by instructors who have hands-on experience in their fields, so students gain the technical skills and experience needed to innovate and seize in-demand growth opportunities in their respective fields.

3) Over 117,000 job openings are expected in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) with software engineers and designers as one of the top high-opportunity occupations.

With technology expected to be a key growth area for jobs opportunities in BC, it's never too late to get into an in-demand tech job. Whether you're a professional looking to pivot into the information technology (IT) industry, or a recent high school graduate with no relevant experience, BCIT is here to support you in developing the skills and knowledge to get into an in-demand tech job – starting with these six pathways.

4) More job openings in healthcare and social assistance than to the last report.

There is a high demand for healthcare professionals and services in BC – currently and in the years to come.

As a major producer of nurses and other health professionals that are the cornerstone of the BC health system, BCIT offers the largest nursing program in the province, with an additional 10 post-graduate programs related to specialty nursing. In addition, you may have never considered a unique, preventative-based health program, such as Biotechnology, Food Technology, Environmental Public Health, Occupational Health and Safety, and Radiation Therapy.

If you're interested in a career in the healthcare system but not sure where to start, here are six programs to prepare you for a job in BC's healthcare system.

5) Trades continue to be an in-demand sector.

Trades professionals are the foundation for building the future of BC and they are in demand now more than ever. As the largest trades training provider in Western Canada, BCIT offers numerous programs to help tradespeople upskill or reskill according to industry needs in their field of choice. Here are some in-demand opportunities to advance your trades career or to help you get into a career in trades.

6) Top skills and competencies of the future include:

  • Active listening
  • Speaking
  • Critical thinking
  • reading comprehension
  • Judgement and decision making
  • Complex problem solving
  • Social perceptiveness

In a changing workforce, soft skills have become increasingly important and foundational to getting hired. Recognizing this, BCIT offers work-integrated learning to provide students with opportunities to hone their technical skills while developing their soft skills in a real-world work environment with industry professionals and peers – all of which bridges the gap in job-readiness.

7) Find Your Path: New digital tool to support in career exploration and mapping.

The Province's newly launched Find Your Path digital tool allows users to explore in-demand careers and map out their educational journey. Education and skills pathways have been mapped within the tool for more than 250 occupations, including many of the high opportunity occupations identified in the 2023 Labour Market Outlook. More occupations will continue to be added on a regular basis.

BCIT also offers a Tuition Estimator tool to allow users in finding the approximate costs for the Institute's full-time programs – including tuition, student association (BCITSA) and ancillary fees.

BCIT grads get hired for an in-demand and good-paying career

The 2023 Labour Market Outlook report offers an exciting look into the future of the workforce in BC. As BCIT has been delivering flexible and relevant education that equips learners for job-readiness across industries, we'll help you get the skills you need into an in-demand and good-paying career.

Learn more about how BCIT can support you in your chosen path.

Quick facts about BCIT grads' employment rates
  • 98% employment rate for degree completers*
  • 97% employment rate for apprentice completers*
  • 91% employment rate for diploma and certificate graduates*
  • 91% employment rate for trades foundation and trades-related vocational graduates*

*Source: BC Student Outcomes, prepared by BC Stats, 2022

 This article was originally posted on the BCIT website on November 24, 2023 by Amy Chen.

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