StatCan and COPS have identified a handful of career fields that will face structural shortages over the coming years. These could be great careers to consider if you don’t know what to study!
Some fields of study are in higher demand than others — this is the reality of our modern economy. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow your dreams, but if you’re not sure what you want to study, or “what you want to do when you grow up,” looking at some of the fields facing shortages can be a good way to find a stable, secure career pathway.
To that end, Statistics Canada and the Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS) offer data to help you understand the labour market, and where it might be headed. These projections reach through 2031, so that’s plenty of time to get an education and start your career!
(Remember, many career paths may require you to work your way up the corporate or industrial ladder, so don’t be afraid to take an entry-level job in a field that interests you, especially if you’re still in school or have recently graduated.)
Now, the list of “hot careers” — fields facing structural shortages in Canada:
Careers in natural and applied sciences
Careers in the sciences are in high demand as Canada’s economy grows. Computer science and engineering are big areas of interest, alongside math and stats experts and data scientists.
- Land use planners and surveyors
- Mathematicians, statisticians, and actuaries
- Data scientists and administrators
- Computer programmers and game developers
- Pilots and air traffic controllers
Careers in healthcare
Canada’s famous for our healthcare system, but it only works when we have the right people working in the industry. Everyone from nurses to general practitioners to medical lab techs are needed as Canada’s population ages.
- Specialist and general physicians
- Dietitians and nutritionists
- Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
- Medical laboratory techs
- Respiratory therapists
Careers in social sciences and education
With mental health care and accessibility growing in importance in Canada, people with expertise in these areas are in high demand.
- Science policy researchers
- Instructors of persons with disabilities
- Home support workers
Careers in trades, transport, and equipment
Canada’s in desperate need for more skilled tradespeople, as we gear up to construct more homes across the country for our growing population. You could help build the future!
- Contractors in construction trades
- Industrial mechanics / millwrights
- Heating, refrigeration, and air conditioning mechanics (HVAC)
- Aircraft mechanics
- General installers and servicers
- Transport truck drivers
Careers in natural resources and agriculture
Canada’s got plenty of agriculture all across the country, and needs people to help run these farms and fisheries.
- General farm workers
- Nursery and greenhouse workers
- Harvesting labourers
Careers in processing, manufacturing, and utilities
Careers in these fields may require comparatively less education than many others above.
- Industrial butchers and meat cutters
- Fish and seafood plant workers
- Aircraft, motor vehicle, and mechanical assemblers
- Food and beverage processing labourers
Clearly, many of these fields will require a post-secondary education, as they are firmly STEM and healthcare related! Of course, there are many opportunities in the trades, as well, which has a different pathway centered on apprenticeship rather than classroom learning.
That’s not to say you need to attend college or university to get a good job in Canada, but it’s often helpful, especially if you want to grow your salary significantly over the course of your career.
Have fun exploring these fields, and good luck!