Montreal named North American top tech talent desination

Montreal is one of North America’s best destinations for tech talent, says a new report from the Toronto office of CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm.

The report, titled Scoring Tech Talent, ranks Montreal 13th of 50 North American destinations according to competitive advantages and appeal to both employers and tech talent. The analysis also looks into labor market conditions, cost and quality for highly skilled workers in both the US and Canada.

Tech talent comprises highly skilled tech workers who create and enable the software and devices that are integrated into nearly everything we do.

Behind the top two North American markets of San Francisco and Seattle, CBRE named its own city as the third strongest destination. Landing in fourth and fifth positions were Washington, DC and New York. The Ontario-based organization also slotted Ottawa at 19th, ranking the nation’s capital as a stronger market than Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Phoenix. According to the report, Los Angeles is one of North America’s worst tech talent markets in terms of retaining home-grown talent, with Bay Area recruiters just a short flight away.

Vancouver, at 12th spot, is a stronger tech talent market than Montreal, says CBRE. Vancouver rose 13 spots from last year, marking the greatest year-over-year improvement of any North American market.

“Vancouver benefited from tech-centric post-secondary schools such as the BC Institute of Technology and University of British Columbia,” wrote the authors.

Montreal, home to at least five universities with adequate tech programs, ranked behind Vancouver. It was also called the most cost effective of all 50 tech markets.

The organization claims the two most significant markers that define a top tech talent market are high educational attainment and a preference by tech workers to live in the city proper.

CBRE ranked Toronto as the top market on a list of cities that quantified brain drain by subtracting the number of tech degrees handed out in a city between 2012 and 2017 by the amount of tech jobs created between 2013 and 2018. The resulting number claims Toronto has a brain drain score of “57,634” tech workers employed in the city. By this method, cities like New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Washington, Houston, Dallas, Boston and Montreal all posted negative brain drain scores.

The top source listed for these figures is CBRE Research, followed by the the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and The National Center for Education Statistics (Metro).

Here’s what the report had to say about the 13th-ranked Montreal:

Feature photo: Eva Blue