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New IBM Survey Reveals Critical Areas to Strengthen STEM Skills in Canada

Increase awareness of STEM roles, affordable skills training, and bolstering digital credentials
Feb 14, 2023
  • 66% of Canadians don’t feel qualified to work in STEM because they don't have the right academic degrees
  • 62% of Canadians have little to no familiarity with digital credential programs

Toronto, ON, February 14, 2023 — Job seekers, students, and career changers around the world want to pursue roles related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) across different industries, but say they are not familiar with career options. At the same time, online training and digital credentials are emerging as a recognized pathway to opportunity as respondents plan to seek new jobs in the year ahead.

These were some of the global findings from a new study that IBM unveiled today. The study*, administered by Morning Consult and commissioned by IBM, is based on more than 14,000 interviews of students, people seeking new jobs, and people seeking to change careers, located across 13 countries including Canada.

“As Canadian businesses increasingly adopt new technologies including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Hybrid Cloud, we are seeing increased opportunities for Canadians to pursue new career paths in STEM-related roles,” said Frank Attaie, General Manager- Technology, IBM Canada. “To take advantage of this moment, it is vital we raise awareness of different paths available today to step into technology roles across industries. We’re deeply committed to driving this progress in Canada, and investing in programs including our alliances with IBM SkillsBuild partners to enable pathways for all Canadians to pursue futures in tech.”

Top 4 Canadian Findings: Study Shows Misconceptions and Opportunities in Tech and Beyond

The IBM / Morning Consult study revealed perceptions from interviewed students, career changers, and job seekers who are interested in a role in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM):

Misconceptions exist amongst Canadians when it comes to STEM training

Respondents shared they believe STEM training is too expensive, learners don't know where to start and don't know enough about digital credentials.

  • 66% of Canadians think they are not qualified to work in a STEM job today because they don't have the right academic degrees
  • 62% of Canadians think they don’t have the right skills to be qualified for a STEM job
  • 36% of Canadian career changers worry that digital credentials may be costly to obtain
  • The ability to continue to work while earning a credential is particularly important to career changers

Learners and workers around the world are planning to make a change

  • 68% of Canadian students and career changers looking for a new or additional job in the next 12 months as compared to 60% of global respondents
  • More than 30% Canadians have plans to build their skills in the next two years
  • More than 90% Canadians are confident they can develop skills or learn something new from an online program

Canadians lack clarity on where STEM job opportunities exist today

  • Globally, awareness of options around different STEM roles across industries is low – 40% of Canadian career changers and 33% of job seekers are not familiar with STEM jobs

Digital Credentials as a valuable supplement to traditional education

Respondents worldwide see the value in digital credentials as a supplement to traditional education

  • 85% of Canadians with digital credentials agree it helped to achieve career goals
  • 73% of Canadians agree digital credentials are a good way to supplement traditional education
  • Increased career opportunities and qualifications were the top reasons why respondents across the globe said they wanted to earn digital credentials

Through a holistic approach to investing in the future of work, IBM is supporting learners and helping tackle their misconceptions about technology and STEM careers. IBM SkillsBuild is bringing free technology training available to learners all over the world, with a focus on underrepresented communities in tech. Online training, like the courses offered by IBM SkillsBuild, is most effective when it is delivered collaboratively with local partners. Community experts enrich course content through project-based learning and connect learners with real career opportunities. To this end, today IBM SkillsBuild is proud to announce 45 new and expanded collaborations around the world.

Through collaborations like these, IBM continues to progress towards its commitment to skill 30 million people globally by 2030.

*Methodology: This study was conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of IBM from November 2 - December 20, 2022. The study was conducted among a sample of 4,926 Students, 4,629 Job Seekers, and 4,628 Career Changers in 13 countries (Brazil, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, Spain, UAE, UK, and the US).

About IBM SkillsBuild

IBM SkillsBuild is a free education program focused on underrepresented communities in tech, that helps adult learners, and high school and university students and faculty, develop valuable new skills and access career opportunities. The program includes an online platform that is complemented by customized practical learning experiences delivered in collaboration with a global network of partners.

The open version of IBM SkillsBuild is an online platform that offers over 1,000 courses in 19 languages on cybersecurity, data analysis, cloud computing, and many other technical disciplines — as well as in workplace skills such as Design Thinking. Most important, participants can earn IBM-branded digital credentials that are recognized by the market.

The enhanced partner version of IBM SkillsBuild may also include workshops, expert conversations with IBM coaches and mentors, project-based learning, access to IBM software, specialized support from partners through the learning process, and connection to career opportunities.


Media Contact:

Ruhee Dhar
IBM Canada

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