Vancouver ranked 7th best city in the world for technology, education is key

Of the 30 global cities rated for their tech savvy, Vancouver tops the pack, largely due to the role its tech-friendly post-secondary institutions play.

A new report from UK financial comparison website ranks Vancouver seventh among the best cities for tech, based on factors including income from tech jobs, number of successful startups and availability of degrees related to technology offered by its post-secondary schools.

Other factors include median IT salary, estimated annual cost of living, estimated disposable income for tech employees, average internet speed, number of unicorn companies (startups worth $1 billion) dollars) per 100,000 people and the number of startups per 100,000 people.

Vancouver ranks just behind Seattle and San Francisco but ahead of Los Angeles, Stockholm and Dallas. Only one other Canadian city moved up the rankings; Toronto is ranked 15th overall.

Vancouver’s placement is partly propelled by having the highest average college score in engineering and technology.

“It’s not just the potential employment in the tech sector that could attract people to a particular city, but also education,” the report reads.

“Looking at the universities highlighted by the QS World University Rankings for their technology degrees, the city with the highest average score is Vancouver, home to the University of British Columbia.”

Vancouver also has one of the highest median IT salaries – US$101,293. It’s just one of seven cities to have an upper median tech salary range of between $100,000 and $122,000, joining New York, Washington, DC, Denver, Boston, Los Angeles and Dallas.

In contrast, the median IT salary in Toronto is US$98,900, San Francisco is US$98,600, and Seattle is US$92,500.

Both Canadian cities are among the top cities for the disposable income factor for IT workers, with Vancouver at US$64,050 and Toronto at US$63,584. Both are in the middle of the pack when it comes to cost of living.

Vancouver and Toronto have a similar number of start-ups per 100,000 population, with 21 and 23 companies respectively. By comparison, San Francisco has 557, Washington, DC has 146, Boston has 135, Seattle has 96, Denver has 56, London has 48, Dallas has 28, Berlin has 33, Melbourne has seven. and Sydney has 16.

For unicorn businesses per 100,000 population, San Francisco leads with 14.94, followed by Boston at 2.01, New York at 1.0, Seattle at 0.9, Denver at 0.67, and Washington, DC at 0.56.

Vancouver has 0.19 unicorn businesses per 100,000 population, surpassing Singapore’s ratio of 0.18, Toronto’s ratio of 0.08, Paris’ ratio of 0.14, and the same Melbourne and Sydney’s ratio of 0. 02.

In 2021, CBRE ranked Vancouver as having the 11th best tech talent in North America.

CBRE also considered the role that post-secondary institutions play in Vancouver’s tech ecosystem. Vancouver post-secondary institutions awarded 12,944 tech degrees between 2015 and 2019, and 24,200 tech jobs were added to the city from 2016 to 2020, representing a net “brain gain” of 11,256 tech workers – from both local and locally trained talent and those who have moved to the city in search of opportunity.

There are now 91,200 tech employees in Vancouver, representing a 36% increase over the past five years and an 8% share of all jobs in the city.

Much of the city’s current momentum is spurred by Amazon’s big expansion into downtown Vancouver.

The most tech-savvy cities in the world

  1. denver
  2. washington d.c.
  3. New York City
  4. Boston
  5. Seattle
  6. San Francisco
  7. Vancouver
  8. Los Angeles
  9. stockholm
  10. dallas
  11. London
  12. Berlin
  13. amsterdam
  14. Singapore
  15. Toronto
  16. Copenhagen
  17. Munich
  18. Tokyo
  19. Dublin
  20. melbourne
  21. sydney
  22. hong kong
  23. Seoul
  24. Barcelona
  25. beijing
  26. Paris
  27. Shanghai
  28. taipei
  29. The cap
  30. Bogotá

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