Alberta’s technology sector has seen unprecedented growth that has companies and venture capitalist investment pouring into the province at record-breaking rates. The Alberta Technology and Innovation Strategy estimates that, by 2030, Alberta’s technology sector will contribute $5 billion annually to the provincial GDP and create 20,000 new jobs in the sector for Albertans.

To support this growth, proposed changes to the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act will enable companies to use the software engineer title to attract and retain in-demand skilled talent.  

“Alberta’s government is committed to supporting our growing technology sector without compromising the high standards maintained by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta. In proposing this legislation, we’re supporting the growth of the economy while keeping the safety and security of Albertans at the forefront.”

Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Advanced Education

Since 2019, the number of Alberta technology companies has doubled to 2,800 from 1,238. Almost 40 per cent of those companies have revenues exceeding $1 million.

Across Canada, job postings from companies have shown widespread use of the software engineer title in the technology industry, in most cases not seeking the qualifications of a registered professional engineer.

“Technology isn’t just an industry, it’s the future of every industry. The proposed changes to the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act will allow the technology sector to use the global industry-standard designation of software engineer when recruiting, making it easier for Alberta companies to compete in the global job market.”

Nate Glubish, Minister of Technology and Innovation

Amendments to the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act include:

  • Adding an exemption for the title “software engineer” and any related titles specified in the regulation.
  • Affirming the title “professional engineer” or abbreviation “P.Eng.” remains restricted to professional engineers, licensees and permit holders registered with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA).
  • Allowing the minister to make regulations prescribing titles related to “software engineer” for similar exemption.

“Alberta continues to rise as a technology leader on the global stage, with record venture capital coming into our province in recent years. We expect this influx of new investment capital to accelerate and it’s critical for us to attract the best and brightest minds from around the globe into Alberta, to expand our economy going forward. I fully support this positive update, which shall definitely benefit our economic growth ahead.”

Harish Consul, founder & CEO, Ocgrow Ventures

As the co-founder of a tech company, I look forward to being able to use the term software engineer as we continue to grow. This announcement will make competing for talent on a global scale easier for our company and for other tech companies around the province.”

Nicole Janssen, co-founder and co-CEO, AltaML

“Alberta continues to be a place that invests and evolves to support its fast-growing technology sector. This is another example of the province listening to the tech sector about removing barriers in order to attract the best talent to Alberta and further grow industries and job opportunities for all Albertans.”

Cam Linke, CEO, Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute

“The Council of Canadian Innovators is thrilled that Alberta has removed red tape around the use of the term ‘software engineer’ and its related variations. CCI and our members have appreciated every opportunity to engage with the province to bring about this welcome change. Alberta’s tech industry is thriving, and we are excited to continue working in partnership on common-sense policies that set the province’s innovation economy on a path for sustained success.”

Benjamin Bergen, president, Council of Canadian Innovators

In Alberta, engineering is a regulated profession overseen by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta. The APEGA sets and enforces the standards for an individual to hold the designation of professional engineer. Any work that involves the practise of engineering would continue to be fully regulated by APEGA.

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