About STEM

Canadian Perspective

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers are vital to global innovation, economic growth and improving our standard of living. Recent data indicates that STEM careers are experiencing the fastest growth rates in Canada. The demand for STEM talent in Canada is outpacing the supply. There are simply not enough new STEM graduates to address the talent shortfall. According to a recent study, one in four Canadian STEM graduates opts to work outside of Canada, further amplifying the skills shortage. As a result, many Canadian companies are looking to outside Canada for STEM talent.

The Government of Canada is prioritizing STEM learning through the Canada 2067 initiative as well as other initiatives aimed at increasing the participation of Canadians in STEM, including under-represented groups such as women. As of June 12, 2017, the Government of Canada launched the Global Talent Stream, a two-year pilot project intended for innovative firms in Canada that have a need to hire unique and specialized temporary foreign workers in order to scale-up and grow. It is also meant for firms in Canada that are seeking to hire highly-skilled foreign workers to fill positions in occupations on the Global Talent Occupations List.

STEM sectors and fields of work

STEM careers and fields of work are wide ranging and span virtually every industrial sector including advanced manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, defence, mining, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, electricity, information technology, financial, hospitality, retail, transportation, healthcare and the environment.

STEM Facts

  • In Canada, immigrants represent a significant portion of the population with a STEM degree. In 2011, 46% of university-educated immigrant men aged 25 to 34 had STEM degree, compared with 32% of their Canadian-born counterparts. Among female university graduates aged 25 to 34, immigrants were twice as likely to have a STEM degree as the Canadian-born (23% versus 13%). (Statistics Canada)
  • In 2015, women who graduated from a STEM field earned 82.1% of what men who graduated from a STEM field earned. This is partly because men tend to study in high‑paying STEM fields: over three‑quarters of men who studied in STEM programs completed their bachelor’s degree in either ‘engineering’ or ‘mathematics and computer and information sciences.’ In contrast, women were more likely to complete their bachelor’s degree in lower‑paying STEM fields: over 4 in 10 women who studied in STEM fields completed their degree in ‘biological sciences.’ (Statistics Canada, 2016 Census Analytical Product)
  • Overall, young graduates with a bachelor’s degree in STEM fields of study had higher earnings in 2015 than those in business, humanities, health, arts, social science and education (BHASE) fields of study. (Statistics Canada, 2016 Census Analytical Product)
  • According to Statistics Canada, Women represent the majority of young university graduates, but are still underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and computer science (STEM) fields.
  • As of June 12, 2017, the Government of Canada launched the Global Talent Stream, a two-year pilot project intended for innovative firms in Canada that have a need to hire unique and specialized temporary foreign workers in order to scale-up and grow.
  • Recent data indicates that STEM careers are experiencing the fastest growth rates in Canada. The demand for STEM talent in Canada is outpacing the supply. According to a recent study, one in four Canadian STEM graduates opts to work outside of Canada, further amplifying the skills shortage.