There’s room for you on Canada’s Silicon Prairie

If you live in the prairie provinces, there's never been a better time to get started with a career transition to B2B (business-to-business) tech sales. That’s because tech is changing everything on the Canadian prairie. From sophisticated digital and precision applications in the world of agriculture, to innovative start-ups in cities like Lethbridge, Saskatoon and elsewhere, technology is changing lives and creating opportunities.

Welcome to Silicon Prairie, Canada

If you live in the prairie provinces, there’s never been a better time to get started with a career transition to B2B (business-to-business) tech sales. That’s because tech is changing everything on the Canadian prairie. From sophisticated digital and precision applications in the world of agriculture, to innovative start-ups in cities like Lethbridge, Saskatoon and elsewhere, technology is changing lives and creating opportunities. On farms and in towns and neighbourhoods, there’s a special kind of buzz happening when it comes to technology out here. In fact, the tech scene is so vibrant that it’s becoming known as “Canada’s Silicon Prairie.”

So what makes the tech scene different in places like Alberta and Saskatchewan, for example? The first thing to know is that it’s happening fast because there’s a need here like nowhere else. Think about it: when it comes to agriculture and food processing alone, people and companies are racing to apply technology to add value and reduce costs in the face of global competition. Add in the need for sophisticated clean tech in the resource and energy sectors as Canada heads toward a net-zero economy, and you can begin to see why the tech sector is booming all the way from Calgary to Winnipeg. 

So if you’ve been thinking about a career transition to B2B tech sales, read on!

Get to know your local tech hub

Traditional technology hubs in cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal are home to some of the biggest tech companies around the world. While that’s great as far as it goes, the reality is that it can be more difficult for new startups in these markets. These are also destinations where top international talent is flocking, which means that despite the need for great people in technology, it can be a little harder to get your foot in the door.

These are just some of the reasons why the emergence of smaller and vibrant tech hubs across the prairies is so exciting. Not only are cities like Calgary and Saskatoon attracting tech investment thanks to lower operating costs and a high quality of life, they also boast new sources of highly-skilled people ready to jump into the technology boom. 

Many tech professionals are choosing to relocate to these smaller centers due to the lower cost of living, and the opportunity to work on exciting projects. This influx of talent is helping to fuel innovation and create a vibrant tech community. What’s really exciting is that all of this growth means that local tech talent can stay in the communities they love, while still enjoying a vibrant and dynamic career. And if you’ve thinking of a job with a better work-life balance and room to grow, now is the time to plan your career transition to B2B (business-to business) tech sales.

Thriving tech ecosystems

There is another thing going in regional tech hubs that makes them different from what you’ll find in the big cities, and that is that as ecosystems, they are thriving. Smaller cities and provinces are in the enviable position of being able to see what has worked—and what hasn’t—when it comes to putting together the elements of a successful technology ecosystem. So as incubators, accelerators, and coworking spaces have sprouted up, providing entrepreneurs and startups with the resources and mentorship they need to succeed, organizations like Innovate Calgary, North Forge Technology Exchange, and Co.Labs in Saskatchewan are playing pivotal roles in nurturing local tech talent.

Meanwhile, universities, research institutions, and businesses are joining forces to create innovation clusters. For instance, the University of Saskatchewan’s Global Institute for Food Security collaborates with tech companies to develop solutions for global food security challenges. Indigenous groups and organizations across the region are leading the way to ensure that the benefits of technology are shared and explored equally. Recently the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) teamed up with Palette Skills to help participants in the Automation and Digital Agriculture program pitch innovative ideas to local agribusiness. 

Diversifying opportunity

The growth in tech out on the prairie is real, and it’s helping to diversify economies that have traditionally relied heavily on agriculture and resource extraction. In Alberta, for instance, 2022 marked five years of the province consistently breaking its venture capital attraction records in technology investment. A study focusing on the impact of technology in Saskatchewan found that the sector has grown by nearly 40% since 2010, and contributed 4.7 billion dollars to the province’s GDP—in 2018!

There is a sophistication and diversity in what tech companies are doing out here that is breathtaking. From artificial intelligence (AI), clean energy, healthcare technology, and e-commerce, companies are solving problems on the ground and achieving global reach at the same time. Innovators are developing cutting-edge AI algorithms to optimize crop yields, while renewable energy projects are harnessing the region’s wind and solar resources. These developments are not only fostering economic growth but also addressing some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Where do you fit in?

To sustain the growth of the tech sector on the Prairies, it’s crucial to attract and retain talent. Already, the tech sector in the region is experiencing a serious labour drought which can force local companies to hire from other regions, or even internationally. That’s why it is important for people in the region who are looking for a new career to imagine a future for themselves in technology. And the best part? That future career has never been easier to grasp.  

Most of the time when we think about careers in technology, we think about people with sophisticated technical training who are designing programs and creating software. While some of that is true, the fact of the matter is that the tech sector needs all kinds of people, and it needs them now. Nowhere is this more true than in the growing field of B2B (business to business) tech sales. It’s easy to understand why when you think about all of the exciting new products and solutions coming from start-ups and technology innovators. All of these products and solutions are designed to help businesses and people in the real world, which means that now more than ever, it’s critical to have people on the ground selling tech.

To get started with a new career in B2B tech sales, you don’t need a lot of credentials, and you don’t need to know how to program a computer in a language you’ve never heard of. What you do need is a lot of human experience and creativity. That’s why B2B tech sales is such a great choice for people with diverse backgrounds, whether you’re coming from working in the service industry, from hospitality, or if you’ve been employed in customer service. Of course, the other thing you will need to have is a desire to make a successful career transition that will come with both challenges and rewards.

Get started in tech with SalesCamp from Palette Skills

Enter SalesCamp from Palette Skills, a B2B tech sales bootcamp that’s now available to residents in Alberta and Saskatchewan. SalesCamp is a 6-week hands-on, live and online career transition and upskilling program designed to give you the practical skills you need to succeed in a B2B tech sales role. What’s different about SalesCamp is that it’s designed by and for industry, so you’ll be learning what’s relevant for success in the industry. It also means you’ll get to connect with companies and hiring managers where you live, and who are looking to hire talent now. 

Interested? Check out the SalesCamp page here. You can also speak to a recruiter, or attend an online information session near you. We want to help you to get started on your new career now!

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Eligibility for SalesCamp

To be admitted and accepted into the program, you must be:
  • Be actively searching for work and ready to take on employment opportunities tech sales.
  • Be able to legally work in Canada. 
  • Not be a full-time student.
  • Be a highly motivated individual actively seeking out new opportunities.
  • Have least 3 years of formal work experience in Canada or abroad.
  • Have an English language rating of CLB Level 8, or IELTS of 6.5 overall.
  • Be available for Zoom sessions, many of which will be full-time.
  • Be able and committed to attending networking day events as part of regular programming.
  • Be comfortable using technology and learning online.
  • Live or intend to live in the province where the program is being offered.
  • Have a reliable internet connection, device, and a quiet environment for virtual learning.
  • Be committed and able to join the Canadian workforce full-time immediately following the program.
You may not be eligible if:
  • You do not pass our application and/or interview skills assessment. 
  • You are not actively searching or able to start a job in business-to-business tech sales.
  • You are not able to legally work in Canada.
  • You do not reside in the province where the program is operating.
  • You are going to school full-time.
  • You do not have three years of work experience outside of your studies.
  • You are interested in taking SalesCamp solely for learning purposes, but are building your own business and not intending to work in the field.

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