As Alberta looks to attract new workers from within and outside of Canada, as well as prevent Albertans from leaving altogether, it is important that we demonstrate our province’s economic diversity. While we are certainly known for our opportunities in oil and gas, there are also many other booming industries here that people may not simply know about.
Firstly, Alberta has a long-standing tourism industry given its natural beauty. Ranging from forests, rivers, mountains, to rolling plains. Whether you are looking to hike, raft, or snowshoe, there isn’t much we don’t offer. Although tourism certainty took a financial hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, the strong rebound of people attending in-person events again shows that there is a strong demand to get back outdoors and support local businesses. Although it may not be an easy industry to work in at times, these businesses demonstrate a strong passion and drive that allow them to persevere and do what they love.
Second, many may not be aware of Alberta’s involvement in both local and international film & media projects. Since Alberta offers filmmakers a variety of landscapes and city sites to use in their content, not to mention our attractive tax incentives, we have been attracting Hollywood-scale productions such as Togo, The Revenant, and Ghostbusters: Afterlife in recent years. Our province has a strong commitment to arts and culture, with creative talent ready to demonstrate their crafts for the world to see.
Additionally, we have a growing tech industry. Alberta’s entrepreneurial spirit has guided us well over the past few years as business leaders nimbly and creatively found solutions to problems created by a global pandemic. As tech booms in cities like Calgary and Edmonton, we are certainly well on our way to building a unique knowledge cluster that influences other industries, such as digital health, communications, and education.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all that Alberta offers those who are looking for a career change. It is by showcasing these and many other professional opportunities that as a province, we can attract a diverse set of new talent to build on our economic successes. This, in turn, will allow us to grow our economy in a more sustainable manner.
However, to support these industries it is important that we have appropriate measures in place, such as financial backing to support new businesses in these sectors and in other growing industries. It is also important that we have supportive infrastructure in place, such as improved transit by road, rail, and plane to allow for easy commutes and shipments of goods. A train that connects Calgary, Banff, and Edmonton is also long overdue.
Overall, by demonstrating our commitment to the many facets of our economy, we are in a better position to ensure that the talent we attract decides to stay in Alberta, as well as support the longevity of our economy for the foreseeable future.
Jaclyn Hiebert is a young business professional with a background in International Business.
Dollyann Santhosh is a medical student at the University of Alberta.
Peter Anto Johnson MSc, BSc(Hons) and John Christy Johnson BSc(Hons) and are both program officers and editors at the Antarctic Institute of Canada and third year medical students at the University of Alberta.
Austin Mardon, CM, FRSC, is currently Assistant Adjunct Professor with the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre.