By: Jeff Low

Innovation lives in Hamilton.

Carolynn Reid, business development consultant with Hamilton’s economic development office, writes, “Hamilton is home to world-class universities, colleges and research-intensive companies that have created an ideal environment for new product development and innovation.”

The McMaster community is playing a key role in the rise of the tech industry in Hamilton.

At McMaster Innovation Park (MIP), start-ups and young companies seeking growth have raised more than $350 million in less than 10 years.

David Carter, executive director of the Innovation Factory at MIP, notes, “With more and more cloud-based businesses starting up, why would you pay for an office with high cost per square footage in the GTA? People building companies want a work/live environment that is accessible to the employees. Hamilton offers that.”

“Start-ups and entrepreneurs thrive in our hardworking, high-tech city, where the cost of entry is very competitive with other tech-centric cities in the region,” Reid adds.

Notably, financial tech company Q4 Inc. recently announced that it will be opening a new office in downtown Hamilton, bringing more than 100 jobs to the city.

But what does this mean for McMaster students and alumni?

Tech companies need workers with a wide range of skills. For example, soft skills such as strategic planning and critical thinking are invaluable — especially in an industry that changes daily.

Carter shares, “We hear a lot about the tech jobs, but there are a number of roles that bridge the tech to the user. UX, aka User Experience is finally getting the recognition it deserves. If the technology … is not intuitive, then it will not get used. Technology that is not being used gets replaced.”

As a McMaster student, how can you take advantage of your university experiences and connections to start a career in tech?

“Get out there and network … Too many young job seekers hide behind an electronic profile,” shares Carter.

Attending a job fair is a great way to connect with employers.

Connect to Careers Job Fair is happening March 5 at FirstOntario Centre, where job seekers will have the opportunity to interact with more than 140 employers. This year’s fair will have a focus on the tech industry, with the Tech Zone to feature several tech companies, including Q4 Inc.

Employers at the fair will be hiring for full-time, part-time, summer and co-op opportunities.

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