According to CBRE’s 2022 Scoring Tech Talent Report, Waterloo is the #1 small tech talent market in North America for the second year in a row. The CBRE report points out that Waterloo is #1 for new graduate and millennial population growth among small tech talent markets. this was the only market with double-digit Gen Z population growth last year at 12.1%.
“The Waterloo tech ecosystem has incredible talent, a collaborative community, and the space for MasterClass to scale our platform, technology, and products to meet the needs of our global consumer base,” said Matt Elgie, Head of Engineering, MasterClass Canada, at their expansion announcement. “We’re excited to invest in Canada’s talent with our newest engineering headquarters in Waterloo.”
In 2021, MasterClass, a high-profile educational streaming platform announced they would build their new engineering headquarters in Waterloo as their first expansion outside the United States. The reasons the company states for making this decision included the fact that the University of Waterloo is recognized as one of the top 40 engineering and technology schools in the world.
MasterClass is joining a tech ecosystem in which 22% of the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 (the list of Canada’s 50 fastest growing technology companies) are located. One of the reasons the university is lauded as being one of the best in the world is because it is home to Canada’s largest co-operative education program. The program ensures that every computer science and engineering student is provided with two years of on-the-job experience. These paid positions are with the top tech companies in the world including Apple, Google, and Disney.
“I am delighted to welcome MasterClass to our community’s growing cluster of leading technology companies with strong global brands,” said Tony LaMantia, President, and CEO of Waterloo EDC. “The Waterloo EDC team looks forward to supporting the company’s first international expansion outside of the U.S., including its integration into our ecosystem.”
IN MISSOURI, A MULTI-UNIVERSITY COLLABORATION
When it comes to attracting tech talent, there is a line of thought best expressed in the movie Field of Dreams, “if you build it, they will come.”
Since the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency announced its intention to build a $1.75 billion headquarters in St. Louis in 2016, the city has doubled down on tech talent in the geospatial sector. Currently, the St. Louis geospatial industry supports 27,000 direct and indirect jobs, which is why another part of the NGA expansion includes the first-of-its-kind Taylor Geospatial Institute, housed, and led by Saint Louis University. The institute is comprised of eight Midwest research institutions with the goal to turn St. Louis into the word’s center for geospatial research and innovation.
“I think what you’re seeing in higher education in general is the realization that knowledge doesn’t stop at the borders of the campus or state lines,” says Dr. Fred Pestello, President of Saint Louis University. “Pulling together seven universities, in addition to the Danforth Plant Sciences Center, leveraging the expertise across those, we will be able to accomplish things that no one institution could do alone.”