Halifax’s Talent Advantages Benefit Business

November 23, 2017

Doing business in Halifax means having access to one of the most educated and loyal workforces in North America, all while being based in a city with a diverse economy. With one of the highest concentrations of universities and colleges per capita, and an unrivalled quality of life, here are some of Halifax's talent advantages for business. 


1. Highly Educated & Innovative Workforce

Dalhousie University - Tilt Shift - Web
(Dalhousie University)

With seven post-secondary institutions, Halifax has one of the best educated workforces in North America. Close to 70% of the workforce has completed at least some form of post-secondary education, and 37% hold a university certificate, diploma, or degree. These institutions attract a total of more than 36,000 students each year from around the globe. They include: 

Halifax’s post-secondary institutions are leaders in research and innovation, and support many knowledge-based clusters. 

  • Dalhousie University is one of Canada’s leading research universities with over 47 Canada Research Chairs. It is home to the Life Sciences Research Institute and the world-renowned Brain Repair Centre, and is known for its successful treatment of Parkinson’s Disease symptoms. Leading edge companies like Tesla are partnering with Dalhousie to accelerate innovation. Tesla has a five-year exclusive collaboration with Dalhouise focused on improving lithium-ion batteries. This is Tesla’s first university partnership. On the horizon for Dalhousie is the construction of its ideaHUB – a $64 million investment in the university’s Engineering and Architecture campus in the heart of Halifax’s innovation district.

  • Saint Mary's University is home to the Sobey School of Business, the top-ranked AACSB-Accredited business school, in the heart of downtown Halifax. It is the oldest and largest business school in Atlantic Canada. 68% of its Masters' graduates stay and work in Nova Scotia. The Sobey School Business Development Centre recently received $300,000 in funding for business growth and startup programming. SMU also offers experiential learning opportunities in all its programs, providing students with the opportunity to get real-world experience before graduating.

  • Mount Saint Vincent University is home to a world renowned public relations program, one of only two Bachelor of Public Relations Degrees offered in Canada. They are also known for their longest-standing, accredited co-operative education program in our region, and now have experiential learning opportunities attached to all their programs. Set to open in the spring of 2018, MSVU will also be home to the Centre for Applied Research in Human Health – allowing students to expand their research on diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, vitamin deficiency, early childhood health and well-being, and more.  

  • Nova Scotia Community College has over 70 programs and is well known for its 2+2 program that allows students to complete two years of post-secondary education at an NSCC campus, then an additional two years at a local university to earn a complete university degree. At NSCC, every graduate is ready for the workplace, with experiential learning experience or portfolio pieces from hands-on classwork. 


2. Top Talent that Stays

Luke Pamer - web

The world’s most talented, inventive, engaged people want to live and work in Halifax. Companies who have located in Halifax see longer employee tenure, lower turnover and more loyalty. Companies like IBM see markedly better retention in their Halifax offices. Compared to the US, Halifax has exceptionally low employee turnover. In the tech sector, it’s just 8.6% versus the US average of 33.1%. 

Plus, modern immigration policies and our welcoming community, mean that the talent pipeline is always working for Halifax companies, attracting people from around the world.  


3. Halifax Makes People Happy


The soul of Halifax speaks to people, draws them in, and brings them home. We have a city that’s transforming every day, but has kept the essence of who we are. Our enviable combination of urban and rural amenities and lifestyle offers an exceptional quality of life for current and prospective residents.

In fact, FDI American Cities of the Future 2017/18 ranked Halifax Top 10 for Best Human capital and Lifestyle. Every year, Halifax welcomes thousands of immigrants, international students, and young professionals who fall in love with our city and east coast lifestyle.


4. Track Record

Building at night - web

The city’s outstanding talent pool make it the perfect place to grow your business. Here are just a few examples of how businesses have benefitted from Halifax’s talent advantages. 

Maritime Paper Products: "Halifax has every possible advantage to offer business. However, I truly believe that one of our greatest advantages is the availability and quality of our workforce. Halifax offers an affordable lifestyle and world class academic and technical expertise backed by a strong college and university system." - Gary Johnson, President & CEO

Kinduct Technologies"Halifax is one the best places you can be in Canada when looking to invest in youth. From the engaging and hands-on staff involved in co-op and student placements to career fairs, being an employer who values engaging students and young adults, we feel there is a goldmine in Halifax." - Sahra MacNeill, Human Resource Coordinator

TD Canada Trust: “Even before I moved to Halifax, I knew about the quality of post-secondary institutions here because they are incredibly well-regarded across Canada and internationally. The talent I’ve had the opportunity to meet so far is outstanding. I’ve been very impressed not only by the level of talent but by the variety of interests and backgrounds they possess. Halifax is a hub for young talent and they are benefitting the city.” - Scott Belton, Senior Vice President, Atlantic Region 


For more Information:

If you are interested in learning more about Halifax's talent advantages, and opportunities for your business, please contact the Halifax Partnership's Director of Trade & International Activities, Jason Guidry. 

Jason - Web - Team Page

Jason Guidry
Director, Investment, Trade & International Partnerships
Halifax Partnership


Email Jason