There are at least two reasons why now is a great time to begin your career in cybersecurity. The first reason is a little frightening. Experts agree that cyber attacks on Canadian businesses and infrastructure are growing and represent a serious threat to the national economy, with ransomware attacks alone costing Canadian enterprises and organizations over $5.7 billion.
Of even greater concern is the fact that the threat landscape is evolving. In fact, the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning on the threats faced by the country’s cybersecurity professionals are just beginning to emerge. From threats to the grocery stores Canadians rely on for wholesome food, to hospitals offering critical healthcare, and even down to our national bookstore chains, cyber attacks harm Canadians and Canadian businesses.
The opportunity is out there
All of this leads us to a second and more positive reason why now is a great time to build a new career in cybersecurity. More and more, business leaders and policymakers recognize how serious the challenge of cybersecurity is. According to at least one recent report, more than two thirds of Canadian executives think that cyber crime is one of the most serious threats their organizations face.
This means that when you choose a career in cybersecurity, you are entering a high-demand sector that provides critical safeguards against evolving digital threats. There’s a huge demand for skilled professionals who are equipped to protect critical systems and data, and who can ensure the integrity and security of digital environments. It’s an exciting and lucrative career opportunity.
Roles in cybersecurity
There are opportunities for cybersecurity experts in nearly every sector of the economy, from banking and finance to healthcare, government, and business. The fact of the matter is that organizations and business need cybersecurity experts at all levels. You can expect a great career in any of the following areas of cybersecurity:
- Application security
- Data loss prevention
- Incident response
- Network security specialist
- Penetration testing
- Security consultant
In fact, this is just a partial list of different roles in cybersecurity, because the field is growing and changing on a daily basis. Once you are hired in the field, the opportunities for career growth are limitless and can take you to top executive and management positions. Entry-level positions in cybersecurity in Canada start at around $40,000-$55,000 per year, while average base salaries for mid-level positions can range between $80,000-$90,000, a figure that does not include bonuses.
Get upskilled for a career in cybersecurity
With funding from Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada (ISED), and powered by Palette Skills, Upskill Canada has launched a suite of programs designed to rapidly train Canadians to meet the threat of cyber security. Let’s find out a little bit more about these exciting upskilling opportunities, and see which one is right for you!
1. Securing Our Cyber Future
12-week Canada-wide online program
Lighthouse Labs offers a 12-week Cyber Security Bootcamp with a hybrid virtual approach that combines live online instruction with self-guided work. The program includes 600 hours of live training in addition to a 40-hour pre-work module to ensure all students have a consistent technical foundation.
The program provides an intensive curriculum that’s aligned with industry guidelines. It fosters both practical and theoretical knowledge, technical skills, soft skills, and mentorship to prepare participants for amazing cybersecurity careers. Best of all, participants get access to job assistance and employer-led projects through LHL’s Work Integrated Learning (WIL) & Internship Employer Program for skill showcasing and network building.
2. Cybersecurity for Energy
16-week online program for residents of Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Alberta and Saskatchewan
This leading-edge upskilling program is led by the Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) of four major energy sector employers in Canada and is designed to address the critical shortage of cybersecurity professionals in the country’s energy sector. From small to large enterprises in the energy supply chain, the program aims to enhance vital cybersecurity capabilities.
Partnering with Ontario Tech TALENT, the 16-week cohort-based program targets IT professionals with a minimum of three years of experience who are looking to jump into cybersecurity roles in the energy supply chain. What’s more, the program will prioritize equity-deserving individuals and those at risk of job displacement due to energy transition. This intentional approach focuses on achievable upskilling, ensuring employers have confidence in the skills and competency of program graduates, and helping to secure the energy supply for all Canadians.
3. Advanced Cyber Education (ACE)
12-week online program for residents across Canada
Powered by Upskill Canada, ACE is a series of specialized training pathways designed for intermediate to advanced cybersecurity professionals. Delivered by Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst’s Advanced Cyber Education, the ACE program is a 12-week intensive experience that trains cybersecurity professionals already in the cyber sector to advance into high-demand roles related to six specializations. With direct input from Canadian employers, the program helps meet the need for cybersecurity professionals while fostering diversity and inclusion in the field.
Learners will engage in job search coaching and get access to a library of career resources. In addition, there will be professional development seminars/workshops with industry facilitators. You will earn a SANS GIAC Certification based on your chosen ACE pathway, along with a certificate of completion from Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst.
4. Career Accelerator Program: Secure Coding
13-week hybrid program for Ontario residents
Designed to address cybersecurity skill gaps in the software development field, this innovative program delivered by the University of Waterloo’s WatSPEED integrates technical and professional skills development, industry engagement and personalized career resources. Get ready to accelerate your career in secure coding with this comprehensive 13-week program. Tailored for individuals seeking career advancement in a rapidly changing world of work, this innovative offer includes a collection of learning experiences that combine technical and professional skills development, industry engagement, and personalized career resources designed to enhance your job prospects.
Immerse yourself in interactive training sessions, receive feedback from industry leaders and career coaches, and participate in real-world industry-supported group projects, guided by industry professionals. You will focus on your own professional growth and gain job-ready skills, valuable real-world experience, industry connections, and career support to help you navigate the ever-evolving technological landscape.