Ottawa, June 11th, 2020— The demand for cybersecurity expertise continues to climb in New Brunswick, which is recognized as a significant cybersecurity hub in Canada. Senior-level cybersecurity roles are particularly difficult to fill.
A new ICTC research report, Searching for Hidden Talent: Experience and Expertise in New Brunswick’s Cybersecurity Community, explores the demand for cybersecurity personnel in New Brunswick, determines whether the province is facing a cybersecurity labour gap, traces trends in cybersecurity employment, and identifies the most needed skillsets.
According to pre-COVID-19 forecasts, a global cybersecurity labour shortage of 1.8 million people is expected by 2022, with a corresponding North American shortage of 265,000 people by the same year.
Searching for Hidden Talent: Experience and Expertise in New Brunswick’s Cybersecurity Community highlights New Brunswick’s well-networked tech ecosystem and its dedicated organizations playing a hands-on role in workforce development.
The province has relative advantages (public sector investment, large industry players, and a high quality of life)—and some disadvantages (remoteness and high unemployment). Overall, however, New Brunswick outperforms other provinces in important metrics such as the cybersecurity jobs-to-population ratio, workforce development, and training institutions.
An interesting study finding suggests that New Brunswick employers value tangible cybersecurity-specific training, including work experience or cybersecurity-specific credentials such as a professional certificate, more highly than foundational degree programs. Cybersecurity job postings in the province, however, continue to request either undergraduate or graduate degrees in traditionally cybersecurity-related fields (Computer Science, Information Systems, Networking, etc.).
The study’s interviewees had a positive view of the province’s colleges, noting their agility and receptivity to industry feedback, which ensures relevant curricula and innovative training, including internships and co-op student work placements.
“As firms continue to transition their value chains to digital-first solutions post COVID-19, cyberthreats will represent a significant risk to these new business models. Cyber talent will play a critical role in the future in building the necessary safeguards and maintaining operational resiliency in this increasingly connected landscape,” said Namir Anani, ICTC President & CEO.
Searching for Hidden Talent: Experience and Expertise in New Brunswick’s Cybersecurity Community also explores the complex issues of the province’s workforce gaps, finding highly skilled cybersecurity expertise, high cybersecurity salary expectations, the lack of a clear career paths for recent graduates, and the lack of diversity in cybersecurity.
(To better understand the short-term impact of COVID-19, ICTC intends to publish an addendum to this report in Fall 2020.)
ICTC is a not-for-profit, national centre of expertise for strengthening Canada’s digital advantage in a global economy. Through trusted research, practical policy advice, and creative capacity-building programs, ICTC fosters globally competitive Canadian industries enabled by innovative and diverse digital talent. In partnership with a vast network of industry leaders, academic partners, and policy makers from across Canada, ICTC has empowered a robust and inclusive digital economy for over 25 years.
For media inquiries or further information about Searching for Hidden Talent: Experience and Expertise in New Brunswick’s Cybersecurity Community, please contact Paul Stastny at [email protected] or 403.351.0138 Ext. 823.
This report was funded by New Brunswick Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training, and Labour.
A copy of the study can be accessed here.
A French version of this press release is here.