Have you gotten an alert on your phone asking you to change your password due to a ‘cyber security incident?’ How about an email at work alerting everyone to suspicious phishing (a fraudulent message designed to trick you into revealing sensitive information) emails?
Just type “cyber security” into Google news and you’ll see everything from healthcare institutions to large manufacturing organizations reporting on a recent cyber-attack.
Every industry which handles sensitive digital data, including law enforcement, healthcare, finance, higher education, transportation and many more, are susceptible to such attacks.
There’s a rapidly growing need for cyber security professionals who can strengthen an organization’s digital defenses. In fact, there has been a 13 per cent cumulative annual growth rate in the number of entry level cyber security job postings across Canadai. The strongest demand is in the Greater Toronto Area with 19 per cent cumulative annual growth rateii.
With that in mind, the School of Continuing studies recently launched Canada’s First University-Level Post-Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security Operations. This full-time program is designed for recent university graduates with no experience in information technology to pursue an in-demand, entry-level cyber security position.
According to Jeff Clark, a cyber security operations professional at a Canadian financial institution and academic coordinator for the new certificate, “businesses today are rapidly adopting digital transformation, exposing more and more of their sensitive data assets to the world, in a bid to compete globally. Coupled with the prominence of Work-from-Home (fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic), these businesses need immediate technical expertise to detect, respond and recover from incidents of cyber attack or employee events that threaten their most critical asset – their data.”
Clark adds, “Cyber professionals are needed now on the front lines across small, medium and large enterprises, and they must come equipped with both broad security understanding, and actionable security analyst skills. Job candidates with hands-on training like students get in the School of Continuing Studies’ Post-Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security Operations are sought after because employers can leverage their skills immediately.”
The job roles available in the field of cyber security are varied. You can start off as a security analyst, engineer, architect or tester and then continue to advance your career and specialize in an area of your interest like forensic or code analysis.
The cyber security program at the School will be led by industry-expert instructors who will bring their considerable experience to the classroom. Students will quickly develop hands-on experience of their own through practical lab work and industry-minded assignments. At the end of the program, students will complete a comprehensive capstone project where they will bring together all the knowledge and skills they’ve gained in cyber security operations.
At the end of the program students will be able to:
- Analyze and evaluate the various Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs) suspicious entities leverage to steal data
- Demonstrate an understanding of operational security concepts, principles, best practices, and responsibilities required to protect organizational assets
- Install, configure, utilize, and troubleshoot various cyber security tools and software
Along with occupation specific skills, students will also develop cross-functional skills like communication, collaboration and teamwork that are critical for long-term success at any position. The combination of these skill sets is what will set graduates apart from other applicants looking to start their career in cyber security.
“The demand today for cyber security professionals is high, but the job market is also highly competitive for entry-level candidates,” says Tracey Taylor-O’Reilly, Assistant Vice-President, Continuing Studies at York University. “Over the years, many educational institutions have introduced cyber security programs. But employer expectations have changed. Employers want candidates with an educational background in cyber security and practical experience developing security measures. The Post-Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security Operations provides exactly that—the knowledge, skills and experience students need, plus the credibility of a credential from a well-known post-secondary institution and market leader in the cyber security field.”
If you’re interested, you can learn more about the Post-Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security Operations here. Enrolment is now open, with classes beginning September 2022.
iiAccording to Burning Glass data
iiAccording to Burning Glass data