An ICTC Study
Searching for Hidden Talent
Experience and Expertise in New Brunswick’s Cybersecurity Community
Published by ICTC, June 2020
Alongside our international partners, Canada’s demand for cybersecurity talent continues to increase. The demand for cybersecurity personnel can be measured in numerous ways, and this study provides an overview of several different metrics for examining and comparing cybersecurity demand. Looking broadly at occupations, it is evident that cybersecurity-related roles have far lower unemployment rates than the information and communications technology sector, both in New Brunswick and Canada as a whole. Tellingly, about two-thirds (67%) of New Brunswick cybersecurity industry representatives surveyed in this study seek to expand their cybersecurity workforce in the next year. Job postings confirm a high volume of cybersecurity job openings compared with the province’s population.
Using the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Framework (an international cybersecurity workforce classification system) to compare different data sources informing this study, it becomes clear that the level of demand varies by type and degree of specialization of role. NICE categories with slightly greater experience needs — such as “Securely Provision” and “Oversee and Govern” — are in higher demand in New Brunswick than roles that could be filled by an entry-level candidate. However, these highly skilled, experienced professionals can be hardest to find: only about a third of New Brunswick’s job postings in these categories are filled within a month, and they request an average of 6.7 minimum years of experience.
Addressing the challenge of a dearth of highly skilled, experienced professionals is a complex issue that hinges on a holistic understanding of the cybersecurity ecosystem and career pathways. Nevertheless, this study identifies several constructive opportunities, such as increasing the number of experiential work-integrated learning opportunities and formalizing clear career trajectories for new graduates. As New Brunswick’s cybersecurity industry continues to gain international recognition, its well-networked and collaborative ecosystem is primed for continued expansion.
Researched and written by Nathan Snider (Manager of Policy and Outreach), Faun Rice (Research and Policy Analyst), and Chris Herron (Junior Research Analyst) with generous support from Arun Sharvirala (Data Scientist), Rob Davidson (Manager, Data Analysis and Research), Olivia Lin (Junior Data Analyst), and the ICTC research and policy team.
The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of New Brunswick.