An ICTC Study

Searching for Hidden Talent

Experience and Expertise in New Brunswick’s Cybersecurity Community

Jun 11, 2020 · 2 min read

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.

For in-depth insights into the digital economy and the policies that shape it, follow the Digital Policy Salon on Medium and sign up for our weekly briefing.

Digital Think Tank by ICTC

A future-focused, non-profit think tank for the digital economy.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store