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A new Canadian program designed to quickly give non-tech people entry-level skills to crack into the booming cybersecurity industry will welcome its first cohort of students in September.

Ashley Mataya Director of Talent Strategy CyberNB

Ashley Mataya

Director of Talent Straegy, CyberNB

Rory Bray Security and Compliance Architect IBM

Rory Bray

Security and Compliance Architect, IBM

Cyber Bootcamp is designed to help meet the massive demand for workers in an industry with virtually no unemployment and over 6,000 open positions in Canada. Best of all, you don’t have to be a programmer or software engineer to apply. In fact, the program is explicitly meant for people without an IT background.

“We hear it all the time: cybersecurity companies are struggling to find qualified people to fill their openings,” says Ashley Mataya, Director of Talent Strategy at CyberNB. The non-profit organization, which represents stakeholders in business, government, and academia in Canada’s cybersecurity industry, co-founded Cyber Bootcamp. “Meanwhile, we know that some tech sector job-seekers don’t want to go back to school for years to get a computer science degree. Cyber Bootcamp fills the gap as the talent shortfall continues to grow. It’s a win-win.”

CyberNB has partnered with Lighthouse Labs, a national leader in accelerated, bootcamp-style training in the tech sector, on the unique, 12-week, virtual program that qualifies grads for roles such as a cybersecurity specialist or technician, a Level 1 security operations centre analyst, or a cybersecurity incident analyst or responder.

Rory Bray, Security and Compliance Architect at IBM’s office in Fredericton, NB, sees a fit between the program and the kinds of skills his company is seeking.

“There’s a range of opportunities related to exactly what’s in that curriculum,” he says. “We need a wide range of positions filled in the entire industry. And there’s definitely a need for increased diversity in the field — a range of backgrounds and experiences to bring to the task.”

Along with classroom learning, which is delivered through a mix of live-online classrooms and self-guided learning on subjects such as server administration, network security, threat modelling, and analysis and incident response, Cyber Bootcamp has a strong workforce connection focus.

CyberNB will tap into its robust national network to introduce students and employers. It will also give graduates career readiness and job placement services to help to fill the jobs gap and launch many exciting new cybersecurity careers. And Lighthouse Labs has an excellent track record on this front, having launched the tech careers of over 1,500 graduates, with over 95 percent of job-seeking alumni finding work within three months.

“For anyone who’s looking to reskill and connect to industry, Cyber Bootcamp is for you,” Mataya says. “Whether you’re a recent grad, a former member of the military who’s looking to transfer your security experience into the tech sector, or just someone who’s looking for an exciting pivot in your career, I urge you to look into the program and to apply.”

Bray says Cyber Bootcamp’s focus on fundamentals gives students what they need to land that crucial first position in a fast-paced industry where change and continuous learning are all in a day’s work. From there, graduates can embark on a career path that could progress from the role of frontline analyst, for instance, to threat hunting and beyond.

“If you stick with it long enough and gain the experience, there’s no question there’s room to move up into management and executive positions,” he says.

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