An online data security breach can be costly and embarrassing for any modern company with a digital presence, and the recent Facebook breach has highlighted the importance of ensuring customer data protection and privacy.
Unless you protect your company’s sensitive information, anyone with hacking skills can access your servers and use this data to tarnish your reputation or steal the firm’s profits. Malicious agents can also poach your clients by using their data against you or leave you vulnerable to privacy lawsuits.
Although recent, cybersecurity is a trending field that can provide you with an exciting career path. Read on to learn more about this area and its job prospects.
Getting into cybersecurity
There is a qualification available at every academic level to study Cybersecurity. From associate degrees and online short courses to PhDs — you can choose from a wide range of options to start your career. However, when making your choice, ensure you consider your professional aspirations and your academic background.
Associate-level degrees in Cybersecurity are two-year programs that you can pursue straight after your high school education; this is ideal for entry-level positions such as computer support technicians.
Undergraduate Cybersecurity programs are longer courses and offer more technical and specialized curriculums, and this can prepare you for jobs such as a cybersecurity analyst or information security analyst.
Postgraduate diplomas or certificate programs are ideal for those interested in advancing their practical knowledge in the cybersecurity field. These programs will allow to take on specialized positions, such as becoming a specialist in this area.
Cybersecurity career opportunities in Canada
You may be asking yourself, ‘why work in cybersecurity’? The answer lies in the immense career scope in Canada and abroad. A study by the Toronto Financial Service Association study revealed that organizations across the country are being pushed by new technological innovations to work on their cybersecurity capabilities. The study also showed that the number of skilled professionals in this field in Canada rose to 28,051 jobs in 2020.
Another survey by ‘Indeed Hiring Lab, Canada,’ reported that searches for cybersecurity positions on the internet grew by 16% between 2015 – 2018. This confirms the rising scope of a successful career in Canada for graduates of this area.
The reports above clearly indicate that the career scope of cybersecurity qualifications will only increase in Canada and the rest of the world.
Career prospects after your degree
Here’s the deal — there are many cybersecurity job opportunities catering to different industries and with diverse responsibilities. The job you choose depends on what kind of cybersecurity training you have and your future aspirations. Below, we’ve put together a small list of potential careers for you to explore.
1. Forensic computer analyst
Forensic computer analysts are the Sherlock Holmes of the cybersecurity world. They go through enormous amounts of data to follow the trace of cybercrimes or security breaches. They also handle physical devices like hard drives and run them through specialized software programs to identify their vulnerabilities
According to Glassdoor, forensic computer analysts can earn anywhere between $65k-$95k CAD per year; they are also known as digital forensic analysts.
2. Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
This is a high-ranking executive-level position where you’ll be responsible for overseeing the entire IT security operations of a company. CISOs are part of senior management and assess all the computer, data and network security requirements of the company.
Payscale.com reports that the average annual salary of a CISO is approximately $152k CAD.
3. Information Security Analyst (ISA)
These experts are in charge of handling the protection of a company’s networks and computer systems. They design and implement various security measures, such as firewalls and data encryption. Being an ISA, you need to be on the top of the latest security technologies, industry trends and types of cyber threats to do your job correctly. According to Payscale.com, ISA professionals in Canada can earn up to $69,799 CAD every year.
That’s not all. You can also explore other career options in this field, such as an IT security engineer, security systems administrator, penetration tester, corporate security consultant and IT security consultant.
Academic opportunities at TSoM
You should also consider a co-op diploma to start your career in cybersecurity, especially if you are from a different field. The Toronto School of Management (TSoM) offers a Diploma in Cybersecurity Specialist Co-op in association with the reputed CompTIA. This one-year program will give you the opportunity to learn cybersecurity tools and software and assess the risks to existing policies. The program will also allow you to build a foundation towards obtaining the Security+ Certification which is one of the most recognized accreditations in the industry. Click here to get an insight into the Cybersecurity program at TSoM.