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Securing the future of Canada’s IT industry

Securing the future of Canada’s IT industry

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Cisco Canada and its partners are working to build a talent pipeline of skilled workers for the cybersecurity industry in New Brunswick and beyond.

Cisco Canada, New Brunswick’s Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, and CyberNB are partnering to deliver cybersecurity skills education and training to upwards of 1,500 high school students over the next three years.

The program will help solidify New Brunswick as a leading center for cybersecurity in Canada and enable the province to keep up with the growing demand for cybersecurity jobs and address a digital skills gap that has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As Canada moves into the next era of economic growth, the need to equip Canadians with the right mix of digital skills has never been greater. The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) estimated that employment in the digital economy will grow to over two million by 2022.

The need for a skilled workforce is even more evident in the cybersecurity space, where demand for cyber talent is growing 7% annually across the country, but without enough skilled professionals to fill the roles.

“We live in a fast-paced world where innovation and technological progress are constant. Demand for cybersecurity talent is growing and our students need to be prepared to join technology-based workforces that are still evolving,” said New Brunswick Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, Dominic Cardy.

“With open access to cybersecurity courses provided by Cisco’s Networking Academy, our students will be ahead of the curve. We will work closely with CyberNB and other partners to identify and create experiential learning opportunities that can provide students with valuable knowledge, skills and connections as they prepare to build their lives in New Brunswick after graduation.”

Starting September 2021, students will have the opportunity to enrol in bilingual Cisco Networking Academy courses through CyberNB – a non-profit focused on growing Canada’s cybersecurity sector – with the potential to earn an industry-recognized credential as a Cisco-Certified Cyber Ops Associate.

Along the education pathway, students can also earn badges for Intro to Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity Essentials, Networking Essentials and more. This will set them up for future employment in a highly sought-after industry as they establish their IT careers in New Brunswick.

The program is funded by a three-year CAN$1.75 million investment from Cisco Canada’s Country Digital Acceleration Program which forms strategic partnerships with governments to help build digitally inclusive societies, more resilient economies and the workforce of the future.

“Cisco is investing in this program to build a talent pipeline of skilled workers for the cybersecurity industry in New Brunswick and beyond,” said Shannon Leininger, President of Cisco Canada. “In this post-pandemic, digital-first world, a skilled IT workforce is integral to Canada’s long-term economic prosperity and competitiveness. Through partnership models like these, we can scale cybersecurity skills training nationally and help Canadians pursue high-paying, high-skilled jobs.”

“We know that cybersecurity skills are in demand – and that this demand will only continue to grow as our world becomes ever-more connected,” said Tyson Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, CyberNB. “CyberNB will be rolling out the curriculum to English and French schools across the province, providing training and support for teachers to successfully implement the industry recognized program in the classroom and give their students real-world, high-demand skills training.”

The program is available to grades nine through 12. The entire course takes up to 255 hours to complete, and includes modules, hands-on labs, quizzes, activities and exams.

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