Canada can mitigate skills shortages using new cybersecurity learning outcomes

TECHNATION, Canada’s leading national technology industry association, and the Cybersecurity Talent Alliance (CTA) have released the Cybersecurity Workforce Learning Outcomes.

These Learning Outcomes were designed to ensure that candidates looking for employment in an organizational cybersecurity team have demonstrated competence in cybersecurity foundations and the general work domain prior to pursuing specialization.

The Cybersecurity Workforce Learning Outcomes have been developed under the AI & Cybersecurity Skills Initiative. Its mission is to accelerate skills development, guide career development and workforce planning by supporting post-secondary educational institutions and employers, to address the growing skills shortages in cybersecurity across the Canadian labour market. This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program.

Developed by a national and diverse group of education and industry professionals the Learning Outcomes are intended to:

  • Aid educators in the development of training and education criteria to meet the changing and evolving cybersecurity workforce needs
  • Provide an important bridge between entry level and specialized work that has not typically been available in post-secondary education programs to date
  • Directly support cybersecurity entry level requirements for today’s cybersecurity careers

Key Benefits – Who and How This Helps

Educators – Will have a defined set of Learning Outcomes to help deliver common standards in their cybersecurity education programs across Canada.

Industry – Employers recognizing the challenges of today’s skills gap in cybersecurity, will have confidence that future employees will hit the ground running and start meeting their organization’s cybersecurity needs.

Students and Job Seekers – Graduates can more quickly find meaningful job opportunities when their completed training provides them with the skills that employers need. Students of all levels will be able to progress into more specialized areas of cybersecurity or pursue related management roles across any industry or sector.

The Learning Outcomes align to four cybersecurity work categories defined in the Cybersecurity Skills Framework:

1. Oversee & Govern;

2. Design & Develop;

3. Operate & Maintain; and

4. Protect and Defend, and which are addressed in more detail in the Canadian Cybersecurity National Occupational Standard.

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“This an exciting step forward in our education system and has far-reaching benefits across Canada. Our work with the Cybersecurity Talent Alliance has delivered national leadership on the development of a responsive and sustainable cyber ecosystem urgently needed given the increasing digital threats faced by industries in every industry sector. Cyber skills are both hot in demand and mission critical! These Learning Outcomes will ensure students gain employment in roles where cybersecurity knowledge is paramount to organizational survival.”

Angela Mondou, President and CEO, TECHNATION. “

“The Cybersecurity Workforce Learning Outcomes is an innovative and promising project aimed at setting standard that will help improve outcomes for students in this ever-evolving field of work. This project will help bolster the Canadian cybersecurity sector from the ground up by ensuring students are getting the skills they need to start their careers in this sector. The Government of Canada is committed to helping students and job seekers find jobs that match their skills while also ensuring employers find candidates with the right skills to meet their needs.”

Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

“University of Ottawa was excited to be involved in the development of the Cybersecurity Workforce Learning Outcomes. Our institution recognizes the importance of cybersecurity and the critical need for preparing students interested in this very dynamic and important career field to have the required skills and insights needed to be highly successful both now and in the near future.  Canada and the world desperately needs more ‘good guys’ working in cybersecurity.”

David Knox, Professor, University of Ottawa

For more information about the Cybersecurity Workforce Learning Outcomes and how they support a career in cybersecurity please contact Sandi Campbell