by Gloria Welton
Emerging careers are occupations that have small employment numbers but are expected to get larger because of the growing demand.
Some emerging or developing sectors include the following:
- Digital Technology employers are seeing growth in areas such as automation and security
- Ocean Technology leaders are saying there are incredible opportunities now and many more to come. Check out the careers listed here: www.otcns.ca/careers
- Environmental sectors are experiencing growth in areas such as clean technology and energy efficiency.
The Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (APEC) is Atlantic Canada’s independent voice on economic issues. In relation to cybersecurity as an emerging career, APEC indicated the following in a recent report called The Future of Work in Atlantic Canada.
“Digitalization is increasing demand for certain occupations, such as cybersecurity professionals. The growing use of the digital space for financial transactions, data storage, and data sharing has led to rising demand for cyber security experts.
“In Atlantic Canada, information technology firms and consultants are expanding their cybersecurity support capabilities. Many educational programs are available in Atlantic Canada for prospective cybersecurity professionals, but these programs are currently relatively small.”
At a recent national Career Development Conference called Cannexus 23, two speakers talked about the growing demand for cybersecurity and a new training opportunity and certification now available.
The speakers also discussed how their researched model and delivery of the new cybersecurity program can also be applied to many emerging fields and would like to connect with people across the country to look into the possibilities.
Both speakers are from Toronto Metropolitan University: Rushmi Hasham is Director of Development of the Accelerated Cybersecurity Training Programs and Randy Purse is Senior Cybersecurity Advisor.
Rushmi described the great challenges faced in filling cybersecurity positions all around the world. “It’s becoming a highly competitive environment for any new talent within the Canadian workforce. Within the technical community, much of the work is dynamic and changing at a faster pace than most other work, and this is creating challenges.”
“Numerous issues have resulted in the talent shortage, including a limited understanding of what cybersecurity entails,” says Randy.
Rushmi says their research was inspired by the severe cybersecurity talent shortage across the country. “We maintain a strong connection to employers in the industry and we know about the challenges that exist.
“We have explored some of the root causes, which has resulted in a new approach to talent development. We feel this development would also be appropriate for other emerging fields.” This model is incorporated into the Accelerated Cybersecurity Training Program (ACTP) at Toronto Metropolitan University.
The intensive seven-month program allows students to earn three globally recognized cybersecurity certificates, to engage in career mentorship with experts, and to build connections with employers in the cybersecurity industry.
Initially, the program was offered tuition-free to eligible candidates thanks to the support of the Government of Canada, Rogers Communications, and Royal Bank of Canada.
“The program takes individuals with no competency in cybersecurity or technical backgrounds, moves them in a rapid and intensive way through a very rigorous program, and connects them to a career,” says Rushmi.
“Since it’s conception in 2020, the program has trained and certified 468 cybersecurity professionals, and we have been able to help fill 261 cybersecurity related jobs in Canada.”
The speakers talked about how their model addresses the technical and communications skills standards required by employers, how mentorship is incorporated, the supports that are required for career connection, and how this model is very transferable into other emerging sectors and careers.
“ACTP framework can be transferred to different talent pools introducing alternative learning pathways,” says Randy. “The model can provide flexible processes that can increase the talent development that is needed to meet employer demands in rapidly evolving fields.
“We hope to help inform future workforce development decisions and discussions across the country and help navigate the changes needed for the future of work.”