The purpose of Searching for Hidden Talent: Experience and Expertise in New Brunswick’s Cybersecurity Community is to evaluate the magnitude and type of demand for cybersecurity personnel in the province of New Brunswick, a recognized cybersecurity hub within Canada. To this end, this study used an employer survey; key informant interviews with employers, work-force development organizations, and educational institutions; found data from job boards; and extensive secondary data from Statistics Canada and other sources. Using the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Framework (an international cybersecurity workforce classification system) to compare the different data sources informing this research, the study concludes that the level of demand for cybersecurity talent in New Brunswick varies by type of role as well as each role’s degree of specialization. Jobs that typically come with greater experience requirements, such as those roles that design and oversee cybersecurity programs, are in higher demand in New Brunswick than roles that could be filled by an entry-level candidate. This conclusion is reinforced by an analysis of in-demand skillsets. Addressing the challenge of a dearth of highly skilled, experienced professionals is a complex topic that hinges on a holistic understanding of the cybersecurity ecosystem and career pathways; accordingly, this study also examines cybersecurity supply, including educational institutions and workforce demographics. The report concludes by identifying several constructive opportunities to bridge the gap between supply and demand in cybersecurity in New Brunswick.
Importantly, this study concluded immediately prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Canada, with all primary research tools closed by February 1st, 2020. Accordingly, the statistics and figures in this report are based on stable growth experienced in the Canadian economy prior to the COVID-19 crisis. Labour demand is likely to be adversely impacted in the short term (2020), although given the continuing importance of the cybersecurity sector, it is expected to normalize again in 2021. ICTC intends to pursue continued follow-up research and will publish an addendum to this report on the impact of COVID-19 in Fall 2020.