Connect with us

Training

Global spending on cybersecurity is primed to surge, as will the opportunities for trained professionals

Spending on cybersecurity products and services is expected to reach $1 trillion cumulatively over the five-year period from 2017 to 2021.

Avatar

Published

on

Share this:

This article is a sponsored post by:

Bow Valley College

With global spending on cybersecurity products and services surging — exceeding $1 trillion cumulatively over the five-year period from 2017 to 2021, as predicted by Cybersecurity Ventures — so too will the opportunities for employment in this exciting field.

As new technologies emerge — notably cloud, IoT and AI — and are integrated into business practices, new doors are opened to potential attack. Compounding this, the means of attack are constantly changing and more accessible than ever: a bad actor can simply purchase a toolkit on the dark web and wreak havoc.

Unfortunately, less than 50% of organizations surveyed in the recent FireEye Cyber Trendscape Report feel they are prepared for a cyberattack. To one degree or another, most of the surveyed companies are investing in cybersecurity employee training programs, but many describe their training efforts as either “semi-formal” or “informal,” reports ZDNet.

In response to this growing need for well trained cybersecurity professionals, Bow Valley College has launched their Cybersecurity Post-Diploma Certificate, created to prepare learners to design and implement secure computation solutions.

The curriculum took its shape after consulting with industry in the Alberta region, where one message became very clear: there is a need for skilled cybersecurity professionals across the board.

“We’re meeting the needs of what we’ve heard from industry — a lot of what we’ve heard is that there’s nobody to actually teach this,” says Jeff Clemens, program chair for the college’s School of Creative Technologies and who was part of the design team for the curriculum. “We’ve also found that they can’t hire anybody, because there’s no one to actually work in the field. There’s a huge gap — that’s something we’ve heard over and over again.”

The rapidly changing nature of attacks has also been a challenge for many of they businesses the college consulted. Instilling strong problem solving skills in students will be one way the program creates work-ready graduates.

“Problem solving is probably the biggest thing in cybersecurity” says James Cairns, lead, IT security, at Bow Valley College. “You’re going to be coming up against problems that you or maybe nobody else in your organization have never seen before.There’s been exponential growth in not just the amount of attacks, but also in the types of attacks that are occurring.”

This rapid change is also one of the reasons Cairns finds his work so gratifying. “No two days will ever be the same,” he says. “You get to do something new every day. I don’t think I’ve had a week I’ve done the same thing every day since I’ve started working in this field.”

“There’s no opportunity to get bored.”

Register now for Bow Valley College’s Cybersecurity Post-Diploma Certificate.

Share this:

Talent

Calgary’s STEM foundation crucial to driving Alberta’s economy forward

Avatar

Published

on

Share this:

Alberta companies are expected to spend as much as $18.4 billion on digital transformation by 2022 across all sectors, and talent is the most sought after component of Calgary’s economic strategy.

Despite challenges in Alberta’s energy sector, its foundation of technical expertise and workers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) will be an asset.

“I’m confident in saying that we have one of the strongest STEM-technical workforces in North America,” says Jeanette Sutherland, director of EDGE UP/ Workforce & Productivity at Calgary Economic Development“Many of the in-demand skills shifted to more of a demand for digital competencies to adapt to the needs of the new economy,” she explains.

According to CED, high-tech employment grew by 60 percent in Calgary between 2012 and 2017, and it isn’t stopping anytime soon. The greatest opportunity for job growth is in roles supporting digital transformation in a variety of sectors — including energy, says Sutherland.

Over the past four years, the city has seen a development of “emerging clusters” from blockchain, fintech, agritech, automation, autonomous systems, AR/VR, digital media and animation, clean technologies, biotech, advanced manufacturing and robotics, AI and machine learning, life sciences, and health technologies.

This growth has led to a demand in roles ranging from software developers and data analysts, to IT project managers, cyber security professionals and UI/UX designers. 

“It appears that industry is relying on more skilled data analysts and data scientists to support a data-driven economy,” says Sutherland. “Big-data jobs are found across all sectors, from health care to finance, to trade, AI and machine learning.”

A strong, STEM-skilled workforce means that for in-demand positions, minimal reskilling is needed — think short training programs — to transition to open opportunities. 

Bonus? According to Sutherland, the amount of high-tech training completions in Calgary has grown by almost 300 percent in the past two years. Various local training programs can help individuals reskill for these new in-demand digital positions.

Share this:
Continue Reading

Talent

AI will fuel the next wave of digital transformation in Asia

Avatar

Published

on

Share this:

From the recently-wrapped Milken Institute Asia Summit in Singapore, president of Asia and corporate vice president at Microsoft, Ralph Haupter, spoke to Bloomberg Markets: Asia on how Artificial Intelligence will continue to disrupt the technology space and drive growth on the continent.

As it stands, an increasing number of reports are showing the importance of AI on growth on a global scale:

  • AI could contribute an additional $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030 (PwC)
  • The technology represents a potential impact on GDP of 26.1 percent in China (PwC)
  • 28 percent of businesses are already realizing tangible returns on their AI implementation (AI Business)

“We need to understand that AI is the next accelerator for digital transformational companies,” explained Haupter. “We did a study here in Asia and it turns out that companies really think AI will drive double on innovation and double on productivity. That’s pretty impactful.”

The study referenced by Haupter was released earlier this year, showing that AI will accelerate the rate of innovation and employee productivity improvements to nearly double in Asia Pacific by 2021. Furthermore, only 41 percent of organizations in the region have embarked on the AI journey.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Haupter cited one success story: Narayana Health in India, which uses AI visual recognition with its X-Rays. “The quality is better, the cost is down, scale is higher — that’s what technology is about. It makes me excited.”

[Learn more about Narayana’s digital transformation]

The urgency of re-skilling

Of course, a significant touchpoint when discussing the important and rise of AI on growth, is the prioritization of reskilling workers.

A recent IBM Institute for Business Value study found that “as many as 120 million workers in the world’s 12 largest economies may need to be retrained or reskilled over the next three years as a result of the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation.”

In his interview, Haupter is quick to point out that AI “is something that is augmenting us as human beings, and not replacing us,” emphasizing that reskilling is a clear goal on the agenda.

Share this:
Continue Reading

Leadership

Calgary college launches new program in response to a changing workforce

Businesses in Alberta have seen an upswing in the need for trained IT professionals, and with the launch of a new Information Technology Systems diploma this fall, Bow Valley College is prepared to provide the talent.

Avatar

Published

on

Photo courtesy Bow Valley College
Share this:

This article is a sponsored post by:

Bow Valley College

Back when floppy disks and dial-up internet were the height of technology in the office, concepts like 3D printers and self-checkout machines were pure science fiction.

It’s only been 20 years since then, but the world has since gone through a digital transformation that’s impacting businesses everywhere.

In a 2016 survey conducted by the global enterprise software company IFS, 86 per cent of senior business leaders from 20 different countries said that this digital transformation will play a key role in their market in the following five years.

This shift into a digital marketplace has also affected what kind of skills employers need, and Calgary’s Bow Valley College is working to provide the training needed to fill those in-demand roles.

Training rooted in industry demand

With the launch of the new Information Technology Systems (ITS) Diploma this fall, students will be given the most up-to-date IT education to provide a skilled workforce to businesses across Alberta.

Jeff Clemens, program coordinator and instructor at Bow Valley College, played a role in creating the ITS program, and said the process started with consulting industry professionals across the province. All of the companies consulted said they were in need of more trained IT experts to support the technology that keeps them running.

“Industry demand was a big reason why we launched this program,” said Clemens. “The main feedback we got from consulting with people was: ‘We need more graduates.’ Even our own IT staff here at Bow Valley College are saying, ‘When will you be getting these graduates, because we need more people’.”

Hector Henriquez is a desktop analyst in Bow Valley College’s IT department and said he’s also noticed an influx of companies in the city searching for IT professionals over the past few years.

“Nowadays, having IT is more and more essential,” said Henriquez, “Even the basic services that everyone takes for granted, like internet and email and printing, they need to be maintained and updated and secured. You can’t run a business now without IT.”

Entry-level positions lead to exciting careers in tech

During consultations, Clemens said that businesses specifically pointed to a gap in finding people to fill entry-level IT positions. Many only wanted people in entry-level positions for approximately a year, ultimately looking to move them into something more specialized, like the growing need for cyber security.

“The move toward cloud computing and the focus on cyber security and data security is reflected in the number of jobs that are now in the market,” said Phil Ollenberg, Team Lead of Student Recruitment at Bow Valley College.

“There are now self-checkouts, so there are fewer actual cashiers, but there are IT professionals and data analysis professionals in the background who are supporting that technology — and those are higher paid jobs.”

Ollenberg added that the need for IT seems to be clear to students too, as the two-year ITS diploma already had applicants before it was even officially announced.

“Our prospective learners are seeking this career out,” he said. “They’re looking for what they know will be a guaranteed job.”

When the first students graduate from the ITS program in 2021, Clemens is confident that they’ll be ready to take on the industry demands. With solution-based training in the latest cloud and security software, they’ll be prepared to tackle the next technological advancement — even if it seems as futuristic as 3D printing did in 1999.

“With IT, you can’t just sit back and expect that things will stay the same,” Clemens continued. “This program is very hands-on. We’re giving them the base, but teaching them that the base will change, and that’s OK because they’ll still have that ability to learn and come up with solutions.”

For more information on the ITS program, visit the Bow Valley College website.

Share this:
Continue Reading

Featured