Canadian companies are still struggling to fill Canada jobs for cybersecurity specialists, even with a massive surge in the number of people qualified in the last few years.
They need even more foreign nationals with the right qualifications to take jobs that are going begging for a lack of candidates.
An Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) report reveals about one in six jobs for cybersecurity specialists goes unfilled in Canada due to an estimated shortfall of 25,000 of these workers.
“Despite the current correction in the tech labour market, many job vacancies in key digital occupations remain unfilled,” notes the ICTC.
“Also, the medium to long-term demand for digitally skilled talent is strong, forecasted to require an additional 250,000 key positions in the digital economy by 2025, for an overall labour market of around 2.26 million workers.”
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Job Bank, the federal job-hunting and career-planning website, is forecasting the job prospects for cybersecurity specialists will be either “good” or “very good”, its highest rating, across the country over the next three years.
With Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announcing earlier this year that Canada’s Express Entry system will begin targeting 82 jobs in healthcare, technology, trades, transport and agriculture this summer – including cybersecurity specialists – foreign nationals hoping to immigrate to Canada are now looking at a new opportunity to get their permanent residence here.
The flagship Express Entry selection system has previously only conducted draws based on immigration programs, not by targeting specific occupations.
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Candidates will need at least six months of continuous work experience in Canada or abroad within the past three years in one of these occupations to be eligible, experience that can have been gained while working in Canada as temporary foreign workers with a work permits or as an international student with a student visa.
The opportunities are there.
There were already 263 job listings for cybersecurity specialists, categorized under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 system with the code 21220, posted on the Indeed.ca job-hunting website in July, some of them from employers hoping to hire more than one employee.
Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec Need The Most Cybersecurity Specialists
Most of the jobs for cybersecurity specialists listed in July on Indeed were in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.
In Canada, the median hourly wage for cybersecurity specialists is $42.16 but that varies from a low of $25 right up to $61.54, reveals Job Bank.
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Based on a standard, 37.5-hour work week, that means cybersecurity specialists could expect to earn a top median annual income of $120,003.
Under the changes announced at the end of May, the Express Entry streams, including the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program, Federal Skilled Trades (FST) program and Canadian Experience Class (CEC), as well as parts of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) will now be more responsive to labour market needs.
Immigration Minister Opened Up 82 Occupations To Targeted Express Entry Draws
“Everywhere I go, I’ve heard loud and clear from employers across the country who are experiencing chronic labour shortages,” said former Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.
“These changes to the Express Entry system will ensure that they have the skilled workers they need to grow and succeed. We can also grow our economy and help businesses with labour shortages while also increasing the number of French-proficient candidates to help ensure the vitality of French-speaking communities.”
Canada first signalled its intention to start occupation-specific draws through Express Entry in June last year, when changes were made to the Immigration, Refugee and Protection Act to allow invitations based on occupations and other attributes, such as language ability.
The majority of Canada’s provinces have been issuing occupation-specific invitations for several years.
Under the changes to the act, the immigration minister is required to consult provinces and territories, members of industry, unions, employers, workers, worker advocacy groups, settlement provider organizations, and immigration researchers and practitioners, before announcing new categories.
IRCC must also report to parliament each year on the categories that were chosen and the reason for the choices.
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) says the number of occupations facing shortages doubled between 2019 and 2021. From 2018 to 2022, federal high skilled admissions accounted for between 34 and 40 per cent of overall French-speaking admissions outside Quebec, which manages its own immigration intake.