It pays to be able to prevent data breaches and to investigate violations when they occur.
According to the recruitment firm Randstad Canada, the average starting salary in this country for a security analyst is in the mid $60,000s; those with more experience can reach six-figure salaries—and these types of jobs are available in all major city centres in Canada.
South of the border, the median annual wage for information security analysts was US$98,350 in May 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In B.C., the only master of science degree in information, network, and computer security is offered at NYIT-Vancouver.
It is affiliated with the New York Institute of Technology and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
A relatively recent graduate of the NYIT graduate program in cybersecurity, Philip Jaiyeola, is an associate cloud-operations engineer at Cloudreach. It helps organizations take advantage of the public cloud.
Prior to immigrating to Canada to attend the school, he worked in the banking sector.
“Toward the end of my program at NYIT, I was still thinking about what to major in,” Jaiyeola told the Straight by phone. “So that’s when I got into the use of the cloud and cloud security. That’s what made me go for this job.”
His favourite course at NYIT was cryptography, which involves using codes to protect information and communications.
He said it helped him learn how to avoid computer attack and how to bounce back after being targeted.
Jaiyeola also took a course on computer forensics, which taught him how to gather evidence from crimes committed with computers.
“There’s always going to be evidence, and there’s always going to be a way to get it back,” he insisted. “If you’re going to go into forensics, you have to be very detailed and look for every piece of information you can get.”
His capstone project involved looking at the impact of artificial intelligence on cybersecurity.
For now, he has no intention to return to banking, saying he’s going to continue with his career in cloud security.
Jaiyeola had one piece of advice for anyone who enrolls in a cybersecurity program: do your own personal research in addition to absorbing what you’re taught in classrooms. That’s because there’s so much to learn in this rapidly evolving field.
He began at NYIT’s original downtown campus but finished his program at the new campus in the Broadway Tech Centre, where the cybersecurity program is now based.
“The school has come a long way, judging from when I started and when I left,” Jaiyeola said. “And from what I hear from my colleagues who are still there, it’s definitely going to be a program that’s going to benefit a lot of people looking at going to the school.”