In recent years, the role of cyber security has become undeniably essential. The recent pandemic brought out the best in the world of online operations, but it also allowed criminals to suddenly have much more opportunity to steal from people conducting business and therefore spending more time online than ever before.
The rise in demand for professionals in the industry has opened up a lot of opportunities to international workers who are interested in immigrating.
Keep it in mind that whether you are an experienced professional, a recent graduate looking for a new challenge, or a prospective student, interested in the field of cyber security, Canada needs people like you and can offer permanent residency if you meet the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) eligibility criteria.
Where Cyber Security Jobs in Canada Are Booming
You should give a fair amount of consideration to choosing where you want to live and work in Canada. Coastal provinces are a lot different from the inland ones. They get much less snow but you may find the cost of living to be measurably higher. These 5 cities all have opportunities in cyber security and also offer uniquely different lifestyles to their residents.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver is the largest city on the west coast of Canada is a stone's throw from the US border and the city of Seattle to the south. One of the residents' favorite pastimes includes spending weekends on Vancouver Island, where you can enjoy orca watching, beautiful hiking trails, quaint seaside villages, and the island's capital city of Victoria.
Vancouver’s tech industry is substantial. Hootsuite, Amazon, Microsoft, and EA have head offices there. Big cyber security companies include Hexafusion Canada, CyberSecurity Brain, and Forecight.
Security analysts make an average of $67,000 a year while specialists can make up to $125,000 a year in Vancouver. It is important to note that the cost of living is rather high here when compared to the rest of the country:
If you want to obtain a qualification in cyber security, you may consider the 76-week program offered by the Vancouver Career College.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Jumping all the way over to the east coast of Canada, you have the Atlantic city of Halifax. Even though it gets significantly colder on the east coast in the winter, it is also incredibly picturesque and charming.
The added benefit of working in Nova Scotia is you may be eligible for permanent residency through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot; an immigration program designed specifically for immigrants with job offers in Atlantic Canada.
Currently in demand in the region are cyber security analysts, IT systems administrators, and IT systems analysts. The average salary ranges from $45,000-$80,000 a year depending on your level of qualification and experience.
The cost of living in Halifax, which is not as high as Vancouver, is still quite high when compared to other provinces in Canada.
Calgary may not be at the top of everyone’s list when it comes to the tech industry, the fact is that the city and its economy are growing at a steady pace and show no signs of slowing. There are literally hundreds of positions for cyber security professionals available on job boards.
This major city’s proximity to the Canadian Rockies makes it the ideal choice if you enjoy the outdoors. Attractions like Banff and Yoho National Park on your doorstep, one of the safest cities in the world and the city ranked most liveable in entire North America, this hidden gem may surprise you.
Average salaries for a cyber security analyst in Calgary is $79,000 while cyber security specialists can earn up to $155,000 a year. The cost of living when compared to other cities and the average income is also very favorable:
The high quality of life, low unemployment rate, and affordable cost of living make Calgary our unofficial top city to work in cyber security in Canada.
For accuracy, we are going to include the surrounding cities of Burlington, Scarborough, Niagara, Ottawa, and Waterloo as they are all within half an hour of Toronto, and all have ample opportunity for cyber security professionals, with the added benefit of not being as expensive to live in as Toronto.
Toronto is about as south as you can get in Canada, and thus as mild a winter as you will get ,the south of Ontario is littered with small cities surrounding the major hub of Toronto. A few miles south between the immense Lake Toronto and Lake Erie is the US border, with the city of Buffalo just on the other side.
Average salaries for a cyber security analyst in Toronto is $63,109, with specialists making up to $168,500 a year. So how far will that get you?
Quebec is primarily French-speaking, so keep that in mind when applying for jobs in Montreal. With the moniker of the European capital of Canada, this beautiful city is steeped in history and its beautiful architecture is only one of the many reasons people choose to settle there.The tech industry is thriving and has been for many years, companies like Spiria and Novatek, Ubisoft, and Bethesda all call Montreal home.
Threat hunters are in high demand as numerous financial institutions are working hard to protect their clients' personal information. Average cybersecurity professionals make around $65,000 a year.
The cost of living is lower than the rest of Canada, however the immigration system is independent and not a part of the IRCC.
Learn more about the top cities to work in Cycber Security in Canada with the video below:
Study Cyber Security in Canada
A career in cyber security in Canada would be a smart choice. You would not only be choosing a lucrative career, but also choosing to live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with a progressive government, free healthcare, and a level of public safety you just don’t find anywhere else.
If you do decide to undertake the journey of obtaining a qualification in Canada, there are schools across the country that offer world-class programs.
To be eligible for permanent residency in Canada after you graduate, make sure the school you choose is listed as a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) by the IRCC. If your program is eligible for the PostGraduate Work Program, all the better.
Canada offers immigration visa programs that cater to prospective international students. The most common Canadian student immigration visa program is the Student Direct Stream. The SDS aims to enhance the economic, cultural, and social benefits that international students bring to Canada by making it faster to apply for Canadian study permits.
For the Student Direct Stream in Canada, you must meet additional requirements. These include having higher English or French language proficiency for academic purposes, as well as a $10,000 CAD investment that you can access once you start your studies in Canada. Below, a list of documents you need to collect in order to apply for a Canadian study permit through the SDS.
- An acceptance letter from a post-secondary designated learning institution
- Proof that you paid your tuition for your first year of study
- A Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAD $10,000
- A medical exam (if needed)
- A police certificate (if needed)
- Your most recent secondary or post-secondary school transcript
- English language test results (IELTS) academic or general training score of six or higher in each skill (reading, writing, speaking, or listening)
How to Work in Cyber Security in Canada
The top cities to work in cyber security in Canada have an abundance of job opportunities. To be eligible for those opportunities, you need to be qualified, and if you can apply from within Canada, your chances of success will be much higher.
You can immigrate through a number of different programs available from the IRCC, some of which are mentioned in the article above.
Some, like the Express Entry System, allow candidates to apply for permanent residency in Canada without even having a job offer. If you are sufficiently qualified, that may be enough to get you into the country.
There is also an abundance of Provincial Nominee programs to choose from which offer a comprehensive list of the in-demand occupations in each province. Take a look at some of the PNPs below to see if they offer any cybersecurity occupational opportunities you may want to capitalize on.
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
How we can help you Move to Canada to Work in Cyber Security
It may be helpful to enlist the help of a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) or an immigration lawyer to assist you with the application process, as the application fee is high, it cannot be refunded and it’s something you want to get right the first time around.
If you're unsure of your admissibility, you can always take an eligibility test that will determine if you qualify to enter Canada. If you require more assistance, hiring an RCIC that will guide you is the way to go.
Which City has the Biggest Cybersecurity Industry in Canada?
Waterloo in Ontario is the booming epicenter of the cybersecurity industry in Canada. It is host to over 50 cybersecurity companies that are highly specialized in areas such as embedded security, risk assessment and threat detection.
Which City Pays the Highest Wage to Cybersecurity Analysts?
Vancouver, British Columbia has the highest average wage for cybersecurity analysts in Canada.
What is the Average Salary of the Cybersecurity Industry in Canada?
The projected value of the cybersecurity industry in Canada is $94,340. This will increase in tandem with the rise of the total value of the cybersecurity industry in Canada which is projected to rise by 12.7% according to Statistics Canada (Statscan).