"On behalf of the Government of Canada I want to congratulate Fortinet on making this substantial investment in training their workforce of the future and creating high-paying jobs for Canadians," said the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism. "This is exactly the type of employer investment in training that our Government is trying to encourage with the Canada Job Grant. Today's announcement also demonstrates the good work career colleges like Willis College are doing to train Canadians for jobs that are in-demand in today's labour market."
"We hear a lot about the skills gap in Canada. Willis College's partnership with Fortinet will help address this gap and provide training and meaningful employment to unemployed or underemployed Canadians," said Rima Aristocrat, president and CEO of Willis College.
Fortinet's investment in this process includes the construction and establishment of a comprehensive network security lab at Willis College's Ottawa campus. This will be in addition to technical curriculum development, training assistance and overall program direction.
"Having worked with Willis College for four years, we feel certain that we will succeed in the development of a curriculum that will teach students valuable skills and qualify them for positions that we have open today and in the future," said Michael Anderson, vice president of global support and services for Fortinet.
With programs slated to start early next year, the intention is to create at a significant number of well-paying, full time jobs in Ottawa in the coming years.
About the Advanced Network Security Professional Program
The new Advanced Network Security Professional Program will result in students being immediately qualified to be Professional Services Engineers, Sales Engineers, Technical Account Managers and Escalation Engineers.
It is an extension of the program already offered at Willis College called the Network Systems IT Security Professional Program.
About job prospects in the field
The need for security in the information technology field has grown with the sector as a whole. In an era where governments, companies and individuals routinely use IT as a medium for sensitive communications and transactions, system security is an increasingly essential component for modern societies.
This creates opportunities for IT professionals willing to train in cyber security; in the words of US Homeland Security's Deputy Undersecretary for Cyber Security Mark Weatherford: "What's the unemployment rate for a good cyber security person? Zero."
Particularly in Canada, "cyber security professionals are in very short supply," according to a study on cyber security published in 2011 by Professional Engineers of Ontario, also quoted by the Information and Communication Technology Council. IT security is and will continue to be a high-demand field for the foreseeable future.