[Introduction] Information technology security, also known as computer security or network security, is an increasingly important development field in the information age. When speaking of this major, the image of cool hackers breaching computer system defenses may be the first thing that springs to mind. So, which schools offer IT security-related majors? What are the professional skills taught in this major? What are the employment prospects and salaries? How do netizens and UtoCanada view this major? Let's take a look!

Introduction to the Information Technology Security major in Canada

Information technology securityis a branch of information security in the field of computers and networks. Its purpose is to protect this information and property from theft, corruption, disasters, etc., while ensuring that the information and property can be accessed by authorized users. Computer security refers to a series of processes and mechanisms that contain sensitive and valuable information and services that are not disclosed, modified or damaged by unauthorized and untrusted individuals, groups or events.
Graduates of this major have a wide range of career choices in public and private sector organizations. Job titles include: System Security Analyst, Information Security Administrator, Computer Security Consultant, Web Security Specialist, Computer Forensics Expert, Digital Investigator, etc.
So, what skills do students in this major need?

  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Creative and analytical thinking skills
  • Ability to remain calm in times of crisis and work under pressure
  • Research and investigation skills
  • Eager to learn and face challenges
  • Strong time management skills

What knowledge and skills do students learn in the Canadian Computer Security major?

Computer security programs consist of courses that teach the fundamentals of computer software and operating systems, as well as more specialized security management techniques.
Students will learn both the planning and operational side of identifying, analyzing and proposing solutions for computer security risks. Individual courses will vary by program, but may include the following subjects:

  • Computer hardware and components
  • Information systems forensics
  • Security breaches (hacking, the internet and viruses)
  • Database design, implementation and management
  • Security programming
  • Legal knowledge related to cybercrime

Canadian colleges offer paid internships in this major, giving students the opportunity to apply their skills and learn from real life situations.

Employment prospects for Canadian computer security graduates

With the vigorous development of the computer security industry, graduates will have a wide range of job opportunities. Graduates of information technology security can be qualified for many occupations, including (but not limited to):

  • System Security Analyst
  • Cyber Security Researcher
  • Computer Forensics Expert
  • Cyber Security Expert
  • Computer Security Advisor
  • Computer security Engineer

Typically, the salary of computer security professionals is very high, because the market demand for this type of talent is increasing, and the average starting salary is between $45,000 and $50,000 USD.

》Job description of an Information Security Analyst

According to the PayScale description,
Information security analysts are responsible for planning and carrying out network security measures for their companies. Their main responsibilities include researching, collecting data, formulating security strategies, and implementing security principles while following strict privacy policies. Information security analysts have advanced skills when it comes to finding security threats and other vulnerabilities. They conduct assessments of enterprise environments and frequently monitor logs and computer traffic.
Information security analysts coordinate update initiatives for existing technologies in their companies to minimize downtime and avoid security contingencies. They document security breaches and proceed according to company rules. They must know how to effectively operate company infrastructure such as routers, firewalls, and other hardware devices. They work in an office setting with other technology professionals to accomplish company goals.
Internet security analysts are excellent at multitasking, and they have superior problem-solving skills. They pay close attention to detail, have advanced knowledge of popular and new technologies, as well as computer networking methods and applications. They strive to give great customer service while working with other clients and coworkers. Information security analysts use a personal computer as their main tool, in addition to proprietary security software and network computer programs. They report their progress to the information security manager or director in their department. A bachelor's degree in information technology or network security is usually needed to work in this kind of position. Years of experience in the field and/or additional IT certifications are usually a plus.
Responsibilities of a cyber security analyst include:

  • Document, prioritize, and analyze security threats, incidents, and key metrics.
  • Review daily and periodic data to identify, report, and remedy vulnerabilities.
  • Configure and analyze security tools and software.
  • Coordinate with IT and end users to minimize disruptions and protect assets.

》Computer security graduate salary: the decisive factors & annual income

According to PayScale statistics, in Canada, the average annual salary of a cybersecurity analyst is $68,652, with the lowest salary at $46,579 and a highest at $101,727.

Canada's best schools for computer security related majors

Many colleges in Canada offer one- to three-year certificate and college diploma programs in computer security related majors. The content is certified by the Information Systems Security Association and taught by industry-connected professors and instructors with senior experience. Many colleges have a collaborative relationship with related companies and institutions, so that students have the opportunity to participate in field trips and co-op opportunities.
Dalhousie University
Conestoga College
Durham College
Fanshawe College
Senaca College
George Brown College
Mohawk College
Georgian College
Sheridan College
Fleming College
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Netizens' views on the computer security profession major

The first question to consider is, do you really want to work in this field? This is a computer-based and somewhat specialized major. In other words, you must have a deep knowledge of computers. If you do not learn enough from school, you can only self-study to gain the knowledge you need. Normal schools may provide students with some programming and network knowledge. Unfortunately, this will not be enough. You will still have to learn many things by yourself. This major covers a wide range of content on hardware and software. You not only need to have a solid foundation of knowledge, but also methods of practice; from the most basic cable connections, routers, packet-intercepting tools, vulnerability assessments; to advanced server setups, security policy developments, and level permissions.
Zhihu users:

Information security is a very narrow industry, which requires an ample amount of passion and experience to be able to gain in-depth knowledge, which is difficult to achieve only with a four-year undergraduate degree. In addition, this profession has two kinds of influences on one’s personality – to make them act with doubt and caution. No matter what you do, you will always ask yourself, "Is this safe?" – especially when writing code. This is a good quality, but it also has drawbacks. the other is I am in awe of the starry sky above my head, my inner moral code, and the problem of prime factorization of large numbers. I have delved into a few abstract questions, and people are usually more patient. These two points are actually suitable for many other industries. In addition, they have a good understanding of communications and computers, so it is not difficult to find a job. If the ambition is not here, it is not difficult to find another industry. It seems that everyone is doing pretty well. Generally speaking, I think most people shouldn't regret it and feel that they have not been wasted in college. This is actually quite important.

Conclusion: UtoCanada’s views on the Computer Security major

As communications become more complex and the society’s reliance on e-commerce increases, the field of computer security has become a high-profile and rapidly growing industry. The growth of the field has led to a wide range of career choices, from positions requiring high levels of skill to higher levels of management. Students in this program will learn the software application security and networking skills needed to gain access to entry-level positions offered by various software development companies. Students will learn how to protect software applications, including web, network and mobile applications, from malware and hacker threats. In Canada, students can benefit from specialized courses taught by highly qualified industry experts, gain experience in internships, and prepare for their future career.
If you are interested in learning about the latest technologies and programs and want to apply your skills to a computer security career, this is your major.