Interest for Cybersecurity Programs Remains High Among International Students in Canada

The demand for cybersecurity programs remains strong, but their impact on the Fredericton city sector is still uncertain, the lead professors at the Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity (CIC) have stressed.

CIC offers cybersecurity specializations for undergraduate students, a master’s program in cybersecurity, and short-term management programs outside of academia.

The interest to participate in the Master of Science in Applied Cybersecurity program is high, especially among international students who attend the program virtually, reports.

The Director of the CIC and a Tier 1 Chair of Cybersecurity, Ali Ghorbani, said that the number of applications received for the September program surpassed one hundred, and the same number is expected to increase before the deadline.

“We’re thinking probably one of every four applications will receive admission from us,” Ghorbani said.

While attending the program, which was approved by the Maritime Higher Education Council in May 2020, students can gain advanced knowledge of cybersecurity.

Based on his experience with STEM programs, Ghorbani said that a high retention rate had been noted on students who came to pursue studies in Canada.

According to him, whilst the classes have switched to the online version, and there is a lack of international students in the country, concerns have been raised about whether students will still be interested in immigrating to Canada to work after completing their studies.

“This is a case where I think we all have to be very careful about that. Some students may not step foot into Canada. I hope it doesn’t happen, and I hope it doesn’t become a norm, but it could be the way it is,” Ghorbani said.

He further added that despite the fact that the demand for the graduate program remains high, the number is internally low; therefore, they are working to make the program more attractive for domestic students.

In spite of the challenges in attracting domestic students, professors at CIC have expressed satisfaction for being able to offer virtual education to those students who elseways may not have been able to access the program.

“We can use this model of online teaching to deliver our content all across the globe, even in those remote countries where they don’t have resources to come to Canada due to their financial circumstances,” Saqib Hakak said.

The new BRICKS program is another CIC program that offers a four-month internship and employment opportunity at the end of the program.

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