Ottawa, March 21, 2024—To address the growing demand for cybersecurity talent in Canada, ICTC has collaborated with Microsoft and a select group of post-secondary institutions to pilot a new initiative to expand the cybersecurity talent pool.  This program is now in its second year, with generous support from DIGITAL, Canada’s Global Innovation Cluster for digital technologies; Microsoft Canada; and numerous additional community partners. 

A recent ICTC study found that despite a rising number of cyberattacks in Canada, thousands of available cybersecurity positions remain unfilled. Moreover, the same study found that just 20% of cybersecurity workers in Canada identify as women. Of this demographic, only 25% identify as Black, Indigenous, or person of colour (BIPOC).

To address this disparity and strengthen Canada’s cybersecurity talent pool, this Cybersecurity Training and Work Integrated Learning Program provides women and non-binary post-secondary education students access to mentorship, Microsoft training and certification, and experiential learning opportunities—one of which is a 16-week paid work-integrated learning placement in cybersecurity. Employers receive up to $7,000 in wage subsidies for each student placement.  

The program’s seven participating post-secondary institutions include the Toronto Metropolitan University, University of Calgary, British Columbia Institute of Technology, Dalhousie University, New Brunswick Community College, Red River College Polytech, and the University of New Brunswick.

The program’s training includes:

  • ICTC’s “Launching Your Tech Career” Job-Readiness Training Seminars
  • Azure Fundamentals: AZ-900 Certification
  • Microsoft Security, Compliance, and Identity Fundamentals: SC-900 Certification
  • Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals: AI-900 Certification  
  • 16-week paid work-integrated learning placement in the cybersecurity sector or an experiential learning opportunity
  • Membership to the Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) Global community
  • A dedicated mentor from the Global Mentorship Initiative
  • Access to ICTC's library of WIL e-Learning courses

“Cybersecurity plays a crucial role in protecting Canadians – and the field is rapidly growing. Investing in projects like ICTC’s ‘Launching Your Tech Career’ improves the skills training and opportunities available, while pushing us to innovate and strengthen our workforce. Our commitment to include and uplift women and gender-diverse individuals through programs like this helps create a better future for Canada’s skilled trades workforce.” – Minister Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages

“Demand for Canadian cybersecurity talent continues to increase with its growing importance towards ensuring organizations and individuals are protected from cybersecurity threats. We additionally know that supporting equity and diversity within Canada’s technology sector, especially for high-demand industries such as cyber, is crucial to our country’s continued growth and prosperity. By collaborating with ICTC and Microsoft Canada on the Cybersecurity Training & Work Integrated Learning initiative, we are putting women and gender-diverse individuals on the path to these in-demand careers in the cyber industry.” — Sydney Goodfellow, Director of DIGITAL’s talent-focused program, the Digital Learning Lab.

“Canada’s cybersecurity resilience and talent shortages necessitate harnessing the full spectrum of Canada’s diverse and skilled workforce. ICTC, in collaboration with Microsoft and leading post-secondary institutions, is delighted to unveil the continuation of our Cybersecurity Training and Work Integrated Program. With the unwavering support of DIGITAL and Microsoft Canada, we are collectively shaping the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.” — Namir Anani, President & CEO.

"Microsoft is committed to growing access to digital skills to help people harness the power of AI and other breakthrough technologies to succeed in today's rapidly changing workforce. Cybercrime poses a significant threat to organizations and individuals, and there is a shortage of trained and certified cybersecurity professionals to meet the growing demand. Our collaboration with ICTC and DIGITAL, through the Cybersecurity Training and Work Integrated Learning Program, aims to provide inclusive opportunities for women and gender-diverse individuals pursuing careers in the cyber sector while promoting diversity in the industry." — Lisa Everett. Philanthropies Director, Microsoft Canada.  

For eligibility criteria, please visit our website. This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program.


DIGITAL, Canada’s Global Innovation Cluster for digital technologies, grows Canadian businesses through the development, adoption and deployment of Canadian-made technologies and by working with industry to develop a digitally skilled workforce to positively impact lives across our country.  

We bring together businesses, academia, community, and government agencies to solve some of industry and society’s biggest challenges – better and faster than any single organization can do on its own. Through a powerful model that combines cross-sector collaboration, Canadian IP creation and results-based co-investment, we unlock the potential of Canadian industry to lead and succeed in the digital world.    

Ahead of the curve starts here. For more information, visit

About ICTC  

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is a neutral, not-for-profit national center of expertise with the mission of strengthening Canada's digital advantage in the global economy. For over 30 years, and with a team of 110 experts, we have delivered forward-looking research, practical policy advice, and capacity-building solutions for individuals and businesses. The organization’s goal is to ensure that technology is utilized to drive economic growth and innovation and that Canada's workforce remains competitive on a global scale.

If you have additional questions, please contact ICTC’s WIL team at @email