The Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity at the University of New Brunswick has unveiled a new program to increase cybersecurity talent, by offering graduate students scholarships and job opportunities.

The Bell Research Intensive Cyber Knowledge Studies, or BRICKS program, provides students with a Masters of Applied Cybersecurity, scholarship funding, a four-month research internship and, ultimately, a full-time job offer.

The national telecom company Bell is BRICKS’s corporate partner and has committed $1.2 million over three years to fund the program. This initial investment will offer scholarship opportunities and specialized training and research projects for graduate students. On graduation, these students will be offered full-time employment in Bell’s security and IT lines of business.

“As Canada’s largest communications company and provider of the country’s most advanced broadband communications networks, Bell is a leader in the research and development of security and IT technology,” said Bell Vice-Chair Atlantic Glen LeBlanc in a statement. “We look forward to working with our partners at UNB to support the next generation of Canadian cybersecurity talent and welcoming them to the Bell team.”

Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing field, with 3.5 million unfilled positions projected globally in 2021, said a statement from Fredericton-based TechImpact, one of the partners in the program. It added that New Brunswick is emerging as a national leader in cybersecurity with a strong cluster of partners in business, academia, and government.

“Canadians must feel confident that their online information is held securely and that their privacy is protected,” said Dr. Ali Ghorbani, Canada Research Chair in Cybersecurity at UNB and Founding Director at the Institute for Cybersecurity. “Cybersecurity is an issue that concerns us all, and the Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity is working diligently to provide the next generation of leaders in this important sector, something that will be made easier through the partnership with industry that we are seeing in the BRICKS program.”