The partnership between Garrison Petawawa, Veterans Affairs Canada, Willis College and Fortinet Group was announced on June 17. It was attended by, from left, 4th Canadian Division Support Group Petawawa Personnel Services (4 CDSG Pers Svs) Regimental Sergeant Major Master Warrant Officer Kim Pyke, Program Administrator of Managed Security Service Providers at Fortinet Andrew Adrian, Senior Director of Managed Security Service Providers at Fortinet Stephan Tallent, 4 CDSG Prs Svs Commander Lieutenant-Colonel Steve Nolan, Willis College CEO Rima Aristocrat, and the college’s Manager of Finance and Bookkeeping Services Bernard Doyle. The partnership will help commect veterans transitioning to the civilian workforce to employment in the cyber security field. According to Fortinet, the specialized skills of military personnel are beneficial to the industry. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
(Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
Partnership highlights career option for soldiers transitioning to civilian workforce
By: Patricia Leboeuf
Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2016
Soldiers leaving the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have another recommended career to choose from through a partnership between Willis College, Veteran’s Affairs Canada, Garrison Petawawa and Fortinet Group.
Though there are no limits to what veterans can do post-military, they are typically steered into traditional trades. This new partnership highlights the option of cyber security professional, a career which is growing rapidly. It has brought the Fortinet Veterans Program to Canada to help connect military members to this path.
“Our program is designed to help shape the individual when they come out of the military and translate what they’ve done to civilian vernacular,” said Stephan Tallent, Fortinet Senior Director of Managed Security Service Providers.
He has noticed from hiring experience that military members are particularly well-suited to this type of work.
“There is a natural synergy there that employers around the world recognize,” he said, pointing out that much of the staff at his organization are former military members.
Becoming part of this industry also allows released members to “regain some of that sense of purpose to the greater good, that camaraderie that you may be missing when you leave the military,” he added.
Willis College has been a partner with Fortinet for the past five years, and when CEO Rima Aristocrat saw this program, she knew she wanted to offer it to her students.
“It is another option, another education, another support for veterans,” said Aristocrat. “... It is a wonderful marriage.”
Potential students can either sign up through Willis College, which provides the actual technical training, or directly through Fortinet. There is an interview process, but none of the questions are based on technical experience. They are also already trained in leadership, discipline, and motivation, a great positive in the business.
“You are 10 steps ahead of a non-military oriented individual looking to get into this business,” said Tallent.
There is a great need for cyber security professionals, and this option is a win-win for people looking for a solid career. Among transitioning CAF personnel, there is an eight per cent unemployment rate. There is a zero per cent unemployment rate for cyber security professionals; in 2014, 75 per cent of North Americans were affected by a security lapse, and in 2015, that number rose to 90 per cent.
“Pretty much anybody who has Facebook, Instagram, you name it, or is connected to digital media is going to be affected by this,” said Tallent.
Offering Fortinet Veterans Program is a great opportunity for the college and the industry to partner “in taking care of our veterans as they transition from their service to their civilian life,” said 4th Canadian Division Support Base (4 CDSB) Petawawa Personnel Services Commander Lieutenant Colonel Steve Nolan.
Willis College is also offering $150,000 in scholarships to military spouses. It is part of the college’s 150th anniversary celebrations, and these funds will allow the recipients to choose from several different programs at any of the three campuses located in Ottawa, Arnprior and Smiths Falls.
“Military spouses are the strength behind our uniform and our heroes,” said Aristocrat. “It is important that they have this opportunity to further their professional development and pursue their careers.”