Best Cybersecurity Certification Programs of 2021

Last updated June 8, 2021

In an increasingly connected world in which so many organizations rely on information systems to run their core business day-to-day, demand for internet security professionals is on the rise. Demand is rising so fast, in fact, that the global cybersecurity workforce will need to grow at a blistering 145 per cent each year to keep pace with employer needs, according to cybersecurity association (ICS)2.

Canada’s leading cybersecurity certification programs will give you the job-ready skills you need to identify and manage security threats that risk putting critical private, business and government information in the wrong hands. They’ll also position you for success in a complex and challenging field that attracts an average salary in Canada of more than $90,000 per year.

These programs also help prepare you to qualify for the most in-demand advanced infosecurity certifications such as Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), CompTia Security+, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Information Security Auditor (CISA).

Whether you are interested in becoming a security analyst, engineer or architect, cryptographer or independent security consultant, this year’s top-rated cybersecurity certificate programs will help give you the knowledge, skills and job support you need to build an in-demand career.

CourseCompare’s annual rankings for “Short Courses & Certificate Programs” are determined using a process that considers several core metrics and principles. Read more about our methodology here.


The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, Ryerson University 5/5

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University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies 4.3/5

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York University School of Continuing Studies 2.85/5

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Conestoga College 4.5/5

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Seneca College 5/5

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Springboard 5/5

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Centennial College 3/5

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Toronto School of Management (TSoM) 4.7/5

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Humber College 4.7/5

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BrainStation 4.75/5

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Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) 3.65/5

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The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, Ryerson University

$ $ $ $

About The Chang School at Ryerson University 

Ryerson’s roots are in applied technical education that prepares students for the current job market. Today, the career-oriented public research university is known for its business and IT programs. Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, the degree-granting institution leverages its urban setting for real-world learning. Instructors come from academia and industry, providing students with a well-rounded experience.

What sets Ryerson apart?

The faculty at the Chang School not only teach in-demand skills required of today’s IT departments, but they also help students find jobs and connect them with employers in the job market. The program gives students the skills and knowledge required in this specialized field and teaches them how to apply them in everyday circumstances. The course includes the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification program, offered by the (ISC)2 and helps students prepare for the CISSP exam.

The Curriculum

Courses include Computer Network Security, Computer Cryptography and Digital Steganography, Digital Forensics Systems, Security Architecture and Design, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Continuity and Risk Management. In particular, the Cybersecurity, Data Protection, and Digital Forensics program packages these subjects together in a career-oriented learning experience designed to help you break into the cybersecurity field after just one year of part-time studies.


Online, Toronto


University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies

$ $ $ $

About the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies

The School of Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto offers more than 700 courses in over 40 program areas across a range of professions that help people further their careers and keep up with in-demand skills. Instructors are leaders in business and bring a wealth of practical, real-world knowledge to the academic environment.

What sets the University of Toronto SCS apart?

The Cyber Security Management certificate lays the foundation for getting you closer to the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification by studying content that aligns with ISACA’s model curriculum. You will learn to develop and run cyber security programs. Offered in partnership with Trilogy Education, the school also has a part-time, 24-week, Cyber Security Bootcamp for learners interested in an accelerated format.


The Curriculum

Learn how to recognize and manage cyber risks, design and run a cyber security program, align IT security strategy with business goals and needs, train teams to anticipate, recognize and respond to cyber security attacks, and cover content broadly aligned with ISACA’s (Information Systems, Audit and Control Association) major domains and model curriculum.

Students not taking the bootcamp have three years from the start of the first course to complete the three required courses for this certificate.


Toronto, Online


York University School of Continuing Studies

$ $ $ $

About York University School of Continuing Studies

Offering one of the largest rosters of continuing education programs in Canada, York University’s School of Continuing Studies provides specialized knowledge to professionals looking to augment their learning and build on practical work experience. The programs allow individuals to explore career options, prepare for promotion and stay on top of current trends in today’s job market.

What sets York University apart?

York’s two programs, the Certificate in Cybersecurity Fundamentals and the Certificate in Advanced Cybersecurity Fundamentals, can be taken separately on a part-time basis for five months or together part-time over 10 months. There is also an option to take the full-time Cyber Security intensive program over 12 weeks. The programs have credibility in the marketplace because the course is aligned with the eight domains of the CISSP body of knowledge.

Completing both programs will prepare you to present the CISSP examination and help you earn your designation.

The Curriculum

The programs examine the information security knowledge framework as you develop an understanding of the eight CISSP domains and gain the required knowledge for information security projects and the designation. You will also develop an understanding of the ethical, legal and regulatory issues surrounding cybersecurity as you learn about security principles, network fundamentals and how to apply these areas to design networks and policies for security and compliance. The courses also cover mitigating risk and protecting ownership by understanding best practices for data gathering, classification, storage, retention and protection.

Fundamental concepts as well as information on selecting controls and countermeasures, and the application of cryptography, are also covered. Students also learn relevant business skills, like how to apply best practices in vendor procurement, investigations and preventative measures, resource management, disaster recovery, and business continuity.




Conestoga College

$ $ $ $

About Conestoga College

Located in Kitchener, Ont., Conestoga College was established in 1967, and now serves approximately 23,000 registered students through campuses and training centres in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Stratford, Ingersoll and Brantford and is a provincial leader in apprenticeship training. Continuing education programs attract approximately 30,000 enrolments each year.

What sets Conestoga College apart?

This fully online program is designed to give information and digital security professionals the ability to create and manage policy frameworks, standards and procedures, as well as mitigate risk, related to organizations’ most advanced cybersecurity needs. Graduates will attain the skills necessary to become analysts and security specialists in the cyber security profession. 

The Curriculum

Courses include network security and penetration testing, computer forensics and investigation, wireless and mobile device security, ethical hacking and network defence, mobile application security design, hacker techniques, tools and incident handling as well as a cyber security capstone project that integrates the knowledge and skills students have obtained throughout the program. Upon completion, students are able to design and implement comprehensive information security architecture from the planning and design through to the presentation of the final project.




Seneca College

$ $ $ $

About Seneca College

With campuses throughout the Greater Toronto Area, Seneca’s size and diversity give students the advantage of partnerships with industry leaders, the latest in hands-on computer technology, a variety of class sizes, and full-time, part-time and continuing education options. Seneca also employs various methods of teaching – from in-class lectures and online learning to co-op and field placements – in programs related to applied arts, business, financial services and technology.

What sets Seneca apart?

As a graduate of this eight-month Ontario College Graduate certificate program, you will be equipped with industry best practices and skills in communication, information security, project management, problem-solving and more. The industry capstone project and optional work term will give you hands-on experience and position you for a career in one of the world’s fastest-growing fields. The program was developed in partnership with Toronto Finance International and its members, which include Canada’s big five banks.

The Curriculum

Courses include information security principles and policies, OS, mobile and network security architecture, ethical hacking and vulnerability testing, and security for cloud and Internet of things, as well as threat intelligence and IT security forensics. An IT security capstone project rounds out the final semester. Upon completion, students will be able to design and implement comprehensive information security architecture from the planning and design phase through the presentation of the final product.


Online, Toronto



$ $ $ $

What Sets Springboard Apart? 

Springboard’s emphasis on job placement is backed not only by a job guarantee, but access to a student advisor, personal mentor and a career coach. In other words, students get help navigating the hiring process and even negotiating above-market salaries after graduation. UX and Data Science graduates, for example, earned an average salary increase of $26,000 USD in 2020.

The Curriculum

Springboard launched its new Cyber Security Career Track program in 2021, which is the only cybersecurity bootcamp in Canada to offer a job guarantee. The program is delivered in partnership with InfoSec Learning, LLC, as well as globally recognized certification body CompTIA Security+ to ensure all students graduate with the technical skills needed to pass the CompTIA Security+ certification exam and begin an IT security career.




Centennial College

$ $ $ $

About Centennial College

One of Canada’s oldest community colleges, Centennial has transformed itself over the last 50 years from a local college to a global career enabler, with a presence in China, India, South Korea and Brazil. The focus has always been on providing graduates with the skills to be ready for the job market whether in Canada or abroad. With four campuses across Toronto, the college offers flexibility in full and part-time learning both online and in-class.

What sets Centennial College apart?

Taught at the School of Engineering Technology and Applied Science, this full-time one-year graduate program in Cyber Security is completed over two semesters. To enhance your applied learning experience, you’ll learn current IT security tools, policies and techniques in a modern cybersecurity lab that was established in collaboration with the college’s industry partners.

The Curriculum

The program provides instruction in protecting computers, applications, and networks from unauthorized and malicious users or software. Core cybersecurity concepts will be covered including cryptography, cyber forensics, and network security. In-demand knowledge of mobile network security and cloud security will also be covered.


Toronto, Online


Toronto School of Management (TSoM)

$ $ $ $

About Toronto School of Management

Located in downtown Toronto, the Toronto School of Management brings together seasoned instructors and industry partners who strive to provide students with a solid basis of technical and soft skills to find employment in some of the fastest-growing companies in Canada.

About What sets Toronto School of Management apart?

The year-long Diploma in Cybersecurity Specialist includes a 240-hour co-op work placement at one of the school’s more than 100 workplace partners, ensuring that students get important on-the-job training and exposure to professionals who can teach them skills beyond the classroom. The program is powered by CompTIA, giving graduates the knowledge to build a solid foundation towards the Security+ certification.

The Curriculum

The curriculum covers all aspects of cybersecurity, including blockchain, risk management, big data and the Internet of Things (IofT). You will study computer systems and networks and assess risks to determine how security policies and protocols can be improved. Instructors teach students how to identify information security risks and implement new ways to protect an organization’s computer systems and networks, how to handle computer communication across multiple operating systems, respond to security alerts, and uncover and fix flaws in computer systems and networks.




Humber College

$ $ $ $

About Humber College

Founded in 1967, Humber College is known for applying practical real-life learning, giving its students an excellent foundation to build their careers. Instructors work in the sectors they teach and give students not only foundational skills but insider knowledge on how to land their next job. Humber College is based in Toronto with three main campuses — Humber North campus, Lakeshore campus and Humber Orangeville.

What sets Humber apart?

Known for attracting instructors who are at the top of their profession, Humber brings together practical knowledge and skillful teachers. This program is currently led by a cybersecurity operational risk specialist from the financial sector who is focused on banking security and the protection of customer data, holding security industry certifications including CISSP, CRISC, CISA, and is trained as a Certified Ethical Hacker.

The Curriculum

Four compulsory courses lead to this certificate, including Understanding Cyber Landscape, The Fundamentals of Cyber Security, Cyber Attacks, and Cyber Defense. You will learn the latest in cyber criminal activity and how hackers, criminals, organized crime and malicious insiders are using technology to perpetrate criminal activity. The reliance on new technologies that make up our digital lives is also making the technology itself a target for criminals.


Online, Toronto



$ $ $ $

About BrainStation

Popular with busy professionals who want to add credentials and learn in a dynamic environment while continuing to work, BrainStation has been expanding its education platform since 2012, providing students hands-on learning for today’s fast-moving economy. Instructors are constantly developing the curriculum to meet real-world skills.

What sets BrainStation apart?

The school has a robust network of more than 1,000 hiring partners, giving students a distinct advantage when job hunting. The school also offers access to scholarships, often provided by organizations seeking to hire in the technology, financial and consulting sectors. Graduating students can have their capstone projects featured on the BrainStation website in an online student exhibit, and a Career Success team assists in résumé building and developing job interview skills. On average, 92 per cent of students in BrainStation’s full-time diploma programs find work within six months of graduation.

The Curriculum

Back after a brief hiatus, BrainStation’s cybersecurity certificate enables students to understand technologies used every day by cybersecurity professionals, and how security threats exploit vulnerabilities within those technologies. In five- to-ten  weeks, you will learn how to navigate the complex and changing information security industry, identify security threats and how to create specific strategies to prevent and mitigate real-world security risks for individuals and teams. Instructors cover how to leverage best practices alongside industry-leading techniques to reduce risk, protect against attacks, and be prepared to act when incidents occur.


Online, Toronto


Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)

$ $ $ $

About SAIT

Established in 1916, The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology is a polytechnic institute in Calgary, Alta. The school offers more than 100 applied career programs in technology, trades and business, 1,300 continuing education courses and corporate training programs to more than 200 companies annually.

What sets SAIT apart?

The cybersecurity program prepares students for the security profession, providing courses that cover a variety of defensive and offensive tools while learning the fundamentals of networking, malware analysis, reverse engineering, forensics, social engineering and strategy. SAIT has a 92 per cent graduate job placement rate and the median starting salary for this program is $65,000.

The Curriculum

Courses include network protocols and security, military and strategic studies, secure programming essentials, statistics for engineering and tech, security practice and the Canadian legal system, wireless security, malware analysis, operating system exploitation and payment card industry compliance and encryption. A capstone project is done in the final semester.


Online, Calgary, Alberta

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