Cyber*Sci is a series of regional, national, and international cyber challenges for Canadian university and college students
Next Regional Hiring Event
Six Regions:January 15, 2022
Find out more about our program - for Employers, Sponsors and other Partners.
Students Win National and International Travel
Winners in each region advance to the Cyber∗Sci national finals, and top teams there go on to represent Canada at international events – in Prague and Athens this year.
Employers Hire Top Cyber Talent
At Cyber∗Sci events employers can accurately identify top talent because they are directly embedded with student teams working on realistic cyber tasks.
Sponsors Build Canada’s Next-Gen Cyber Workforce
Sponsoring a Cyber∗Sci event grants your organization wide exposure as cutting-edge leaders in cyber security.
Three Types of Events
These are Hiring events.
Held in late Fall each year
in six cities across Canada.
These are Prestige events.
Held in the Summer each year
Europe and Worldwide events.
Winning students gain valuable experience.
Regional Events are Hiring Events
Next event: November 20/27, 2021
Halifax, Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver
Our annual CyberSci Regional Challenges are a day of hacking in the morning, interviews in the afternoon, and job offers by supper. (That’s for summer, co-op, intern jobs. Offers for full-time posts usually follow within a few days.)
Canadian universities and colleges can send up to two teams of four students to the designated venue in their region.
These student teams will be presented with a realistic corporate network that will force them to think like an attacker to penetrate the defences and expose the vulnerabilities.
Employers are embedded with the students all day – not just watching from the sidelines.
Once the main challenge is over and winners are acknowledged, the top three teams are granted interviews with the local employers. Other stand-out students from the morning activities are invited as well.
After the whole day together, employers are almost always ready to make verbal offers on the spot. For some full-time jobs there is an invitation to a second interview later in the week.
As of November 2021 we are returning to LIVE events, and will strictly adhere to all student health protocols.
How It Works
Cyber∗Sci is a series of regional cyber challenge hiring events in major cities across Canada in late Fall each year. The challenge style is similar to a CTF, but sticks to realistic scenarios using vulnerabilities seen in the day-to-day work of our organizing team.
We do hacking in the morning, interviews in the afternoon, and job offers (intern/coop) by supper.
Full-time positions may need follow-up interviews later in the week.
- The winning team from each region moves on to the Cyber∗Sci national finals in the summer.
- These events focus on hiring. Employers are embedded with students – working on realistic cyber tasks.
Typical Agenda for Cyber*Sci One-Day Regional Hiring Event
- 30 to 40 students arrive. Typically 8 to 10 teams of 4 participants each – representing 4 to 8 regional colleges and universities.
- Cyber challenge proceeds for 3 to 4 hours. Teams attempt to find and exploit vulnerabilities in a simulated, realistic corporate environment.
- Employers’ staff (technical and HR/recruiting) circulate among students – with an answer sheet in hand. As teams find potential answers, they engage with the employers and show their work while explaining their progress. They are usually quite animated about this, and very comfortable interacting with employers on topics they understand and enjoy. It closely resembles the situation they will be in as a new employee in a cyber department. The students usually are not even aware the interview has already begun.
- At the end of the challenge the winning teams are identified and prizes given. The top three teams in each region are guaranteed a spot in the afternoon interviews. Employers choose a few strong players from non-winning teams to join the interviews as well.
- There is a break for lunch and networking. After the break, non-winning (or chosen) students can leave.
- Interviews proceed right after the break, with employers’ hiring staff occupying each interview room, and students teams progressing from one room to the next. Once all interviews are complete, sponsors have a short meeting to confer with colleagues and make decisions. A rapid discussion is had so that each company can “protect” one candidate to whom they will make an offer.
- Employers approach their protected candidate with an offer. Generally, but not always, employers make firm verbal offers for summer or intern/coop jobs, and a softer commitment with an invitation to a more formal interview for full-time posts.
- Beyond their one protected candidate, employers can still make multiple offers to other “non-protected” students.
We run the Canadian national finals in Ottawa in the summer.
– The winning team from each Cyber∗Sci regional event is invited to attend the national finals.
– An all-women’s team and an all-juniors team are also invited.
– Top teams from the nationals go on to represent Canada at international events.
– This is where sponsors get maximum exposure for their brand.
Typical Agenda for Cyber*Sci Two-Day National Finals
- Opening ceremony to welcome students and hear some encouraging words from sponsors.
- Cyber challenge proceeds Saturday morning and afternoon. Teams attempt to find and exploit vulnerabilities in a simulated, realistic corporate environment.
- Break for supper and evening “party”. Cyber range is closed.
- Challenges re-start Sunday mornign.
- Lunchtime includes awards ceremony, networking with students, and a wrap-up by key sponsors.
- Sponsors and employers may approach students to discuss their careers and potential job opportunities. But the nationals are a summertime event where 100% of participants have already been through regionals and are usually not looking for an immediate job. For this reason, the Cyber*Sci Nationals are not classified as a “hiring” event.
Winning teams at the Cyber∗Sci national finals go on to represent Canada at international events.
Winning student teams earn travel prizes to at least one International event.
- September 2021: European Cyber Security Challenge in Prague, Czechoslovakia
- June 2022: International Cyber Security Challenge in Athens, Greece
- Fall 2022: European Cyber Security Challenge in Vienna, Austria