In a world where our lives are becoming increasingly digital, technology has revolutionized nearly every aspect of modern life.
While cyberspace may not possess certain tangible features we associate with the “real world,” there is no denying that our online presence, habits, and interactions generate huge amounts of data that can carry very real consequences (and some very real risks!)
Because of this, there is now a rising demand for a new class of “Privacy Professionals”: qualified individuals who can work with organizations in mitigating risks and navigating the complexities specific to cyberspace, privacy, and access. Those interested in the new and evolving field will find plenty of career opportunities at organizations spanning all sizes and industries.
If you’re looking to launch your career as a Privacy Professional, The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University is the place to start! In their immersive Privacy, Access, and Information Management program, you’ll develop valuable skills and learn practical techniques that will help you meet privacy needs specific to the 21st century.
To learn more about this groundbreaking program, we spoke with current student and Privacy Analyst, Derek Eng, about his experiences so far with The Chang School and their new Certificate in Privacy, Access, and Information Management.
Finding a Fit
For students like Derek Eng, a former Policy Analyst with a background in Law, this cross-disciplinary program presented the perfect opportunity to boost his professional credentials while dovetailing his experiences and interest in civil rights.
Rather than continuing to market himself as a “jack-of-all-trades” in Policy, Derek realized his professional ambitions would be better met by specializing in a field. He chose Privacy, a field he found both interesting and in-demand, and hoped that the skills gained would allow him to transition from Policy Analyst to Privacy Analyst.
Derek was looking for a program that would provide him with the knowledge and hands-on experience that would allow him to become a qualified Privacy Analyst, but would also be flexible enough to accommodate his busy schedule and personal life. When he discovered the certificate offered by The Chang School, he realized it was truly one of a kind.
“I knew from week one, The Chang School’s program was the superior choice. It allowed me to learn Policy and Privacy in a local context, and the fact that it offered a course led by Ontario’s former Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian made it an easy decision,” he said.
Derek had decided to take the program online, and was impressed by the level of interactivity afforded by the platform, citing discussion boards, professionally shot videos, interactive quizzes, and links to the latest content as strengths to the medium. Despite not occurring in a traditional classroom setting, Derek found the instructors accessible, engaging, and always willing to support the students in any way.
“My [Privacy by Design] instructor, Michelle Chibba, was wonderful. Very knowledgeable, provided constructive feedback, and was very supportive,” Derek recalled. “When she found out I was looking to get into the field, she even helped me get a job interview!”
The PAIM Program
When it comes to course content, students like Derek begin the program with an overview of current practices in privacy governance and policy, in addition to information technologies. Hands-on projects allow for skills development where students can apply what they’ve learned to real-world problems. This way, when you graduate, you’re equipped with both the knowledge to navigate the complexities of privacy and access, as well as the ability to deliver solutions in a constantly evolving landscape.
Derek was able to find immediate applications to lessons learned in his Privacy by Design class, performing a privacy “gap analysis” of processes at his previous employer.
“I was able to do practical work immediately and before the end of the course,” Derek told us. “That experience is really hard to get anywhere else.”
In the Privacy, Access, and Information Management program, students can choose from a diverse selection of electives that range from Health Care, Information Technology, Business, Public Relations, and more.
“One of the reasons I took this certificate at The Chang School was because of the course offerings available – they were much more developed than the alternatives,” Derek explained. “Privacy goes across so many sectors, so it’s great to have those choices.”
Derek, who is now employed as a Privacy Analyst at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, has elected to take courses in Health Information Management, where he can again apply what he’s learned in Privacy, Access, and Information Management at The Chang School to real life professional situations.
“My experience so far in the industry has been great,” Derek shared. “It’s very intellectually stimulating, I’m learning all the time, and I work with an amazing group of people. I am definitely glad I made the jump!”