Recognized as one of National Capital Region's Top Employers (2018):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 30, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Communications Security Establishment / CSE was selected as one of National Capital Region's Top Employers (2018):
- Communications Security Establishment helps employees plan securely for the future with contributions to a defined benefit pension plan and health benefits that extend to retirees (with no age limit) -- the organization also offers retirement planning assistance and phased-in work options
- Along with 3 weeks of starting vacation allowance, Communications Security Establishment encourages employees to achieve better work-life balance with a variety of flexible working arrangements and up to 8 paid personal days, which can be scheduled as needed
- Employees working at Communications Security Establishment's head office can take advantage of a variety of onsite amenities, including a quiet room for meditation and religious observance, an onsite cafeteria (with healthy and special diet menus), and free access to a fitness facility which features a basketball court and numerous instructor-led classes such as yoga, kickboxing and belly dancing
At CSE, protecting Canadian society is never dull
Carole Pierlot first heard of the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) as an undergraduate studying computer science at the University of New Brunswick.
Intrigued by the prospect of working in signals intelligence and hearing high praise of the work environment, Pierlot landed a co-op placement with CSE in 2003. "My two sisters had moved to Ottawa," she says, "so I lived with one of them for the term."
By the time she graduated in 2006, she'd completed three more work terms with the organization. She'd also met another co-op student who eventually became her husband. Together, they moved to Ottawa and went to work full-time for CSE.
Supported by about 80 to 100 co-op students in each of the fall, winter, and summer sessions, CSE's approximate 2,300 full-time employees apply their technological resources and expertise to gathering information through the global information infrastructure in order to generate intelligence related to terrorism and other threats to Canadian society.
As Canada's national cryptologic agency, CSE employs code-makers and code-breakers to provide foreign signals intelligence to the Canadian government and is also responsible for protecting government computer networks and networks of importance. Furthermore, it provides advice, guidance, and services to other government departments to help protect information of importance to Canada. The agency also provides technical and operational assistance to federal law enforcement and security agencies.
Starting as a programmer, Pierlot saw a wealth of opportunity at CSE to advance. Through formal and informal networking, she pursued a series of assignments, most recently as Executive Assistant and Business Analyst with the Director General of Cyber-Defence.
"This is an interesting, demanding, and leading-edge organization," says Shelly Bruce, CSE's Deputy Chief for Signals Intelligence. "Mathematicians, engineers, linguists, computer scientists and cryptanalysts all working together to solve complex problems."
After more than 10 years with CSE, Pierlot often represents the organization as a recruiter at job fairs and university events. "I love talking about CSE," she says. "For anyone in engineering or computer science, this is the place to be. You're not just keeping up, you're also trying to think ahead."
Like Pierlot, Bruce has never lost her enthusiasm for CSE. Joining the organization in 1989 after obtaining her master's degree in Slavic Studies from the University of Toronto, Bruce was immediately impressed by the skill, commitment and dedication of its staff.
"What we do really matters," she says. "I can honestly say that, after 28 years here, I've never had a dull day."