KITCHENER – Wednesday was take-your-kid-to-work-day at many businesses around the region, a day that gave high school students a taste of the working world.

One local tech company gave students there a crash course on an in-demand industry.

About 15 students took part in a tour of three tech companies, starting at eSentire, where they got to learn about cybersecurity.

"They get to collaborate with other really smart people. They get to learn new things. They're constantly challenged," explains vice-president of people Kathryn Hodge.

"The cyber security industry is ever changing and we always say here the hackers are always two steps ahead so we have to be three steps ahead and that's very important, so it is very intellectual work."

The students were given a tour of the company's Waterloo headquarters, as well as some coding and team exercises.

"I think it is certainly a growing industry and it is good they're getting kids to come into this because it is definitely going to grow a lot more," says ninth grade student Daniel Hodge.

"It is very important because, as we know technology is more and more becoming just a part of our lives. So we need to make sure we are safe when we use it."

eSentire teamed up with neighbouring tech groups at Factory Square for the event.

The company says that an estimated 1.8 million Canadian cybersecurity jobs will go unfilled by 2022.

Experts say that Grade 9 is a critical time as students are beginning to choose their career paths.