Systems Administrator / Desktop Administrator (Various Levels)

Reference Number: RF-7377
Closing Date: April 30, 2023

Intent of this selection process

The intent of this selection process is to staff various entry-level, intermediate and senior positions across different activity areas of CSE. This selection process will be used to recruit three streams:

Stream 1: Systems Administrator

As a systems administrator, you will work to support critical infrastructure with unique challenges using the latest technologies.

Stream 2: Desktop Administrator

As a desktop administrator, you will support various endpoint solutions (mobility, local, VDI) and engage in critical projects with unique challenges using the latest technologies.

Stream 3: Other Specialties

CSE is looking for various specialists in multiple IT domains (for example, but not limited to: storage, monitoring, Citrix, AV/VTC, telephony, VMWare). Where a system administrator would typically have a broader range of experience, a specialist has more depth within an area of expertise.

When applying to this selection process, you will be asked to select which stream(s) you would like to be considered for. When completing your application and drafting your cover letter, please direct your application according to the stream(s) that interest you, summarizing how you meet the essential education and experience listed for the applicable stream(s) chosen.

Salary Range

  • UNMA-09:          $107,432 - $124,208 per year
  • UNMA-08:          $99,861 - $115,504 per year
  • UNMA-07:          $91,585 - $106,240 per year
  • UNMA-06:          $80,746- $93,951 per year

About the job

CSE is currently looking for systems administrators and desktop administrators from a diverse range of technical backgrounds who will thrive working on unique problems in an open minded and innovative environment, and who value the different perspectives of others.  We are looking for people who constantly strive for better solutions to keep our country safe, who seek to learn more about the cyber challenges that impact us, and who collaborate with partners, colleagues, and teams on complex problems. You should be someone who enjoys a challenging career and who desires to learn new technologies to expand and evolve your expertise.

Our positions exist in very dynamic and unique operational environments and provides direct support to CSE missions. We are a unique technical organization with hundreds of subject matter experts across IT domains. We have guilds of expertise who collaborate in agency, government, and international initiatives to find the right solution to complex problems. Individuals selected will assist with the engineering, configuration, and support of a variety of hardware and software. Our team relies heavily on virtualization to support our operations.

Your work will have a significant impact on Canada’s security posture and will contribute towards ensuring the safety of Canadians. Your role will entail technical research and development, enabling continued innovation within various IT environments. You will be responsible for effective provisioning, installation, configuration and supporting advancement of many technologies across multiple IT domains while adhering to ITIL principles.

You may work with many common enterprise services: Linux and/or Windows, data storage & protection services, scripting, and networking. You may also be exposed to cloud services, cryptography, PKI, the system development lifecycle, and automation technologies.


All jobs are in Ottawa, Ontario. Flexible work arrangements, including telework for a portion of the work week, may be possible. For more information on location, please visit the following link: CSE locations meet current accessibility standards.

Language Requirements

Various language requirements (English Essential or Bilingual BBB/BBB)

Area of Selection

Open to Canadian citizens.

Required Qualifications

You must clearly demonstrate in your application how you meet these required qualifications:

Required Education (All streams)

You must have one of the following:

  • Post-secondary education in a field related to the position, such as (but not limited to) Computer Science, Computer Engineering or Computer Engineering Technology
  • An acceptable combination of education, training or relevant experience (as listed below).

*The educational program must be recognized in Canada and you must be able to provide proof of education credentials.

Required Experience

The below required experiences can be acquired in an academic or professional setting. Recent graduates should note that school projects can be considered as relevant experience. The breadth and depth of experience demonstrated in your application may be used to help determine which UNMA level you will be qualified for.

Experience (Streams 1 and 3)

  • Experience or training in system administration which may include but is not limited to: operating systems, software, server, storage, backups and appliance administration in a networked environment.

Experience (Stream 2)

  • Experience or training in desktop administration which may include but is not limited to: all aspects of endpoint computing/deskside computing, operating systems and peripherals in a networked environment.

Required Competencies

Competencies is our term for skills and/or knowledge. These required competencies are the skills/knowledge we need to see reflected in your application, interviews, etc., for you to be successful.

Technical Competencies (All Streams)

  • Knowledge of IT: Possesses a generalist’s knowledge of all areas in IT, including but not limited to:  Software Application Development, Database Management, IT Security, IT Architecture, System Administration.
  • Infrastructure / Platforms: Knowledge and ability to support the enterprise computing infrastructure (e.g. enterprise servers, storage devices and systems, hardware and software) in the provision, management, storage, operation, scheduling, support and maintenance of the infrastructure.  

Technical Competencies (Stream 2 only)

  • IT User Support / Help Desk: Applies his/her in-depth technical knowledge of a specific application, system or business process to support users who have questions or who are experiencing difficulties, errors or system failures and to keep the IT environment functioning efficiently, effectively and securely.

Behavioral Competencies (All Streams)

  • Interactive Communication: Communicating in a compelling, honest, persuasive, effective, and articulate manner, thinking about who you need to communicate with, ensuring the message is clear, understood & consistent with CSE objectives.
  • Cognitive Thinking Skills: Responding to challenges with innovative solutions, products, or services by questioning conventional means, using intuition, experimentation & fresh perspectives; understanding, analyzing, synthesizing and relating complex information and abstract variables.
  • Working in a Team: Demonstrating effective interpersonal skills & working cooperatively and effectively within & across organizational units to achieve common goals.

Leadership Competencies (All Streams)

  • Achieving Results: Deliver on commitments through actions that reflect personal accountability, sound judgement, decisiveness & business acumen.
  • Change and Innovation: Create a culture where flexibility & openness to new ideas are encouraged. Lead transformation with courage & conviction.

Asset Qualifications

Assets are “nice-to-have” expertise and competencies we’re interested in. If you’re excited about what we do and working with us but are not sure you’re 100% there yet, please don’t let that stop you from applying.

If you have acquired any of the listed Asset Specialized Experience, whether in a professional or academic setting, please clearly demonstrate it in your application. We may take it into consideration to determine your best fit within CSE.

Asset Experience

  • Experience working with and/or supporting Cloud infrastructure and virtualization technologies (such as VMWare, OpenStack or Hyper-V).
  •  Experience with IT Automation and Orchestration (such as Docker, Kubernetes, scripting, Puppet and/or Ansible).
  • Experience networking in a data center environment including, IP networking, cabling, switch, and firewall configuration.
  • Experience configuring and supporting storage systems. 
  • Experience writing and maintaining scripts in Bash or Python or Powershell.
  • Experience with Unified Communication (VTC, VoIP, SIP etc.).
  • Experience working with /administration of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).
  • Experience configuring and supporting database systems (such as Oracle or PostgreSQL).
  • Experience working with system monitoring tools (such as Nagios or OpenNMS).

Asset Competencies

Candidates may be assessed on one or more of the following asset competencies:

Asset Technical Competencies

  • IT Service Management Processes: Knowledge and ability to implement the methods, practices and policies governing the design, development and use of the IT support processes designed to keep the IT environment functioning efficiently, effectively and securely.
  • System Integration: You can incrementally integrate and test components and systems and their interfaces in a logical fashion to create operational systems. 
  • Telecommunications (Data and Voice) Networks: You possess the knowledge and ability to implement the methods and practices governing the design, analysis, development, management and use of the hardware and software used to transfer information such as data, voice, images, and video. 
  • Project Management: You are able to deliver on your commitments and contribute to the planning, implementation, monitoring and completing of projects, ensuring effective management of scope, resources, time, cost, quality, risk and communications. 
  • Knowledge of IM/IT Architecture: Knowledge and ability to apply architecture theories, principles, concepts, practices, methodologies, and frameworks to achieve the organization’s goals.

Asset Behavioral Competencies

  • Service: Identifies & responds to current & future client needs; provides service that meets or exceeds clients’ expectations.

Asset Leadership Competencies

  • Integrity, Respect & Awareness: Create & promote a culture of integrity, transparency, fairness & respect. Recognize one’s own areas of personal & professional strength as well as areas for development & is committed to continuous learning to enhance self-awareness. Continuous learning to enhance self-awareness.
  • Collaboration: Build relationships with traditional & non-traditional partners & stakeholders to develop solutions that reflect the interests of the organization.
  • Strategy and Vision: Develop a vision and connect people to it; understand the context and envision the possibilities; Translate ideas into concrete strategies that can be effectively executed.

Application Process

Who Can Apply - Area of Selection

You must be a Canadian citizen and be willing to comply with CSE’s own security policies and standards.

Security Requirements

You must have no criminal record. The screening process may involve the following:

  • security interview
  • polygraph test
  • psychological assessment
  • background investigation covering a minimum of your last 10 years history, including credit and financial verifications.

How to Apply

You may submit your candidacy online by selecting “APPLY” at the bottom of this page.

If you cannot apply online or have a disability preventing you from applying online, please inform us by contacting prior to the closing date of this selection process. CSE offers an assessment process that will accommodate any reasonable measures required to enable you to be assessed in a fair and equitable manner. Those measures are available to all candidates for further assessment. Related information received will be addressed confidentially. If you may need such accommodation, please advise us.

What to Expect

  1. The selection process can be done in the official language of your choice.
  2. Applicants who meet our Area of Selection will be emailed a technical written test which will be used as a screening tool. Make sure to check your spam/junk mailbox regularly for notification of the test. 
  3. Candidates who successfully pass the exam will have their application circulated to various hiring managers.
  4. If a hiring manager expresses interest in a candidate profile, the candidate will be contacted to schedule an initial interview.  Those who are successful during their initial interviews will be contacted to schedule a follow-up technical interview.
    1. Applications will remain available to hiring managers for a maximum of 3 months.  If a manager does not express interest in an application during this time, the application will expire.
  5. Two supervisory / managerial references will be requested from candidates who successfully complete the interview stage.  
  6. Candidates will be required to complete the security assessment.  More information regarding the security process can be found on CSE's website

The entire selection process – tests, interviews, security investigation – may take more than one year to complete.

If you are deemed to be unsuccessful in the assessment process for this particular selection process, you may reapply in twelve (12) months.

Additional Details

The breadth and depth of experience demonstrated in your application as well as the level of competence demonstrated in the various assessments will be used to determine your qualifications for the UNMA-06, UNMA-07, UNMA-08 or UNMA-09 level.

Training and Development

At CSE, we are proud to offer an inclusive and supportive working environment that encourages open minds and attitudes. As an organization that values and nurtures talent, we’re committed to helping you fulfill your potential. With comprehensive training and development opportunities, tailored to your needs and the requirements of your work, we’ll enable you to flourish in your role and perform to the best of your abilities.


Determinate and indeterminate appointments will be used to staff positions of permanent or temporary tenures within CSE.  All appointments have a one (1) year probation period.

Operational Requirements

Overtime and standby duty may be required.

CSE Employment

CSE is a separate organization and is not subject to the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA). We have our own values-based staffing regime and as such, have the flexibility to determine qualifications for positions and how these qualifications will be assessed in a selection process. In other words, CSE has its own classification, compensation system, and a different staffing regime. As such, we use a different staffing process and terminology.

CSE is committed to the principle of equity in employment. We are committed to building a workforce that reflects the diversity of Canadians and to creating an open and inclusive workplace. We encourage you to voluntarily indicate if you are part of one of the groups targeted by employment equity: women, Indigenous people, people with disabilities (including people with learning disabilities, development or any other type of disability) and members of visible minorities.

Covid-19 Update

In our ongoing efforts to keep our workplace and communities healthy, CSE continues to closely follow guidance
from provincial and federal public health authorities (Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and Public Service and Procurement Canada). While some work has started to resume from the workplace, many of our employees continue to work from home during these unprecedented times.

We thank all applicants for their interest in CSE. However, only those selected for further consideration will be contacted.