Heather Kuldell | Nextgov | November 2, 2016 | 0 Comments

Virginia Governor Issues Cyber Challenge to Students

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe Steve Helber/AP

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued a challenge to get the commonwealth's students interested in cybersecurity careers.

The governor Oct. 28 issued a statewide challenge to see which schools could rack up the most participation in NSA Day of Cyber, an online platform that allows students to explore National Security Agency careers and tools. The school with the highest participation through March 2017 will win a cash prize to fund its cybersecurity programs.

The NSA Day of Cyber platform launched last year as a turn-key product that allows educators to add cybersecurity into their curricula without investment or teacher training, according to Kim Paradise, vice president of partnerships for LifeJourney and program executive director. LifeJourney powers the platform while NSA’s sponsorship allows students free access.

» Get the best federal technology news and ideas delivered right to your inbox. Sign up here.

“The basic overall goal is to raise the national cyber IQ and to find cyber professionals of the future,” Paradise told Nextgov. First, the program aims to raise awareness of different types of cyber jobs and then perhaps entice students to fill the global shortage in those fields.

“It’s meant to inspire early,” she said.

Students select from six NSA mentors with cyber careers such as vulnerability analyst or capability dev specialist and then they work through various scenarios. The platform doesn’t test students’ current cyber skills. Instead, it highlights the soft and hard skills each career path requires and shares what classes students may want to take to have their virtual mentors’ jobs.

NSA Day of Cyber has partnerships with middle schools, high schools and colleges around the country, but the Virginia program is its first statewide challenge. Virginia alone has 17,000 open cyber jobs, McAuliffe told Route Fifty in July, and he wants to fill those vacancies by getting kids interested in those fields in the K-12 grades, not college.  

“It is important that students are being introduced to in-demand sectors like cybersecurity to spark interest in the field and prepare them for success in the new Virginia economy,” McAuliffe said in a statement. “It is my goal to make Virginia a national hub for cybersecurity careers and exploration, and the ‘Day of Cyber’ School Challenge will help introduce more of our students to this cutting-edge field.”

Comments
JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.