CyberStart America and Cyber FastTrack offer free, fun games for high school and college students to discover their talent and enter the field of cybersecurity. Registration is open now.
Dover, Delaware — Today, Delaware’s Governor John Carney and Chief Information Officer (CIO) Jason Clarke announced that high school and college students across the First State can now register for CyberStart America and Cyber FastTrack — innovative, online cybersecurity talent searches and competitions sponsored by the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation and the SANS Institute. Building on the success of last year’s National Cyber Scholarship Competition and the previous Girls Go CyberStart program, CyberStart America is open to all high school students to explore their aptitude for cybersecurity and computer science. Delaware students in grades nine through twelve will have the chance to win prizes and recognition for their schools, as well as scholarships for advanced training for themselves. Cyber FastTrack is available for college students, where they too have a chance to win accolades and scholarship awards.
“Cybersecurity is a critical issue facing every state across the country and the future of our innovation economy depends on having a skilled pipeline of cybersecurity talent available,” said Governor John Carney. “Careers in cybersecurity are open across nearly every industry and we want to encourage high school and college students to explore these occupations. The CyberStart America and Cyber FastTrack programs give students the chance to discover skills and career paths that can ultimately lead them to success within the cybersecurity field.”
The CyberStart and Cyber FastTrack programs both offer a series of online challenges that allow participants to act as cyber protection agents solving cybersecurity-related puzzles and explore related topics such as code-breaking, programming, networking, and digital forensics. For the high school level, the program can be assigned as part of homework, form the basis of an extracurricular club, or students can simply try it on their own. Participating students and their teachers do not need knowledge or experience in information technology or cybersecurity to take part. Everything they need can be learned in the game; however, support and communication about the program to students are needed. Both programs are free for schools and students.
Students who do well in the program can earn access to scholarships and advanced training. Last year, 416 Delaware students participated in CyberStart America — four of whom earned scholarships — while two Cyber FastTrack winners won over $12,000 in training and scholarship awards.
“It’s estimated that there are more than 20 billion devices connected to the Internet and that number is only going to increase exponentially. This past year has proven how ingrained technology is in our personal and professional lives — as well as how imperative it is that we protect all the systems that connect us. Cybercriminals are evolving and becoming more sophisticated, so we must continue to seek out and cultivate the next generation of experts who will defend Delaware and the nation against these cyber threats,” said CIO Jason Clarke.
“Thank you to Governor Carney for his leadership in training the next generation of Cyber Stars,” said Alan Paller, President, National Cyber Scholarship Foundation. “Delaware is paving the way in urgently addressing the country’s significant gap in our cyber talent pipeline. We look forward to partnering with the Governor’s office to recruit thousands of Delaware’s students to this effort.”
About the Delaware Department of Technology and Information
The Department of Technology and Information (DTI) is the state’s central IT organization, chartered to deliver core services to other state organizations and exercise governance over the technology direction and investments of the state. DTI provides enterprise services that enable other organizations to effectively fulfill their missions. DTI.delaware.gov
About CyberStart America
CyberStart America and Cyber FastTrack are free national programs for high school and college-level students, aiming to uncover hidden cyber talents and to identify and develop the next generation of cyber superstars. The immersive gamified learning platforms can take students from zero cybersecurity knowledge to possessing the skills necessary to compete in a national-level Capture the Flag challenge in a matter of weeks. Students new to the field with a strong aptitude, as well as students with existing interest in the field, can use the platform to train and qualify for the National Cyber Scholarship Competition, allowing them to compete for life-changing college scholarship opportunities.
About The National Cyber Scholarship Foundation (NCSF)
The National Cyber Scholarship Foundation (NCSF) is a national nonprofit whose mission is to identify, nurture and empower the next generation of cybersecurity experts and eliminate the cybersecurity skills gap in the United States. NCSF aims to support the entry of thousands of highly talented students to the cybersecurity industry by providing enrichment opportunities, world-class training, and scholarships to fund advanced skills training.