More than 1,300 North Carolina students from 159 high schools have signed up for CyberStart America, an annual online game that introduces them to opportunities for exploring interests and careers related to cybersecurity and computer science.
Students can still sign register for this year’s competition at www.cyberstartamerica.org. The deadline is April 4.
As online threats continue to grow, so does the gap in the number of workers to protect against those threats. North Carolina has around 23,450 vacant cyber-related positions.
CyberStart America is working to help address that gap by creating educational pathways and opportunities that will help build a diverse and talented cyber pipeline in North Carolina.
The program is a series of online games in which players solve cybersecurity-related puzzles and explore related topics, such as code breaking, programming, networking and digital forensics.
Students need no knowledge or experience in information technology or cybersecurity to participate. They learn everything they need to know in the game.
"We need students to eagerly embrace curiosity in cybersecurity," NCDIT Secretary Jim Weaver said. "There is so much potential for brilliant and skilled future workers in North Carolina."
Last year, 1,562 students from 162 North Carolina high schools participated in the free program that also provides the opportunity to win scholarships. Twenty-four were honored as National Cyber Scholars and received hands-on technical training from the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation.