Technical Education Post

News and Information for Technical Educators

Build Cybersecurity Career Confidence and Awareness

CyberStart is designed to help teachers point middle and high school students to a meaningful, rewarding future in cybersecurity, whatever their background or interests. To build a robust cybersecurity workforce, we need the best and brightest students from all backgrounds to get excited about cybersecurity as a study and career option.

Cybersecurity education means more than just certifications and technical knowledge. It’s about problem-solving, advanced communications skills, and a grasp of the larger context — geopolitical, legal, economic, ethical, or historical. CyberStart can help educators get students of all kinds engaged and interested in cybersecurity, with the confidence and understanding they need to find a place in the field that works for them.

There are three great reasons for introducing students to cybersecurity career options.

  • The field serves a vital social need that can appeal to students’ service impulses.
  • Learning about the field reinforces best online safety practices in students’ own online lives.
  • Career prospects are rewarding and varied, appealing and open to students of diverse backgrounds and academic interests.

CyberStart puts educators in position to illustrate these points in engaging, relevant fashion. The program is designed for use in remote or virtual learning programs, in-person settings, or combined approaches of any kind. Students could use the Career Guide in a classroom setting, do Student Workbook activities at home, and explore results and further topics with instructors using the Teacher’s Guide in discussions held in person or online. CyberStart also supports learning standards in cybersecurity set out by the Computer Science Teachers Association.

Social benefit

COVID-19 has changed much in the world. But it hasn’t changed the need for us to continue building students’ awareness and interest in cybersecurity careers. If anything, this need is greater now – the online attack surface has only grown with working and learning from home so much more a part of our lives. We need the best and the brightest, of diverse backgrounds and interests, putting their talents to work on all facets of the cybersecurity enterprise.

Individual imperative

Learning about cybersecurity can benefit all students, even if they would not consider actually working in the field. Understanding, for example, how cybersecurity systems work to keep them safe online can help students align their own online behaviors with best safety practices. Investigating the chances of their own personal data being compromised or how long it would take a hacker to crack their passwords drives home the importance of vigilant, strong online security habits.

Great career

Cybersecurity careers offered great prospects for growth and compensation even before pandemic times. Now, the pace of moving work, school, and home life online is almost sure to accelerate. And cybersecurity jobs will only increase in conjunction with this trend. Showing students the full range of skills and interests that people in the field bring to cybersecurity work is key. The field offers opportunities far beyond just technical work – business, law, education, policy, psychology, and many other disciplines offer paths of entry into cybersecurity work.

Flexible approach, individualized results

CyberStart puts educators in a position to highlight all these facets of cybersecurity work – the breadth of the need, the relevance to individuals’ lives, and the range of opportunities available to students of all backgrounds and interests. The program works equally well for individual or group instruction. Upon completing the program, students interested in the field will understand their aptitudes for the work and possess an individualized plan for pursuing further educational and career options.

If you’re interested

There’s lots more to learn about CyberStart. For many students, a career in cybersecurity is possible if they can find the right pathway into the field and develop the confidence to step onto it. Even without training in the field, educators can use CyberStart to inspire this confidence in students of all backgrounds and interests.

Eric Iversen is VP for Learning and Communications at Start Engineering. He has written and spoken widely on engineering education in the K-12 arena. You can write to him about this topic, especially when he gets stuff wrong, at

You can also follow along on Twitter @StartEnginNow.

New! A Student Workbook to go along with our Cybersecurity Career Guide. Show students what cybersecurity is all about and how they can find the career in the field that’s right for them. Available in a discounted classroom bundle.

And check out the Start Engineering Career Guide, our Dream, Invent, Create elementary education program, and these appealing, fun engineering posters for K-2 and 3-5. All in our online shop!

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