|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.
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.
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.
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.