Students urged to secure spot in National Cybersecurity Scholarship Competition

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    By Brandi Simmons
    Governor’s Office of
    Information Technology

    Colorado’s leading cybersecurity official is urging high school students to secure their spot in the National Cyber Scholarship Competition to compete for $2 million in college scholarships. Students qualify by completing 20 percent of the free, fast-paced CyberStart America game by March 8.

    “I’m ecstatic to see the enthusiasm we’ve had so far and I hope we can finish strong by providing this engaging pathway for students,” said Chief Information Security Officer Deborah Blyth. “We’ve already nearly doubled the number who registered from last year, but we want to do all we can to connect students with scholarship opportunities given the immense potential for security careers right here in Colorado.”

    Colorado has become a force in the cybersecurity industry and CyberStart is an ideal introduction to the field for students, requiring no previous experience or knowledge while providing transferable and technical skills. According to Comparitech, Colorado had a 139 percent increase in cybersecurity employment over the past five years, the largest jump in the country.

    The two-day national competition, which takes place April 5-6, offers students the opportunity to qualify for $2,500 scholarships to the college of their choice and online cybersecurity training worth more than $3,000.

    The free game is a series of challenges that allows students to act as cyber protection agents, solving puzzles and navigating topics such as code breaking, programming, networking and digital forensics. It offers students opportunities to win scholarships and additional education resources for themselves and prizes for their schools. Beyond the March 8 deadline for the competition, students can play the game until April 4.

    Participants will be informed if they qualify for the CyberStart National Scholarship Challenge Round as soon as they have achieved sufficient progress. To see the types of challenges students will face, visit https://go.cyberstart.com. Complete details may be found at www.cyberstartamerica.org.