I have lamented repeatedly that we have a dearth of cyber talent in the U.S. to meet the needs of employers. Many of our clients recruit talent from other countries in order to meet their cyber needs. The need continues to grow, and we are not addressing it adequately.
Although we are starting to develop cyber related educational programs in higher education, we continue to lag behind other nations when it comes to a systematic (even on a statewide, let alone national) educational program for cyber related expertise at a young age. Many say that in order to be effective and to develop a strong cyber workforce for the next 15-20 years, cyber ed should start during the 3rd grade. This grade is also a crucial time to get girls excited about science, math, and technology. We need more girls looking into cybersecurity as a career path to get the field to be more diverse, which will make it stronger.
As a parent, I was always looking for summer camps to keep my kids occupied during the summer months, and to expand their experiences and education. Cyber camps didn’t exist when I was sending my kids to camp—but now they do. What a great way for your kids to spend a couple of weeks during the summer—learning how to combat cyber crime, protect against cyber intrusions, code with security in mind, and participate in a hackathon.
These camps are cropping up all over the country, which provides opportunities for kids to attend close to their home. Sending your kid to a cyber camp is a great way to get them on a sure career path. Camp is also one component of cyber ed that could enhance a formal cyber ed curriculum in K-12 schools throughout the country.
So do your kid a favor and give them the opportunity to learn skills that can help them get a good job, help the country and be the coolest kid on the block.