RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today, Oct. 27, the launch of Virginia’s “NSA Day of Cyber” School Challenge. The challenge begins today and will run through the end of March 2017.
Participating students will take part in rigorous, real-life virtual cyber scenarios, discover the skills and tools used by NSA cyber professionals, and explore the vast number of careers in cybersecurity. Students will each receive an individualized Cyber Resume and NSA Certificate of Completion.
“It is important that students are being introduced to in-demand sectors like cybersecurity to spark interest in the field and prepare them for success in the new Virginia economy,” Governor McAuliffe said. “It is my goal to make Virginia a national hub for cybersecurity careers and exploration, and the ‘Day of Cyber’ School Challenge will help introduce more of our students to this cutting-edge field. I commend the National Security Agency for sponsoring this great program, and I thank LifeJourney for its support and innovation in STEM education. I look forward to seeing our students across Virginia contribute to the Commonwealth’s status as a center of technological innovation.”
Schools will compete for the highest student participation over the course of the next five months. Schools with the highest student participation will win a cash prize that will go toward enhancing cyber programs within their schools. These participants will also be honored at an awards ceremony in Richmond.
“The ‘Day of Cyber’ School Challenge will be fun for our students and will encourage them to consider potential careers that they may not have previously explored,” said Secretary of Education Dietra Trent. “By challenging our students to start thinking early about cybersecurity and related fields, we are making sure they have the foundation they need to compete in an increasingly globalized workforce.”
“Having a sustainable, high-caliber workforce pipeline is key to building the new Virginia economy,” said Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson. “The ‘Day of Cyber’ Challenge provides an exciting opportunity for Virginia students to become inspired to pursue cybersecurity careers.”
“Cybersecurity is the ‘space race’ of our generation, and cyber skills are the new alphabet,” said LifeJourney CEO Rick Geritz. “Equipping teachers and parents with the tools they need to bring cyber into the classroom is imperative. Governor McAuliffe’s leadership to prioritize cyber security skills will not only accelerate Virginia’s workforce, but also serve as a model for the nation.”