The Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) are announcing the Commonwealth of Virginia’s participation in the 2021-2022 CyberStart America competition. This is in partnership with the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation (NCSF) and the SANS Institute.
The CyberStart America competition offers students in grades nine through 12 free access to CyberStart, an immersive cybersecurity training game. Students can play the game to learn more about cybersecurity and build skills that could prepare them for a career in technology. They may also qualify for cyber training scholarships worth approximately $3,000. Over 30,000 students participated in the competition last year, and NCSF awarded more than $4 million in scholarships and advanced training.
“Stewardship of our Commonwealth’s cyber health is a top priority for our team,” said Virginia’s Chief Information Officer Nelson Moe. “We’re proud to partner with VDOE, NCSF and the SANS Institute to provide a productive, relatable and enjoyable way for Virginia students to learn about the critical field of cybersecurity.”
“The expansion of online learning has heightened awareness among students of the importance of cybersecurity,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane. “The CyberStart America competition provides a great opportunity for students to learn more about cybersecurity and the many career opportunities available in this rapidly growing field.”
“This competition is a great opportunity to provide Virginia students hands-on experience with real-world cybersecurity tasks and simulations,” said Virginia’s Chief Information Security Officer Michael Watson. “Cybersecurity is a dynamic industry that will continue to expand in the future, and we are committed to growing the next generation of cyber experts and professionals.”
Registration for CyberStart America is underway. Students can play CyberStart until Wednesday, April 27, 2022. Students who have a high score in CyberStart will then be invited to apply for a scholarship, with scholarship winners being announced in early June 2022.
Visit the CyberStart America website at https://www.cyberstartamerica.org/ for more information about the competition. For more information on the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation, visit https://www.nationalcyberscholarship.org/.