Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand
In 2013, numerous companies, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Target, Adobe, and the New York Times, were affected by computer attacks. Forbes even called 2013, "The Year You Get Hacked."
Cybersecurity was the #1 job in 2012, according to careerbuilder.com. And as cybersecurity continues to play a critical role in keeping companies operational, competition for hiring skilled experts to play defense will only increase. Unfortunately, the demand far outstrips the supply of qualified, security professionals.
Sandia: A rich training ground for new cybersecurity talent
Recognizing the need to develop a legion of cybersecurity experts, Sandia National Laboratories has been leveraging its expertise to nurture new talent through programs like the Center for Cyber Defenders—a year-round internship for high school through Ph.D. students—for more than 15 years.
However, Sandia’s existing programs are no longer enough. In the spring of 2014, Sandia therefore started the Cyber Technologies Academy, a unique cyber training program just for high school students. CTA will bring Sandia's world-class cyber expertise to thousands of students.
CTA delivers real-world, hands-on lessons and exercises to students from day one. These exercises are approachable to new initiates, interactive, and most importantly, fun. Every day is challenging—but together, we make it a game.
The CTA learning experience
- Target local high school students: Students who attend high school near Livermore, California, can take our summer courses and year-round, after-school classes. As we teach we refine our lessons and exercises and give our staff an opportunity to share their cutting-edge research with the students.
- Reach out to teachers: During the summer, we invite teachers from all over the country to attend special training camps geared toward their needs. Teachers receive the same hands-on cyber experience our students do so they are prepared to take the training back to their classrooms.
- Maximize curriculum accessibility: Our goal is to make all of our training exercises and lesson plans open and freely available online. This will enable both local and non-local students to learn on their own and allow teachers to incorporate lessons and exercises into their own curriculum.