There is a strong demand for cybersecurity professionals throughout California, and partnerships are crucial to meeting that demand. As a step toward that goal, the California Cyberhub brought together stakeholders from business, government and education for California Mayors Cyber Cup Challenge events throughout the state.
Cybersecurity education is a growing movement and one that everyone can join. Students, teachers, parents and community members do not need to have any previous technical experience or cybersecurity knowledge to get involved in a cyber competition.
That was precisely the case at Jesuit High School, where team captains Casey Honaker, Peter Sutarjo and William Heisinger said they’ve been proud to see their team grow over the past four years.
“We started as a small club of five people who didn’t know a lot and over four years we grew to 18 members, fielding three full teams,” they said. “The reason we’re able to grow was through the dedication and hard work of our team members. It was just high schoolers working hard to accomplish a goal as a team.”
Jesuit High School cyber coaches Justin Tsai and Aimee Staats said the cybersecurity is a focal point of the school’s curriculum, and events like the California Mayors Cyber Cup Challenge provide an opportunity for students to put what they learn in the classroom into action.
“Industry certifications and competitions like CyberPatriot, California Mayors Cyber Cup Challenge, and California Cyber Innovation Challenge provide the opportunities to engage young men and women who are passionate about these cutting-edge career fields,” Tsai and Staats said. “We are grateful for the commitment of our team members and the continuing support and guidance from our mentors and our regional coordinator, Sean McNally. We are appreciative of all those who work tirelessly behind the scenes so we may have wonderful opportunities such as this recognition of our excellence.”
Cyber competitors come from all walks of life and represent the best and brightest of what California has to offer. Daunting cybersecurity challenges face our communities and businesses, but students across California are receiving the training necessary to conquer them.
Much like the students collaborated on their cyber challenges, these groups are working together to ensure that students from all backgrounds have access to the tools that will prepare them to fill the demand for cybersecurity workers in California.
During the trophy presentation ceremony, Mayor Steinberg told the students about the City of Sacramento’s Thousand Strong Initiative to provide skills-building work experience to area youth through internships, likening it to the in-demand cybersecurity skills the students developed in preparation for the California Mayors Cyber Cup Challenge.
Markus Geissler, California Community Colleges Deputy Sector Navigator for Information Communication Technologies and Digital Media in the Greater Sacramento Region, said the California Mayors Cyber Cup Challenge also provided an opportunity for students to visit Sierra College and picture themselves as college students one day.
“Many students have seen a college campus before, but not all of them, so this was a great way to bring students to a community college campus,” Geissler said.
Assemblyman Kevin Kiley said the event helped make the community aware of cybersecurity threats and how to solve them through education and collaboration.
“California Mayors Cyber Cup competitions foster the next generation of cybersecurity professionals by bringing together students with leaders in government and industry,” Kiley said. “This collaborative approach ensures a holistic understanding of security challenges while promoting communitywide awareness of cybersecurity issues.”
Keith Tresh, commander of the California Cybersecurity Integration Center in the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, said he was impressed by the students he saw at the competition and that the need for well-trained cybersecurity professionals has never been greater.
“It’s really cool to see that this generation is looking at this kind of work and excelling at it,” Tresh said. “Cybersecurity is an insurance policy, and people are now realizing that if you don’t have that insurance policy in place, it can have a dramatic impact on a company.”
The California Cyberhub is promoting participation in camps and new coach training being held throughout the summer to build on the energy generated at the California Mayors Cyber Cup Challenge and bring cybersecurity education to even more students across the state.
Attending a camp or workshop is a great way to learn more about cybersecurity and the path toward a steady, high-paying job in California. We welcome all students at our events and are eager to partner with community organizations to increase access to these programs. For more information, visit https://cyber-guild.org/cyber-camps.
About the California Cyberhub
The California Cyberhub is a virtual, neutral, nimble online organization that is a collaboration of public higher education, K-12, government, business, and military working to enable a future workforce of ethical cybersecurity experts in California. Their mission is to enable a future ethical workforce by expanding and supporting quality cyber training across the State with a one-stop source for best practices and resources gathered from all cyber training and competition activities in California.
About Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy – Strong Workforce Program
Doing What MATTERS for jobs and the economy is a four-pronged framework to respond to the call of our nation, state, and regions to close the skills gap. The four prongs are: Give Priority for Jobs and the Economy » Make Room for Jobs and the Economy » Promote Student Success » Innovate for Jobs and the Economy.
The goals of Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy are to supply in-demand skills for employers, create relevant career pathways and stackable credentials, promote student success, and get Californians into open jobs.
About the California Cybersecurity Integration Center (Cal-CSIC)\
The California Cybersecurity Integration Center was created in 2015 to reduce the likelihood and severity of cyber attacks, improve inter-agency and cross-sector collaboration, prioritize cyber threats and alert potential victims, and strengthen the state’s cybersecurity strategy.
The Cal-CSIC is made up of four core partners, including the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, the California Department of Technology, the California Military Department, and the California Highway Patrol.