JACKSON, Ms. (WDAM) — Governor Tate Reeves announced Mississippi’s participation in CyberStart America, an online talent search and competition in the cybersecurity field, on Monday.
According to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety Commissioner Shaun Tindel, the CyberStart American program is sponsored by the National Online Scholarship Foundation and the SANS Institute. Programs include a series of online challenges that allow students to act as cybersecurity agents, solve cybersecurity puzzles, and explore topics such as decoding, programming, networking, and digital forensics.
Participation in the program is free for schools and students, and Mississippi students in grades 9 through 12 are encouraged to explore their abilities in cybersecurity and computer science by being on the program.
“There has never been a need for cybersecurity experts more than there is today,” Reeves said. “The CyberStart America program provides the hands-on experience Mississippi students need to enter this highly specialized field, and I encourage students to participate in this exciting competition.”
The National Cyber Scholarship Foundation expects to award approximately $2 million in scholarships for use at any accredited college to the 600 high-achieving students across the country who enter the competition.
“As technology continues to advance, Mississippi will need additional cybersecurity professionals to protect citizens’ personal information and financial data,” Tindel said. “We hope that the CyberStart America program will allow more students to discover their interest in cybersecurity, ultimately reducing the national skill shortage in this critical area.”
Registration for CyberStart America will be open until April 29, 2022. Students will be notified if they qualify for the CyberStart National Scholarship Round (“Citizens”) when they make sufficient progress but will be allowed to continue playing to build skills for use in Nationals.
For additional information about CyberStart America, click here. Click here for the types of challenges students will face in the games.
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