Published April 2, 2024 | Version v1
Journal Open

K-12 Educational Cybersecurity Scaling Program Designed to Meet Industry Needs

  • 1. Department Chair, Davis iTEC Cybersecurity Center, Forsyth Technical Community College, Winston-Salem, NC
  • 2. Program Coordinator, IT-Cybersecurity and IT-System Security, Forsyth Technical Community College, Winston-Salem, NC

Description

The demand for trained cybersecurity professionals is paramount in securing digital assets at various levels, from individuals to organizations and even nations. The scarcity of cybersecurity talent is a critical concern across the United States, with over 663,000 unfilled cybersecurity positions reported in diverse sectors. The repercussions of this talent gap are evident, as cybercrime affects millions globally, costing an average of $3.86 million per global data breach incident. With the various initiatives around North Carolina, there was a gap in the cyber education of K-12 teachers, which has a direct pipeline to the students' obtaining degrees and scholarships and participating in workforce development projects. To address this challenge, the Cyber Fellows program at Forsyth Tech was created to increase the number of cybersecurity professionals, enhance the expertise of cybersecurity faculty, and diversify the cybersecurity workforce in the Piedmont Triad region in North Carolina. The program also focuses on enhancing the cybersecurity skills of middle and high school teachers, aiming to increase the number of qualified adjunct faculty. This article highlights the program's significant contributions to bridging the cybersecurity talent gap, fostering diversity, and equipping educators to cultivate a future generation of cybersecurity professionals.

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Additional details

Funding

Engaging K-12 Teachers to Help Build a Cybersecurity Workforce Pipeline #2055253
National Science Foundation