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Cyberattacks Driving Demand for Cybersecurity Professionals

Schools Urged to Prepare Students for Growing Field

Students posing in front of the US Capitol

The Half Dome Team from Franklin High School in the Elk Grove Unified School District celebrates their victory as National Champions of the XVI CyberPatriot competition.

The United States faces daily cyberattacks from nation-state adversaries, posing a significant threat to national security. Employers are increasingly seeking qualified information security professionals to safeguard their organizations and data.

Jerry Jones, Executive Director of Technology Services for the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE), emphasizes the importance of promoting cybersecurity education to address the shortage of skilled professionals in the field. He urges school districts to create programs that encourage students to pursue careers in computer science, particularly in cybersecurity, to protect current and future data systems.

“It’s crucial that school districts promote computer science in education and provide opportunities for all students to learn more about the computer science field,” said Jones.

California leads in Computer and Mathematical occupations employment, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, underscoring the state’s critical need for cybersecurity professionals.

A recent article from California State University, Long Beach, highlighted that there are currently 77,000 unfilled cybersecurity positions in California, a number expected to grow with the advancement of Artificial Intelligence and technology-based systems.

Elk Grove Unified School District Students from Franklin High School Named National Champions in Cybersecurity Competition

The Air and Space Forces Association’s National Youth Cyber Education Program, CyberPatriot, recently announced Franklin High School’s Half Dome Team, from the Elk Grove Unified School District (EGUSD), as the National Champions of the XVI CyberPatriot competition.

Their first-place finish at the competition, held in Rockville, MD, from March 16–18, was a remarkable achievement. Only the top 12 Open Division High School teams out of 2,700 teams nationwide are invited to compete, making their victory even more significant.

“In the previous two seasons we finished second Overall, so bringing home the gold this year was a special accomplishment,” said Half Dome’s Coach Christopher Shuping.

Franklin High School has consistently excelled in CyberPatriot competitions over the past several years. The students and coach deserve recognition for their ongoing commitment to excellence in cybersecurity education.

Yannis Smith, representing the Sacramento Division of US Naval Sea Cadets, was recognized as one of four Cyber All Americans, adding to the local success in the competition.