August 3, 2022 – Last fall, Governor Newsom called on students and teachers across the state to participate in CyberStart America, a national online game that enables high school students to discover their talents and build real-world cybersecurity skills. As they have in past years, California students answered that call, more than doubling student participation compared to last year. California ranked number one in the country in school participation with 409 high schools encouraging over 4,000 students to hone their skills and compete for scholarships. Alongside New Jersey, Californian students won more prizes than any other state, giving over 100 students access to cybersecurity training courses and certifications worth over $400,000 with the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation.
With so many Californians participating in this year’s challenge, the program is playing an important part to kickstart the careers of our next generation of security professionals. While we spend more time than ever online, a critical shortage of people working in cybersecurity leaves our information systems and sensitive data exposed and prone to malicious attacks. In accordance with the state’s cybersecurity roadmap Cal-Secure, the state continues to develop a vital pipeline of cybersecurity professionals ranging from kindergarten through college and into the working world. Thanks to programs like CyberStart America and the hard work of our students, the state’s cybersecurity sector can foster the talent it needs to face an ever-changing threat landscape. As high school students head back to class later this month, encourage them to register for CyberStart America to compete in this year’s games.