- The biggest national survey of teen and adult views on security and privacy, and not hundreds of participants or even thousands but hundreds of thousands.
- A massive survey not led by polling or research professionals but by students in high schools across the country.
- An ulterior motive, to get teens talking and thinking about these important issues, and ultimately, consider these fields as a serious career option.
That's what we're doing at Schooled In Security
As the national and global shortage of cybersecurity professionals grows even more acute, we have to be more creative in attracting more students to cybersecurity as a career.
The traditional approach – of targeting cybersecurity classes, cyber camps, and coding competitions at the 1% of students who have already bought in - misses the opportunity to appeal to the 99% of students for whom cybersecurity could be a great, fun, and rewarding career.
The School In Security Model
Our model is based on the premise that we need to provide a non-technical introduction to security and privacy that will appeal to and be accessible for the majority of students in any school, so that all students can get a better sense of what cybersecurity actually means.
The Schooled In Security program invites all students in a school to take part in a survey, a series of questions about security and privacy issues. Except the students are doing the research, asking the questions, and answering their own. See all the benefits.
Here’s how it works:
- Each participating class is provided with an online survey consisting of 50 questions around security and privacy.
- Each student in the class is asked to complete the survey first – share their answers and opinions.
- Each student is then encouraged to share the same survey link with everyone they know - fellow students, faculty and staff, friends, parents, grandparents, and siblings.
- Once the class has collected all the survey responses, they’re asked to produce a report on their findings.
- Those findings could include the most common concerns expressed, the most unusual concerns, the best advice and suggestions, and differences in opinions and concerns between age groups, generations, and gender.
That’s it. But that simple series of non-technical exercises could produce some invaluable and even surprising outcomes:
- It will get students and communities thinking and talking about security and privacy in a way they’ve never done before, and creating better awareness around these topics. Awareness that will be important no matter what career they choose.
- It will hopefully demonstrate to students that not only are security and privacy not complicated, they can be fun, challenging, and rewarding.
- Students will learn lots of other non-security life and career skills, like teamwork, leadership, research, planning, presentation, and communications.
- And it might offer the best chance ever to discover what teens and adults really think and worry about when it comes to these important social issues. See all the benefits.
COMPETITIONS AND AWARDS
Each participating class and student will receive a certificate of recognition, and schools can opt to have classes compete with each other and with other schools for the best report presented.
We know just how busy schools and students are these days. We think our program will be very non-intrusive. No extra classes, no special tools or resources, no cost to participate, and little extra work for teachers or students.
If enough schools and students participate across the country, we might finally make a meaningful impact in address the national cyberskills shortage.
A CAREER PITCH TO STUDENTS
Participating students (and their parents) will be invited to take a closer look at a career in cybersecurity, and emphasizing that there are careers for all kinds of personalities and skills, and not all confined to coding or engineering.
A PITCH TO PARENTS
Parents will get a similar pitch, and a link to a resource page that will lay out what wonderful career opportunities exist for their kids in cybersecurity, the best paths to different careers, and where to start on that path.