From the time students are enrolled in schools, they are taught the skills necessary to get them through life. Reading, writing, mathematics and basic social skills are all part of a public education. Most schools have even incorporated technology classes into their main curriculum. Yet there is a major gap in the digital education. While students go through various courses that teach them proper typing, basic search engine usage and computer program training, they are not being taught about the threats they face when using these technologies.
Reading, writing, mathematics and basic social skills are all part of a public education. Yet, there is a major gap in the digital education. While students go through various courses that teach them basic computer program training, they are not being taught about cyberthreats.
The importance of cyberthreat awareness
In the ebook “Protecting Our Future: Educating a Cybersecurity Workforce,” the National Cybersecurity Institute wrote, “In the case of cybersecurity, some would argue that the fundamentals of computer science should be the higher priority. However, there are aspects of cybersecurity that are independent of computer science.” Most students are at least aware of basic cybersecurity best practices. They are taught never to share their personal information online or to click on unfamiliar links. However, cyberthreats are always changing, and the old warnings are quickly becoming arbitrary. Students need to be taught about social engineering and the difference between white hat and black hat hacking.
These are digital risks that students will have to face daily in their future careers and personal lives. The children currently enrolled in grades K through 12 are very familiar with technology. They have access to mobile phones, media players, televisions and game consoles, most of which can access the Internet. According to The New York Times, children between the ages of 8 and 18 spend an average of seven and a half hours engaged with these digital devices. Statistically, it is almost inevitable that these individuals will be faced with cyberthreats at multiple points in their lives. A cybersecurity-based curriculum could help develop a digitally secured future workforce. Teaching cybersecurity in grades K-12 can create a stronger information security workforce in the future.
The benefits of teaching cybersecurity
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the field of cybersecurity is expected to grow by 37 percent in the next 10 years. This means that when the children who are currently in elementary and middle school begin to look for careers, they will have a great opportunity to obtain jobs in information security. By beginning cybersecurity training at a young age, there is a chance to create a stronger, more prepared cyberdefense force. The students of today could be trained in white hat hacking, firewall building and other cybersecurity practices that would make them excellent candidates to fill the increasing cybersecurity positions.
For those who have already passed grades K through 12 and did not have the opportunity to learn cybersecurity best practices in school, the National Cybersecurity institute offers training and degree programs in the information security field. These programs, like the Undergraduate Cybersecurity Certificate and the Master of Science in Cybersecurity, provide education for adults interested in taking advantage of the increasing demand in cybersecurity careers. For more information on these programs and to learn more about a career in cybersecurity, visit NCI’s website today.
Like our blogs? Join us on Twitter!