Addressing the increased demand for IT and cyber security professionals in Delaware and across the country, Governor Jack Markell today launched the Delaware Cyber Aces program, an online, cyber security education and training program. Delaware is one of 6 states hosting Cyber Aces, with over 6500 people having participated in the program nationwide.
"With every aspect of our society increasingly connected to the internet, cyber threats are one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face," said Governor Markell. "As more and more companies join governments in realizing the importance of quality cybersecurity professionals, it's critical we provide an environment in which the next generation of IT experts can learn and gain job opportunities in this rapidly growing field."
Designed to provide education and job skills training through a series of free, online tutorials and competitive assessments, the program is organized by the nonprofit group Cyber Aces.
"Similar to our shortage of fighter pilots at the start of World War II, now we have a critical shortage of skilled cyber defenders," said Cyber Aces Founder Alan Paller. "And like the pilot training programs of that era, Cyber Aces initiatives are how we will identify or develop the specialists we need."
The program is supported by a steering committee consisting of representatives several state agencies, including: Department of Technology and Information, Department of Labor, Department of Education, and Commission for Veteran's Affairs; institutions of higher education, including: Delaware State University, Delaware Technical Community College, University of Delaware and Wilmington University; as well as several private employers.
Delaware Cyber Aces targets high school and college students, veterans and jobseekers in an effort to identify and develop top talent. All applicants are eligible for the first round competition, which consists of three training modules and corresponding testing. High scorers will continue to move through the training modules and eventually earn the right to compete in a statewide championship in March 2014.
"Delaware's Cyber Aces State Championship helps to address the critical skills gap in the cyber arena," said Delaware Chief Information Officer Jim Sills III. "Students, job seekers and veterans can learn new skills, compete for top honors, and the best performers may earn scholarships for elite training."
Registration is free and open to all state residents at www.cyberaces.org.