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Initiative highlights Maryland cybersecurity jobs

Posted on April 4, 2019

A new initiative is highlighting Maryland cybersecurity jobs.

Maryland will once again participate in the GirlsGoCyberStart initiative. This innovative cybersecurity training partnership with the SANS Institute inspires the next generation of cybersecurity professionals and identifies talented youth in Maryland through a series of online challenges and puzzles.

Open to female high school students, GirlsGoCyberStart encourages participants to explore their interests in cyber studies, learn core cybersecurity skills, and build confidence in problem-solving.

“Initiatives like GirlsGoCyberStart help ensure the next generation of Maryland women close the gender gap in science and technology occupations and become leaders in the 21st century workforce,” said Governor Hogan. “I wish the Maryland teams the best of luck and I know they will do a great job representing our state in this year’s competition.”

GirlsGoCyberStart is a free online game open to all female students in grades 9 through 12, regardless of their prior knowledge or experience with cybersecurity and information technology. Playing alone or in teams, participants solve challenges to gain points and advance levels, earning prizes along the way. In addition to individual prizes, such as trips, gift certificates, and computers, the three in-state schools with the most participants will win monetary prizes.

“Competition has been shown to increase motivation and interest in science, technology, engineering, and math,” said Acting Labor Secretary James E. Rzepkowski. “GirlsGoCyberStart is one way we can empower young women to explore their interests in STEM and help ensure a diverse pipeline of talent, ready and able to fill the growing demand for cyber jobs in Maryland.”

Last year, 6,650 high school girls from 17 states and territories participated in the competition. In Maryland, 404 students from 23 high schools participated, and of the top 100 teams overall, Maryland took four of the top five positions – first, second, fourth, and fifth – proving the strength of Maryland’s future cybersecurity workforce.

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