Summer camps aim to address skills and gender gap

Summer is coming, and with it the fate of cybersecurity’s future.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that cybersecurity jobs will increase 18% into the year 2024. And one way to fill that talent gap is to get the younger generation involved and excited about computer sciences.

As a result, the National Security Agency (NSA) and the National Science Foundation have teamed up to make sure GenCyber’s summer camp is happening again this year. Free to grades K – 12, the summer day camps run from early June to late July this year.

One of the main goals of the program is to make sure there will be enough cybersecurity professionals in the future.

The second goal is to get more girls involved in the STEM field. Just 10.7% of electrical or computer hardware engineers are women, and only 17.9% of computer science bachelor’s degrees are earned by women, according to a study by the National Science Board.

As more women are encouraged to work in the IT field, those cybersecurity percentages should grow. At least, that’s the hope of these nation wide camps. Solving two problems with one solution.

This year, the NSA has contributed to a $100,000 grant for the camps. NSA’s contribution is $20,000 more than last year, and has allowed for the development of an online review program. The program coordinators hope that, after classes have ended for the day, parents will be able to review safe online habits with their kids using the program.

Day courses will focus on potential career options in the field, as well as actions kids can be taking now to make the online world a safer one. The camps are being offered nationwide, and many are still accepting applications.