Maryland students will soon get the chance to live a day in the life of a National Security Agency leader.
Schools will be able to participate in the Maryland “NSA Day of Cyber” School Challenge, a free virtual platform that allows students to explore careers in cybersecurity, state superintendent Karen Salmon announced Monday.
The challenge will begin Tuesday and run through Feb. 28, according to a news release.
The program allows students to “take a seat” beside the NSA cyber threat director via a web-based platform. The students will virtually participate in real-world scenarios, allowing them to test their skills while exploring the various cybersecurity careers available.
Each student who completes the challenge will get a “Cyber Resume” and an NSA certificate of completion.
Schools across the state are encouraged to pick a day in the next few months to run the experience. Students can participate in the classroom or at home — a computer with internet access is required.
There are thousands of unfilled cybersecurity jobs available in Maryland, and the demand for professionals in this field is growing 12 times faster than the overall job market, according to the news release.
“Challenging our students to think ahead and consider career choices in cybersecurity and related fields ensures they have the solid foundation they need to compete in an increasingly globalized workforce,” Salmon said in a statement. “The ‘Day of Cyber’ Challenge provides an exciting opportunity for Maryland students to become inspired and interested in one of Maryland’s fastest growing fields.”