Recruiting underway for future CyberPatriots

Wednesday - 10/20/2010, 9:30am EDT

Diane Miller, Program Manager, CyberPatriot, Northrop Grumman

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By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio.com

D.C.-area high school students took part in a first-of-its kind Cybersecurity Education Workshop, designed to promote the field of cybersecurity.

Diane Miller, the Program Manager for CyberPatriot at Northrop Grumman told Federal News Radio the Cybersecurity Education Workshop was about much more than just educating the public about "working in a cyber-enabled world" and getting students excited about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses. It was also about getting them excited about careers in cybersecurity.

"Well, Northrop Grumman is a leader in global security," said Miller, "so we really believe that it's our responsibility to help build that pipeline of qualified and trained talent...that will become the cyberdefenders of the next generation."

More than 200 students, teachers and parents gathered at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City to meet with representatives from universities with a commitment to a cybersecurity curriculum, said Miller.

According to Miller, students had great questions, saw demonstrations of cyber tools, and were very excited about new cyberdefense games. "And the prizes didn't hurt either," she noted.

At break out sessions, attendees learned "about things they could do right now in high school to become a little bit more tech savvy, but also to pursue the opportunities within the STEM disciplines." Other break out sessions included college majors to consider for the future cyberdefender, and what companies like Northrop look for in both interns and in hiring.

Miller said one look at the students' faces was enough to know the effort was working. "They were so excited about what we were communicating with them," said Miller, "and we got some thank you letters" from students.

Miller said the next chance to see the faces of the future of cybersecurity will be this weekend on the National Mall for the USA Science & Engineering Festival, the country's first national science festival.

This story is part of Federal News Radio's daily Cybersecurity Update brought to you by Tripwire. For more cybersecurity news, click here.