October 28, 2016
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Virginia NSA Day of Cyber School Challenge
Governor Terry McAuliffe and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) would like to invite your school to participate in the "Virginia NSA Day of Cyber School Challenge."
Thousands of open and unfilled cybersecurity jobs are present in Virginia and across the country and the demand for cybersecurity professionals is growing twelve times faster than the job market overall. It is imperative that our state is preparing our students for the rewarding and impactful careers in this high-demand field.
The Virginia NSA Day of Cyber School Challenge is a state-wide program that will help ignite interest in cybersecurity careers among the state's youth by enabling them to test drive cyber careers with the fully-funded online cybersecurity career exploration platform called the NSA Day of Cyber. The program is sponsored by the National Security Agency.
The NSA Day of Cyber is an interactive web platform that enables students to take a seat beside the NSA Cyber Threat Director and test drive a day in the life of six NSA cyber professionals. Students will virtually participate in challenging real-world cyber scenarios that will allow them to discover the skills and tools used by the NSA cyber professionals and explore the vast number of careers in cybersecurity. Once completed, each student will each receive their Cyber Resume and NSA Certificate of Completion.
How it Works:
- The challenge will kick off during Cyber Security Awareness Month (October) and will run through the end of the year (March 2017).
- Schools and teachers with the highest student participation in the program will be recognized at a special Cyber Education reception in Richmond.
- Schools with the highest student participation will win a cash prize for their school.
- Highest student participation will be based on the number of students running the introductory portion of the NSA Day of Cyber and having generated their "Cyber Resume."
- Helpful Tips for the running the NSA Day of Cyber in the classroom are available in the Instructor Resource Guide.
- No teacher training is required and students only need a computer and Internet access with approximately two hours required to perform the activities either at the school or at home.
How to Register:
- Schools and teachers should sign-up using the "Virginia NSA Day of Cyber School Challenge" custom registration key: bit.ly/DayOfCyber--Virginia
- Once you have registered, confirmed your email and activated your account, you will be taken to your instructor dashboard where you will find the Student Registration Key and URL your students will use when registering.
The NSA Day of Cyber is an opportunity for our students to understand the skills and education pathways needed to achieve exciting futures in the lucrative cybersecurity market. It is also an excellent approach to building our cyber workforce as we continue to enhance the commonwealth's reputation as an international leader in cyber innovation and security.
Gov. McAuliffe and VDOE encourage high participation and hope that you will take advantage of this valuable opportunity.
If you have any questions about the Virginia NSA Day of Cyber School challenge, you may contact Kim Paradise, Vice President of Partnerships at (410) 598-2548 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.