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Governor Bullock Announces Montana’s Participation in Girls Go CyberStart Initiative

Innovative program promotes cybersecurity to high school girls and college students

Monday, March 4, 2019/Categories: Governor's Office, Montana.gov/Tags:

Governor Steve Bullock today announced that Montana is partnering with the SANS Institute to provide high school girls the opportunity to learn cybersecurity skills and compete for college scholarships through the Girls Go CyberStart challenge. 

“Cybersecurity jobs are increasingly in high demand all across the nation, yet women account for less than 20% of the current cybersecurity workforce,” said Governor Bullock. “This is an excellent opportunity for women to explore careers in cybersecurity, help bridge the skills gap, and provide much needed diversity to this field.”

Female students in grades 9-12 are invited to compete in the challenge to win access to the CyberStart Game, an online game designed to help students develop cyber and critical skills. Participating students and their teachers need only a computer and Internet connection to participate, and no prior cybersecurity knowledge or IT experience is needed. Through the program, at least ten high school girls in Montana will win $500 scholarships to help them pay for college.

Both male and female college students will also be able to play this year in a companion program called Cyber FastTrack, which allows students who excel in both the CyberStart Game and CyberStart Essentials (an online course that extends the learning of CyberStart Game) to be eligible to win $2.5 million in scholarships for advanced cybersecurity training and introductions to employers for internships and jobs in the field.

“One of our strategic initiatives is to inform and inspire young women in Montana to pursue careers in cybersecurity,” said Andy Hanks, Montana’s Chief Information Security Officer. “We are excited that Girls Go CyberStart and Cyber FastTrack will help young women in Montana discover how their problem solving and critical thinking skills can be applied to cybersecurity.”

Girls Go CyberStart is a free, forward-thinking cybersecurity skills program designed to educate and inspire high school girls to discover a career in cybersecurity.

High school girls may register for Girls Go CyberStart now until the game begins on March 20. More information can be found at girlsgocyberstart.org/. College students may register for Cyber FastTrack beginning on April 5 and will be able to start playing immediately; more information can be found at cyber-fasttrack.org/.  

To learn more about the CyberStart challenge, visit https://go.joincyberstart.com/.  

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