National CyberWatch Center Publishes Resource on Impact of Competitions on Cybersecurity Education

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Whether it’s the Olympics, a spelling bee or “American Idol”, competitions of all varieties provide windows of opportunity. John Sener’s newly released white paper, “The Role of Student Competitions in Cybersecurity Education” concludes that the impact competitions have on cybersecurity education are similar as they enable participants to show their talent, meet challenges, and move closer to achieving greater things in their lives.

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Student competitions in cybersecurity education provide an excellent opportunity to integrate theory and practice by integrating extracurricular and curricular experiences.

Whether it’s the Olympics, a spelling bee or “American Idol”, competitions of all varieties provide windows of opportunity. John Sener’s newly released white paper, “The Role of Student Competitions in Cybersecurity Education” concludes that the impact competitions have on cybersecurity education are similar as they enable participants to show their talent, meet challenges, and move closer to achieving greater things in their lives.

With the greater demand for qualified cybersecurity professionals comes the need for high quality education in the field. Cyber competitions simulating real-life scenarios have become an increasingly important and beneficial part of that education, as outlined in John Sener’s white paper.

According to Sener’s piece, these competitions help participants further develop cybersecurity skills, increase interest in cybersecurity education and careers, and integrate practical and theoretical experience outside the traditional academic environment. He also reports that students involved in competitions such as the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition and National Cyber League benefit from participation in a variety of ways, including increased ability to apply technical skills and handle the pressure of real-world situations, improved individual and interpersonal 'soft' skills, such as time management and teamwork, along with greater insight into their personal strengths and weaknesses with regard to cybersecurity.

“Student competitions in cybersecurity education provide an excellent opportunity to integrate theory and practice by integrating extracurricular and curricular experiences,” Sener said. He also noted that “cyber competitions can find an even more important role…a ‘next level’” which can have an even more lasting impact on cybersecurity education.

Sener’s paper can be found on the National CyberWatch Center Library, which combines existing educational and research resources and capabilities, innovative tools and state-of-the-art technologies to collect, synthesize and disseminate knowledge and content in cybersecurity education and research, as well as encourage use and adaptation. National CyberWatch Center is a leader in cybersecurity education for students, instructors and institutions. To read this paper, visit http://www.nationalcyberwatch.org/resource/role-student-competitions-cybersecurity-education/

About National CyberWatch Center
National CyberWatch Center (NCC) is a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education-funded cybersecurity consortium working to advance cybersecurity education and strengthen the national workforce. Since 2005, National CyberWatch Center has played a key role in developing, promoting and providing cybersecurity education solutions nationally. To learn more, visit http://www.nationalcyberwatch.org.

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Lynn Dohm
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