The number of cybersecurity professionals in the job market today can’t meet the high demand. If our predictions are correct, and we’re pretty sure they are, then that gap between supply and demand will continue to widen. According to this infographic, by the year 2020 we’re expecting to see 2 million open cybersecurity jobs across the globe. The only way we have a chance of meeting this supply is to create both awareness and interest in cybersecurity jobs. This interest is most often developed in either the classroom or the home and for the classroom, NICERC has developed a Cyber Literacy course to help teachers foster interest in the field.
Our Cyber Literacy course introduces entry-level content about cyber engineering in a hands-on curriculum and is approachable for teachers and students new to programming, computer science, or engineering. Due to the algebraic concepts presented throughout the course, we recommend it for students who have already been through an algebra course. Those without the previous knowledge may find some of these concepts too difficult and unfamiliar.
By blending robots, electricity, and liberal arts though, Cyber Literacy appeals to a broad spectrum of teachers’ experience and students’ interests. Science and math teachers will have no difficulty teaching the humanities portion of the course, and vice versa, an arts, social science, or English teacher will have no trouble taking their class through the more math-heavy concepts and programming.
NICERC has two “flavors” of Cyber Literacy and both use text-based programming languages. BASIC is used to program the Parallax BoeBot and Arduino C is used with the Parallax Shield Bot. The course content is designed to be an introduction to the languages as well as programing and robotics concepts that will apply to different languages and platforms at a relaxed pace. Throughout the course, students also learn the basics of electricity and networking, and develop critical thinking skills while being introduced to the opportunities, threats, responsibilities, and legal constraints associated with operating in cyberspace.
NICERC also offers customizable professional development sessions year-round and can offer teachers best practices on how to bring cyber into the classroom and cultivate the next generation of cyber professionals.