UA Little Rock to host Cybersecurity Summit for junior high and high school students

Cybersecurity Summit

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will host a virtual event for junior high and high school students who want to learn more about the rapidly growing field of cybersecurity. 

The free Cybersecurity Summit event is open to any students in grades 6-12 and will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 27. Students will hear from a panel of cybersecurity experts about what it’s like to work in one of the most in-demand careers. Participants will also hear about educational opportunities in cybersecurity at UA Little Rock and UA-Pulaski Technical College.

“The Cybersecurity Summit is one way UA Little Rock and the Department of Computer Science are introducing young people in the state to this exciting, in-demand area,” said Dr. Albert Baker, interim chair of the Department of Computer Science. “Our national security and the security of our institutions are increasingly dependent on our cybersecurity workforce.”

Students will also get the opportunity to conduct a hands-on cyber attack simulation with the UA Little Rock Cyber Gym, an education laboratory for cybersecurity learning. The winner will receive a Cyber Gym hoodie!

“The summit is a great opportunity for students who are interested in cybersecurity as a potential career, who want to learn more about the field in general, or would like to test their skills with a fun and challenging cybersecurity work out in the Cyber Gym,” said Sandra Leiterman, managing director of the Cyber Gym.

The field of computer science is growing more important in Arkansas. A 2015 measure Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed into law requires every public high school to offer computer science. Earlier this month, the Arkansas Computer Science and Cybersecurity Task Force recommended that the state require a credit in computer science in order to graduate high school and that every public high school have a computer science teacher.

UA Little Rock has a new bachelor’s degree program in cybersecurity that begins in the fall 2021 semester. Now is a great time for students to consider cybersecurity as a career since there is a high demand for cybersecurity professionals with a high starting salary.

“October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and Arkansas students need to know about the great opportunities available in this career field,” Baker said. “The average starting salary for an entry-level cybersecurity job in the U.S. is $73,000. The need is critical and the career opportunities tremendous.”

Students who would like to attend the Cybersecurity Summit can fill out this online form to register.

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