2021 has been quite a year for Ransomware attackers. .  It's real safe to say that the need for cyber-protectors is never going to go away.   My early perception of hackers was that they were an assortment of disgruntled software developers misusing their skills and knowledge to really just kinda be dicks.  But they've emerged from their parent's basement up to a deluxe apartment. Because, cyber criminals are starting to get paid...a bunch.

It's rare to hear companies be upfront about their experiences being hijacked by these crooks.  If someone broke out their front window and stole from the spare cash jar, it'd be all over the news.  Infect that same company with ransomware and fleece them for millions, we may never hear a thing.

Cybersecurity is becoming one hugely desirable career choice

Young folks that have a knack for tech have real opportunities now and in the future.  Plus, it's a field that you don't need a college degree to excel in...

Unlike some other STEM fields, a cybersecurity bootcamp and certification is sometimes all that’s needed to get started in the field. But of course, completing a graduate certificate program is one of the best ways to qualify for relevant job opportunities.

Of course any advanced education generally assists in any job search.

Many of our best and brightest will have an opportunity to learn and compete in a North Dakota junior high and high school cybersecurity competition.

 North Dakota Chief Information Officer Shawn Riley today announced the availability of CyberPatriot, an online cybersecurity competition for middle and high school students. CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Education Program created by the Air Force Association to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation's future.

The State of North Dakota will pick up registration fee for up to 25 schools.  But time is short- the training rounds only go through September 30 and the registration deadline is October 5th. For more information go to the CyberPatriot website.  For the State to cover the registration fee, schools should contact Tony Aukland at aaukland@nd.gov for more information.

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