Gov.-Elect Brian Kemp meets supporters at a rally in Augusta. (Michael Holahan/The Augusta Chronicle via AP, File)

Governor Brian P. Kemp announced Georgia’s partnership with the SANS Institute to provide high school girls and college students with the opportunity to develop their skills and explore careers in the cyber industry through the Girls Go CyberStart and Cyber FastTrackprograms.

“Georgia is fast becoming the Cyber Capital of the World, so we must have a workforce ready to take on the jobs of the 21st century,” said Governor Kemp. “Girls Go CyberStart encourages young women to get involved in a growing industry in our state, and I am excited to see this great partnership provide opportunities to these hardworking Georgians.”

Open to female high school students, Girls Go CyberStart is a free online game which encourages participants to explore their interests in cyber studies, learn core cyber security skills, and build confidence in problem-solving. The Cyber FastTrack program is open to all college students and students and offers access to a highly interactive online course and necessary tools to develop their cyber skills.

“This is a great opportunity for students in Georgia, and I appreciate Governor Kemp’s support for the cyber industry in our state,” said Rep. Jodi Lott (R – Evans). “After the recent opening of the Georgia Cyber Center in Augusta, these programs offer a clear next step in ensuring Georgia’s leadership in the cyber industry for years to come.”

“The nation desperately needs more highly-skilled cyber professionals, and we have evidence that CyberStart improves the quality and preparation of people entering the cybersecurity industry, a field in which women are significantly under-represented,” said SANS Director of Research Alan Paller. “By opening these programs to thousands of girls in high school and college, we hope to help the nation identify the next generation of talented young people who will excel in this critical field.”

Registration for Girls Go CyberStart runs from February 18, 2019 to March 20, 2019, when the event begins. For Cyber FastTrack, college students can also register beginning February 18, 2019 and start playing April 5, 2019. Complete details may be found at girlsgocyberstart.org and cyber-fasttrack.org.

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