Cybersecurity jobs are in high demand and will continue to become an important need for organizations in the future. Organizations across all industries report a shortage of cybersecurity professionals. Although cybersecurity jobs are growing at a 50% rate, as many as 1.8 million cybersecurity jobs will be unfilled in the near future due to talent shortage.1 For students interested in cybersecurity, the job market offers a plethora of opportunities for individuals with critically needed cybersecurity skills.
Rex Academy offers high school students with the opportunity to learn the cybersecurity skills that employers are seeking. The curriculum provides students with the chance to obtain skills needed for industry certifications such as the CISSP Exam and the CompTIA Security + Exam. With industry-standard certifications, students have the ability to enter the job market with competitive qualifications.
The Rex Academy curriculum is student-centered and focuses on hands-on learning. Students have the opportunity to learn cybersecurity skills by completing projects in a safe virtual work environment known as a virtual machine. Working on cybersecurity projects allows students to gain experiences such as detecting social engineering attacks or phishing attacks without the concern of security risks on their own machine or a school’s network. The hands-on learning approach keeps students engaged and creates a personalized learning opportunity. Students are able to gain understanding of how cyber-attacks function in a real-world setting. By practicing in the virtual environment, students gain the skills needed to prevent and defend against such security threats.
The curriculum provided by Rex Academy is self-paced and all-encompassing. The learning management system provides all of the needed materials for student learning and includes auto-grading features. As schools face a shortage of computer science teachers2, administrators can utilize Rex Academy’s program since a teacher with computer science expertise is not required for successful learning outcomes. Rather, the curriculum utilizes the pedagogical expertise of a teacher who acts as a learning guide rather than a subject matter expert. While the curriculum is currently focused on high school learning, eventually the program will be expanded to include age-appropriate material for middle school students as well as rigorous material created for college students.
Organizations are currently facing a significant shortage of cybersecurity professionals. Additionally, schools are experiencing a shortage of computer science educators. Rex Academy provides students with the opportunity to gain cybersecurity skills that employers are seeking. The program provides students with the unique opportunity to gain competitive skills and to prepare for cybersecurity certifications. Rex Academy’s cybersecurity program stands as a unique solution for a challenge organizations and schools are currently facing – a cybersecurity shortage.