LANCASTER, Calif., March 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- If you've ever had to replace a credit card because of a data breach from a retailer, or received notice from a healthcare provider that your personal information may have been compromised, you have a taste of the damage hackers can do. But have you thought about what a network attack could do to our government, our communications systems or homeland security?
Cyber threat is a big issue for any size business in every industry, and at every level of government. With the projection of electronic devices growing from 28 million in 2017 to 56 million in 2022, the potential for cyberattacks and data breaches is an escalating concern.
Another serious concern is the shortage of skilled network security specialists. Could former at-risk students and dropouts help fill that gap?
At Learn4Life, a dropout recovery program for at-risk high school students, network security is a popular career pathway that introduces students to the fundamentals of computer networking, cyber security and applied cryptography.
Most students were behind in school and some had dropped out, but now they're close to graduating and will have industry-accepted certifications that can lead to a well-paying job while they continue their education. "This is especially amazing for our at-risk students, many of whom come to us with little computer knowledge because their families don't always have home computers or internet access," Natalie Cozby, CTE specialist at Learn4Life, explained. "So they are our super-achievers who will be graduating soon and on their way to an exciting career."
Students learn things they likely wouldn't learn in a traditional high school – such as how to identify and describe networking hardware, an introduction to IP routing concepts and protocols, network device security concepts, IP switching concepts and network troubleshooting.
Learn4Life students again competed in the U.S. Air Force Association's annual CyberPatriot competition, this time ranking in the top six percent of the 4,300+ teams nationwide. They spent two months in rounds of competition that challenged them with tasks to uncover vulnerabilities within operating systems while maintaining critical services.
About Learn4Life Learn4Life is a network of like-minded nonprofits that are all focused on helping at-risk students turn their lives around by earning a high school diploma and job skills training. Through our one-on-one attention and personalized learning infused with trauma-informed practices and community partners, we help students prepare for a future beyond high school. Learn4Life serves more than 40,000 students across California. For more information, please visit http://www.learn4life.org/.