California State University, Los Angeles , California
April 4, 2019
April 4, 2019
April 6, 2019
Diversity and Pacific Southwest Section Meeting Paper Submissions
Cybersecurity competitions are touted as a good method for getting high school students interested in career paths in cybersecurity fields. From observations of high school cybersecurity competitions, we find that typical high school cybersecurity competitions focus narrowly on computer-technical competencies. A byproduct of these competitions is to create an intimidating atmosphere that rewards young adults who are already proficient in computer IT activities, but a discouraging environment to students who may have burgeoning interests in cybersecurity. Additionally, the skill set needed for cybersecurity professionals is much broader than purely computer-technical skills and include competencies like teamwork, communications skills and critical thinking, none of which are emphasized in typical high school cybersecurity competitions. In this paper, we present a high school cybersecurity competition event called the Digital Forensics Challenge (DFC). The DFC is designed to reward cybersecurity competition teams that have a wider range of competencies than typical cybersecurity competitions and be more accepting of students who may not be singularly focused on the technical aspects of cybersecurity. We describe the elements that were added to emphasize critical thinking, global thinking, teamwork and communications skills. We find that by adding non-technical competencies to the DFC, competitors find that their holistic set of skills are more valued while at the same time competitors also claim that the amount of technical content of the DFC is greater than other cybersecurity competitions.
Oliver, J. Y., & Elwell, C. (2019, April), Diversifying Pathways in Cybersecurity through the Design of Holistic Competitions Paper presented at 2019 Pacific Southwest Section Meeting, California State University, Los Angeles , California. https://peer.asee.org/31823
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