National Cyber League and CyberUp collaborate on cybersecurity games for middle- and high-school students

St. Louis, MO – [August 31, 2020]. The National Cyber League (NCL), a national leader in high school and college student cybersecurity competitions, and CyberUp, an organization offering cybersecurity apprenticeships and youth cybersecurity competitions, have agreed to partner in providing middle and high school students a pathway to advance in cybersecurity knowledge and skills.

NCL, powered by its partner Cyber Skyline, is an online biannual cybersecurity community and competition for high school and college students consisting of hands-on, realistic, industry skill-based challenges across multiple learning domains, designed to test and build their cyber skills. More than 10,000 students from over 550 high schools, colleges and universities across the U.S. participate annually in NCL competitions. NCL is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 2011 by cybersecurity-focused academics from several public agencies.

CyberUp engages youth from middle- and high schools through camps, clubs, and competitions. These activities are designed to introduce students to cybersecurity basics and open their minds to the idea of pursuing a technical career. CyberUp hosts Summer camps and cybersecurity competitions, and has introduced more than 7,000 students to the world of cybersecurity. CyberUp, also powered by its partner Cyber Skyline, provides a safe environment for students to practice their cybersecurity skills in PowerUp: Cyber Games. CyberUp is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in the St. Louis region in 2016 with a mission to cultivate the cybersecurity talent pipeline.

Students in middle school and high schoolers with limited experience or knowledge of information technology or cybersecurity can progress in a clear path from CyberUp to NCL competitions. CyberUp’s competitions are designed to address the needs of entry level students and teachers in middle and high schools. CyberUp provides training resources, a practice gym, and connects industry professional volunteers to help the students and teachers explore cybersecurity and be successful during the competition. The PowerUp: Cyber Games competition provides students with a foundation of cybersecurity knowledge, covering topics found in the CompTIA’s Security+ certification. Students with an interest in pursuing cybersecurity careers and an aptitude for independent learning can then move on to compete in the NCL Spring and Fall Competitions, which offer practice gyms, a community of Player Ambassadors and coaches, basic-to-advanced brackets, individual games and team games. The NCL competitions focus on nine specific categories, which are aligned to the NIST NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework, the NSA Knowledge Units, and CompTIA’s security certifications.

NCL Commissioner Dan Manson says, “The partnership between CyberUp and NCL will give middle and high school students a way to advance from basic understanding of cybersecurity to a fun, game-based and completely virtual exercise and competition platform designed to be a hands-on bridge between the classroom and careers.”

Tony Bryan with CyberUp explains that “Engaging youth is critical to fill future cybersecurity roles. The St. Louis region alone experienced a jump in 1,100 open roles from 2019. We must grow the entire workforce ecosystem to meet hiring needs for companies. We welcome the opportunity to work with NCL to continue engaging middle- and high-school students beyond t