The National Cyber Scholarship Foundation and SANS Institute Partner to Reward Exceptional Achievement of More Than 400 Students with an Alan Paller Honor Scholarship for 2022

To address the massive shortage of cybersecurity professionals, CyberStart America and Cyber FastTrack offer a free, fun game to excite high school students to discover their talent and enter the field. Registration is open now!

December 6, 2022 – The number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs worldwide grew 350% between 2013 and 2021, from 1 million to 3.5 million, according to Cybersecurity Ventures, with more than 700,000 positions remaining open in the United States alone. With cyber threats only increasing, the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation (NCSF) and SANS Institute have prioritized their efforts to continue to make young adults more cyber-aware to ensure that we close the talent gap and inspire the next generation of cyber professionals.

NCSF announced the full list of more than 400 exceptional students as National Cyber Scholars with Honors for 2022 on the first anniversary of the passing of Alan on November 9, 2022. Each was given a $500 scholarship to continue their training toward future cybersecurity studies. The Alan Paller Honor Scholarship honors NCSF Founder and Chair of the Board of Trustees, Alan Paller, who passed away in November 2021 after dedicating his life to identifying cyber talent and expanding diversity and opportunity in the tech industry.

Fifty thousand students across 4,000 schools and 900 colleges have registered to participate in the CyberStart America and Cyber FastTrack programs since NCSF launched them in 2021. These programs aim to identify and develop a new generation of cybersecurity professionals and address the critical skills gap in the United States.

From those fifty thousand students, 1,500 were identified as showing great potential to succeed in the industry, as demonstrated by their progress in CyberStart. This gamified EdTech platform brings cybersecurity to life through fun, real-world challenges and puzzles.

Over $4.5 million in training scholarships was awarded to this group, funding access to the SANS Foundations course.This course is considered the best single course available to learn the core knowledge and develop practical skills in computers, technology, and security fundamentals needed to kickstart a career in cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity continues to be a critical issue facing this country. With jobs available in nearly every industry, students can quickly find meaningful careers protecting personal data and the operations of organizations like hospitals, schools, corporations, and government agencies, including the military and intelligence agencies that need these critical skills to help shape the future of cyber conflict and defense.

Register for CyberStart today and help build a more secure future for tomorrow.

James Lyne, CyberStart Founder and Chief Technology Officer at SANS Institute, said:

“These students have shown true excellence in their cybersecurity learning journey. Cybersecurity is a fascinating and challenging field, but not everyone has the tenacity and analytical capacity to be exceptional. These students have demonstrated that they have what it takes and that, with continued study, they have a place in this industry. They should all be incredibly proud of this achievement.”

Emma, recipient of the Alan Paller Honor Scholarship from Ohio, said:

“I am beyond honored to have received this scholarship! CyberStart America and the NCSF have done incredible things for me, and I don’t know where I would be without the training and certification I’ve gotten through the programs. With the GFACT certification, I was able to land my first full-time position as a cybersecurity analyst, and I know for a fact that it wouldn’t have been possible without this program. You’ve given so many other people and me a gift that is bigger than any of us know.”

Brian Hendrickson, Executive Director at the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation, said:

“Alan was a pioneer in the cybersecurity industry and started the NCSF to identify and empower the next generation of cybersecurity talent. If there was anyone who understood the commitment, effort, and aptitude required to achieve Scholar with Honors status, it was Alan. We know he would be thrilled to see these students receive this award in his name.”

The National Cyber Scholarship Foundation’s commitment to its three core values - identifying aptitude, nurturing potential, and empowering excellence – has been reinforced with an increase in the total planned scholarships for the currently open 2022-23 program cycle. Full information on the awards available and how to qualify can be found here.

High school and college students are encouraged to sign up for CyberStart America and Cyber FastTrack before this cycle closes on April 4, 2023, to have a chance of winning one of these awards.