California Mayors Cyber Cup Creates Partnerships Between Government, Education, and Industry for Cybersecurity Career Pathways

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What’s the best part about winning a competition? The trophy, of course. But in the case of the California Mayors Cyber Cup, the winning teams took just as much pride in giving the trophy as they did in receiving one. 

The California Mayors Cyber Cup are regional competitions across California that allow high school cyber teams to compete for their city to bring home the coveted perpetual trophy. More than 160 middle and high school students from across California and across the socioeconomic spectrum participated last spring.  

The competitions are organized by the California Cyberhub and principally funded by the California Community Colleges, Information and Communication Technology / Digital Media sector. They are a product of collaboration between business, government, and educational partners. 

Much like the students collaborating to solve cyber challenges, these groups are working together to ensure that students from all backgrounds have access to the tools that will prepare them to fill the demand for cybersecurity workers in California. 

These are the results of the four regional California Mayors Cyber Cup events: 

 Sacramento 

  • First place: Jesuit High School Team R-4808N, Carmichael 
  • Second place: Monterey Trail Team 3, Elk Grove 
  • Third place: Naval Sea Cadets, Sacramento 

 Orange County 

  • First place: Troy High School InSecT DesTROYers, Fullerton 
  • Second place: Troy High School Team 1, Fullerton 
  • Third place: Valencia High School, Valencia 

Inland Empire/Desert 

  • First place: M.L. King High School Jr. NROTC Team 1, Riverside 
  • Second place: M.L. King High School Jr. NROTC Team 2, Riverside 
  • Third place: Canyon Springs High School Team 1, Moreno Valley 

Central Valley 

  • First place: Turlock High School, Turlock 
  • Second place: CART, Clovis 
  • Third place: Dinuba High School, Dinuba 

The winning teams from each event went on to complete in the statewide California Cyber Innovation Challenge at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. 

Keith Tresh, commander of the California Cybersecurity Integration Center in the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, said he was impressed by the students he saw at the event and that the need for well-trained cybersecurity professionals has never been greater. 

“It’s really cool to see that this generation is looking at this kind of work and excelling at it,” Tresh said. “Cybersecurity is an insurance policy, and people are now realizing that if you don’t have that insurance policy in place, it can have a dramatic impact on a company.” 

As the name suggests, the California Mayors Cyber Cup includes buy-in from mayors across the state. Rocklin Mayor Ken Broadway said it’s critical for the government to support cyber competitions alongside local business and education partners. 

“Having Sierra College host the Greater Sacramento California Mayors Cyber Cup in Rocklin was an honor,” Broadway said. “Tech skills are in high demand and preparing our students for high-paying careers that meet the cyber needs of business and government through an innovative program like this is imperative.” 

Cybersecurity education is a priority for the California State Assembly, with select members as key partners with the California Cyberhub in creating and promoting events like the California Mayors Cyber Cup. 

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley attended the California Mayors Cyber Cup event in Sacramento and said the event helped make the community aware of cybersecurity threats and how to solve them through education and collaboration. 

“The California Mayors Cyber Cup fosters the next generation of cybersecurity professionals by bringing together students with leaders in government and industry,” Kiley said. “This collaborative approach ensures a holistic understanding of security challenges while promoting communitywide awareness of cybersecurity issues.”  

The California Cyberhub, one of SynED’s initiatives, is supporting this effort by serving as a central resource for training, events, and other best practices in cybersecurity education.  

To build on the momentum created by the California Mayors Cyber Cup and ensure that students remained engaged with cybersecurity, the California Cyberhub promoted cyber camps and competitions held throughout the summer. As a new school year begins, cyber competitions will continue leading up to the 2019 California Mayors Cyber Cup in April.  

Teachers, government officials, parents, and other community members are encouraged to get involved with this important effort to help fill the ever-growing demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals throughout California. To learn more about the California Mayors Cyber Cup and the California Cyberhub, visit ca-cyberhub.org. 

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