security

Kickstart to Careers: Cyber Security – KALB


TIOGA, La. (KALB) – Cyber security is a field that focuses on protecting digital information and networks from attacks at places like healthcare and financial organizations or the U.S. government. Jobs in this field in the U.S. are projected to grow 32 percent by 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Cyber security does typically require a college degree, but students in Cenla are getting to work on that starting at a very young age.

Tenth grade Tioga High student Dylan Joseph is a part of the school’s cyber literacy class. The students are using the python coding language to tell their robots what to do.

“It’s like teaching something to somebody who doesn’t know anything at all. Like telling them directly what to do, step by step by step. Except you’re not telling the person. You’re telling a little robot,” says Joseph.

This class is part of a program funded by the Department of Homeland Security – the only one of its kind in Cenla – that begins preparing students for a career in cyber security beginning in elementary school and continuing all the way into college.

“It could lead to a cyber security degree. They could get a degree through Louisiana Tech and they could work for the house of defense through the United States,” says cyber security instructor CJ Gatlin.

Students begin by learning skills like computational thinking and algebra, eventually learning skills like algorithms, computer programming and coding.

“Code is different for every program. Code is different for every person. A code I write could be different than a code one of them writes but it could do all the same things so it’s just teaching them how to code and that there are many ways to do it,” adds Gatlin.

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Although these students won’t enter the workforce directly after high school, they will have a jumpstart on what they’ll need to know for college as they begin working towards cyber security careers. The median salary for the cyber security field is just under $100,000 a year, making it a very lucrative career with lots of job opportunities. Louisiana Tech is one in-state school that offers a cyber engineering degree. Students can go on to careers with both the federal government or private companies.

Tioga High School’s Career and Technical Education program open house is Thursday, January 21 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Prospective students, as well as the general public, are welcome to attend.

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