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Military Scopes Out High Schools for Cybersecurity Talent

CyberPatriot competitors

Above: CyberPatriot competitors

The U.S. military and defense contractors are looking to the nation's high schools for talented youngsters who could one day help defend the country against cyberattacks.

The Air Force Times reports that military recruiters and defense contractors are investing in programs to get students interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

For the past several years, thousands of high school teams have competed in an annual competition called CyberPatriot created by the Air Force Association. Both military recruiters and defense contractors have their eyes on the top teams.

lan Paller, director of research at the SANS Institute, says there are tens of thousands of openings for military and defense contractors with cybersecurity expertise - and all those vacancies aren't good for the safety of the United States:

“What you’re seeing is an element, a pretty important element, of a national initiative to build a pipeline of talent that can help the nation compete in cyberspace. It’s a big existential issue for countries, because in the next war, the tanks will be people. In the last war, the guy with the big cadre of tanks could beat the guy with the small set of tanks. This war, because your weapons can’t be reused and can be turned against you, everything depends on people’s ability to create new tools on the fly and to create new defenses on the fly, and that’s all talent.”

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