By: Whitney Theriot, Temple Chamber of Commerce
A local business and education partnership between McLane Intelligent Solutions, an Information Technology Managed Services company headquartered in Temple, and Temple High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) aims to inspire students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.
“This partnership was created with the ultimate goal of implementing a program to prepare students for the ever-changing workforce,” noted Denise Ayres, Director of CTE at Temple High School. “The technology industry is changing rapidly and jobs that will be needed tomorrow don’t yet exist today.”
The United States is dependent on technology for industry, commerce, public safety, and national defense, yet is not attracting enough young people to STEM disciplines. Additionally, the development of new technology imposes cybersecurity risks and has propelled the need for cybersecurity professionals in the workforce. Cybersecurity professionals protect information systems and data that is stored in the same way security guards safeguard physical assets.
CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Education Program created by the Air Force Association to excite, educate and motivate the next generation to enter cybersecurity and STEM disciplines critical to our nation’s future.
Temple Independent School District’s Wildcat Workforce programs are geared toward preparing students for workforce readiness by providing real-world experiences. Temple High School CTE students in Computer Programming courses are participating in the competition component of the CyberPatriot program.
“The competition scenarios mirror real-world cybersecurity situations, so students learn by doing, working alongside McLane Intelligent Solutions industry professionals to prepare for each competition level,” continued Denise Ayres. “In addition to learning teamwork and organizational skills, this program teaches students problem-solving and critical thinking skills that will set them apart in the job market and enable them to step into new career fields with ease.”
According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the world’s leading researcher for the global cyber economy, there will be more than three million unfulfilled jobs in the cybersecurity industry worldwide by the year 2021. The local business and education partnership between McLane Intelligent Solutions and Temple High School CTE is a prime example of efforts being made to introduce and prepare local students for exciting, lucrative and in-demand jobs in cybersecurity and STEM fields.