Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is looking for potential future additions to the United States’ massive security/surveillance apparatus; her agency has begun to target kindergarten-aged children with cybersecurity training.
In a recent blog post on the Department of Homeland Security website, Napolitano writes of the importance of recognizing the next generation of government cybersecurity experts:
At DHS, we’re working to develop the next generation of leaders in cybersecurity while fostering an environment for talented staff to grow in this field. We are building strong cybersecurity career paths within the Department, and in partnership with other government agencies. We are also creating training and development opportunities to retain our most talented employees and ensure their professional development. In collaboration with the National Security Agency, we are strengthening the nation’s educational infrastructure by supporting Centers of Academic Excellence across the country.
In addition, we are extending the scope of cyber education beyond the federal workplace through the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, involving students from kindergarten through post-graduate school. And we sponsor the U.S. Cyber Challenge, a program that works with academia and the private sector to identify and develop the best and brightest cyber talent to meet our nation’s growing and changing security needs.
The DHS has been working desperately in recent years to identify young cybersecurity talent to work in what officials say will play a key role in keeping Americans safe.