Vail Christian High School to participate in Project Lead the Way cybersecurity program | VailDaily.com

Vail Christian High School to participate in Project Lead the Way cybersecurity program

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During the development phase of the Project Lead the Way cybersecurity pilot program, Vail Christian High School will help create the course curriculum through a series of monthly core training sessions. These sessions will provide feedback that will allow the course to continuously evolve in an ever-changing industry.

EDWARDS — Vail Christian High School has been designated as one of 32 schools across the nation to offer a new program in cybersecurity through Project Lead the Way. Project Lead the Way is piloting this Computer Science Pathway course for the first time this fall because cybersecurity is a threatening national security issue that affects everyone in personal ways.

Personal information of almost half of the nation's adults — 110 million Americans — was hacked in a 12-month period according to a survey released in May of 2014 by the Ponemon Institute, sponsored by IBM. Businesses across sectors are all grappling with how to protect their customers and employees. Stakeholders in the financial services industry report that cyber risk is a top concern, even above geopolitical risks and impacts of new regulations.

As a result, careers in cybersecurity are fast-growing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected the demand for information security analysts will increase by 37 percent by 2022, however industry demand is quickly outpacing the supply of workers with the necessary skills and expertise. In a recent article, Yahoo's Chief Information Officer Alex Stamos described it as "pretty much impossible to hire" people with the background in cybersecurity that his company needs.

"We are excited that Vail Christian High School was selected to be one of the schools for the pilot program," said Steve O'Neil, head of school at Vail Christian High School. "I am continually impressed with how our faculty continues to excel by teaching cutting-edge programs so students can learn what they need to know to be successful in the future."

'Protecting Our Information'

The cybersecurity instructor will be Jim Pyke, who is the AP Computer Science teacher and owns Integrated Technology and Consulting. He uses real-world challenges and solutions in the classroom.

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"This will be an opportunity to expose students to the dangers of technology and to be diligent with protecting our information," Pyke said. "We will take a deeper dive into how malicious attacks are carried out and why it is important to properly secure your technology devices."

Final development of Project Lead the Way's cybersecurity course is underway. Project Lead the Way is working closely with the Security Advisor Alliance, a cybersecurity nonprofit founded and guided by chief information security officers.

For more information on Vail Christian High School, located in Edwards, visit http://www.vchs.org, or follow Vail Christian High School on Facebook and Instagram.

The governing board of the SAA includes technology leaders from companies such as GE, PNC, Optiv, Starbucks, MasterCard, Express Scripts and Forrester Research.

During the development phase of the pilot program, Vail Christian High School will help create the course curriculum through a series of monthly core training sessions. These sessions will provide feedback that will allow the course to continuously evolve in an ever-changing industry.