There continues to be a shortage of cybersecurity professionals in Missouri and in the United States as a whole. With the digital transformation that the world recently went through in 2020, the need for cybersecurity professionals has only increased. To do our part to address the cybersecurity talent shortage, we will continue to host the Missouri High School Cybersecurity Challenge in 2024 in partnership with Missouri Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (MCCOE) and Cyber.org.
The Missouri High School Cybersecurity Challenge is meant to provide high school students the opportunity to explore the field of computer science and encourage them to look into a career in cybersecurity or other STEM related fields. Recently, a look at open jobs in Missouri revealed there were over 9,200 open computer jobs. Yet, in 2020, there were only 1,711 computer science graduates. The challenge is looking to develop and inspire cybersecurity talent earlier in Missouri’s youth.
Whether or not you’re interested in having students compete, interested schools can still take full advantage of the educational resources from Cyber.org. Their mission is to “empowers educators to teach cyber confidently, resulting in students with the skills and passion needed to succeed in the cyber workforce.” All materials are presented to be used in either a traditional or a virtual classroom.
The Missouri High School Cybersecurity Challenge is a two-round challenge designed for Missouri high school students. Students will work in teams of three to solve a variety of cybersecurity challenges. Round one is an online event that tests students’ problem-solving skills, research abilities and understanding of cybersecurity concepts. It consists of a set of challenges and puzzles for the students to explore and solve. The top 10 teams advance to the finals where students will use real-world security tools in a virtual environment made up of Windows machines, Linux machines and servers. The finals are hosted in person in Columbia, Mo.
Students interested in participating in the challenge should understand concepts around security and computer networks. They do not need to be enrolled in a cybersecurity program or course and adult sponsors do not need prior knowledge of these concepts. Regardless of skill level, the Cybersecurity Challenge is an opportunity to learn new skills and concepts while working in a safe environment.
Teams consist of three high school students and one adult sponsor. Thanks to our partnership with DESE, participation is free to all Missouri high schools.
Congratulations to the winners of the 2023 Missouri Cybersecurity Challenge. First place went to Tyler Abernathy and Caden Haustein, from Springfield. It was their third time competing in the challenge and their first time taking home the top spot. Second place went to Lee’s Summit students Thomas Kahler, Jacob Klipfel and Arthur Schieszer, while Drake Marshell, Gabriel Story and Ryan Tibbitts from Willow Springs came in third.
- First place – Little Hog Champs -Eldon High School
- Second place – 414, I’m a Teapot – Kickapoo High School
- Third place – A Smart Dream with a Pinch of Cybersecurity – South Technical High School
- First place – The Derp Wagon – Eldon High School
- Second place – Coderunners – Willow Springs High School
- Third place – Renegades – Summit Technology Academy
- First Place – Vianney 1 – Vianney High School
- Second Place – Renegades – Summit Technology Academy
- Third Place – MID – Summit Technology Academy
Email Andy, our program manager, for questions about the contest.
Email Kathy, a member of our Cybersecurity Operations Team, for specific cybersecurity questions.