ONLY ON 8: Learning Center program teaches teens how to protect themselves online

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A new program offered at the Learning Center is teaching teens cybersecurity so they can learn how to protect themselves and others online. The goal is to spark an interest in the field that could lead to much-needed jobs in Nevada

On Wednesday, CSN student Joseph Mekonnen and around 20 other teens are getting schooled on cybersecurity through a problem-solving game called Capture The Flag.

“I’m actually doing this thing where I’m going to have to code, which is something I didn’t think I was going to learn today,” Mekonnen said.

The Learning Center is teaching everything from safeguarding emails to finding images hidden in plain sight.

“I’m actaully learning new things that I never knew; I never really realized in technology,” said Skylia Burrell, student.

The exercises taught at the Learning Center help students learn skills they can use in careers that are really needed here in Nevada. Then Learning Center wants to inspire a life-long interest in the field.

In the United States, there are more than 300,000 job openings in IT and cybersecurity. Nearly 2,000 of those jobs are right here in Nevada.

“More importantly, it’s a high-wage, family-sustaining career field for our youth,” said Linda Montgomery, the president of The Learning Center.

Now, the governor’s office hopes to connect these students to jobs at local businesses.

“You’re creating a career for somebody, and you’re also helping businesses protect themselves, so it’s a win-win for everybody,” said Richard Williams, Nevada State Director of Apprenticeship.

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