LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Cyberattacks on companies and people are at an all-time high. At the moment, there are just not enough cybersecurity professionals in the country to help protect the world wide web.
“Right now, there are three quarter million open positions in cyber security we a have a huge challenge in this country,” UNLV Computer Science professor, Yohwan Kim said.
Kim helps run the GenCyber Camp at UNLV, a National Security Agency and National Science Foundation-funded cybersecurity camp for CCSD high school students.
“My big wish with this industry is to just bring about innovation in the world,” Leonard Guerrero said.
Guerrero’s dreams are out of this world. Guerrero is a junior at Clark County Adult Education. He said he’s constantly studying cybersecurity. The GenCyber camp has helped him take his aspirations and talents to new heights.
“It’s a great, fun, intuitive program to network and communicate with other students who are passionate about the same things,” Guerrero said.
He joined 60 students from all over the county on Saturday at the UNLV College of Engineering for the summer session of the GenCyber Camp.
Kim has been running the program with UNLV computer science professor, Juyeon Jo, since it started five years ago and told 8 News Now that the country needs young minds like Guerrero’s.
“We do need to defend our system we need to protect our assets and we don’t have that many experts to protect ourselves,” Jo said.
That’s where UNLV comes in. The hope is that students from the GenCyber camp will return to UNLV to study computer science and cybersecurity. Some of the campers already have. A few are now teacher assistants in this summer’s program.
“After this camp, they realize how this field is interesting and that it’s good and they choose the computer science major and then become a cyber security expert,” Jo said. “We’re excited to see them growing and showing those who are also interested.”
CCSD high school participants learn from cybersecurity experts about topics such as cybercrimes and protection, encryption techniques, and more through hands-on activities.
“We want to give them impress on the cybersecurity, it’s not just technical stuff but it’s fun more like it’s fun. So, they can choose the cybersecurity career,” Kim said.
The no-cost program is offered each year across three seasons to about 60 students all passionate about the same thing: cybersecurity.
“When you’re in contact with other children that are like doing the same thing it kind of just boosts your passion,” Guerrero said.
The theme for 2023 is helping the community. Students assess small businesses’ systems and offer better solutions.
“When you’re in contact with other children that are like doing the same thing it kind of just boost your passion,” Jo said.
Protectors of the world wide web, it’s something Guerrero told 8 News Now is what he and his GenCyber camp mates are working so hard for.
“Having a world where you can be very protected, and you can just be safe. It’s a crazy world out there, especially in the digitized world,” Guerrero said.
You can still sign your child up for the Fall session and of course the 2024 sessions. Find out more about the GenCyber camp here.