Local school boards getting students ready for cyber careers

Published: Mar. 26, 2017 at 6:40 PM EDT
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Sunday, March 26, 2017

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Richmond County and Columbia County schools are partnering with Fort Gordon and Augusta University to introduce students to cyber security early.

"We've got to reach them before they get to high school and 9th grade. Children start learning about the inner workings of computers and how language and computer language makes things work. It's the beginning stage for early elementary students" said Dr. Debbie Alexander, Richmond County Associate Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology.

Richmond County is teaching kids coding and keyboarding as early as kindergarten. Some middle schools have computer science courses and a Microsoft Imagine Academy.

They are also developing other skills for kids who are not interested in cyber.

"We are opening a new skills training center at Josey high, where they will be offering welding as a hub. because what we know is that as cyber security is coming to this area, so is a lot of construction" said Dr. Alexander.

Augusta University says in 2014, there were more than 9,000 cyber jobs available in Georgia, but not enough skilled workers in the state to fill the positions.

"We now have a pipeline established within education. Every high school in Georgia can follow it" said Joanne Sexton, Director of the AU Cyber Institute.

The cyber curriculum will spread to more schools across the area this coming school year.

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