The more you know, the easier the path.
If you have students (or you are a student) interested in getting serious about a security career, we hope this list will help.
We’ve assembled a growing collection of resources for students, parents, and teachers, that includes teaching resources for teachers, scholarships for cybersecurity, free or nearly free online security courses, and even ways for students to practice their hacking without getting into trouble.
But first, some tips
- Think first about the kind of career you think you'll enjoy, that you're suited to.
- Get to know all the different types of security jobs and roles, before you narrow your focus. There are more than 150 different types of security role so take your time.
- As you begin to narrow your focus, dip your toe in by taking some of the many short and free online courses. That might help you figure out the best direction, and test your aptitude and skills.
- Think about testing and sharpening your skills with online competitions, capture-the-flag (CTP) competitions, free online hacking, and hackathons.
Resources for Teachers and Students
The National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center, or NICERC, provides some free curricula for teachers interested in bringing cybersecurity education to their students.
The NOVA Cybersecurity Lab Lesson Plan from PBS is a comprehensive cybersecurity 101 program for high school students that includes a video, interactive classes, quizzes and even homework. Yes, more homework.
CERIAS, the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security at Purdue University has links to more than 30 education tools and lessons sorted by grade level.
Hacker High School helps teens learn hacking as a way to figure out how things work and to further learn by doing. Most of the lessons are downloadable guides on dozens of different security topics.
MediaSmart’s Cybersecurity program offers a variety of free education tools on many security and privacy topics, for students, parents, and teachers.
The National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC) is supported by the Department of Homeland Security Cyber Education Training Assistance Program and provides free cyber-based curricula for use by K-12 teachers across the country.
If you’re serious about careers and studies in cybersecurity, and want to get immersed, this is a great site. A comprehensive list of universities that offer cybersecurity degrees, blogs and publications, books, industry associations and more.
Practice Your Hacking
Want to start hacking, really, hack a real website? HackThisSite describes itself as a free, safe and legal training ground for hackers to test and expand their hacking skills, and a living, breathing community with many active projects in development, with a vast selection of hacking articles and a huge forum where users can discuss hacking, network security, and just about everything.
Metasploitable is a virtual machine that allows you to practice your hacking using the widely popular Metasploit tool.
Mutillidae is a free, open source web application provided to allow security enthusiasts to pen-test and hack a web application.
Picoctf is a free computer security game run by Carnegie Mellon University and targeted at middle and high school students. The game consists of a series of challenges centered around a unique storyline where participants must reverse engineer, break, hack, decrypt, or do whatever it takes to solve the challenge
A pretty comprehensive list of a variety of security scholarships available for students, including scholarships from the CIA, National Science Foundation, Google and many others.
Free and Affordable Cybersecurity Courses
TechRadar has assembled a list of ten cybersecurity courses that are free for everyone.
Open Security Training is provided by OpenCourseWare and the Khan Academy, and offers nearly 30 free online classes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced students.
The Complete Cyber Security & Hacking Course from EH Academy is a free online course in ethical hacking and runs for approximately 1.5 hours. It’s rated as suitable for beginner and intermediate students.
Udemy offers dozens of very affordable online cybersecurity courses, for all skill levels, and most for around $11 each. Some courses are even free and last time we checked they were offering nearly 200 security courses. Well worth checking out.
SANS Cyber Aces Online is an online course that teaches the core concepts needed to assess, and protect information security systems.
Cybrary offers hundreds of free security courses, from beginner to advanced, and all online.
Major League Hacking (MLH) is the official student hackathon league. Hachathons are a great way to test your skills, meet other ethical hackers, immerse yourself in the culture, and even win prizes. This list from Major League Hacking includes recognized hackathons taking place year round in Universities across the country