National University Supports Efforts to Educate New Generation of Cyber Security Professionals

March 24, 2015

University a sponsor of the March San Diego Mayor's Cyber Cup and June Cyber Boot Camp


San Diego, Calif. - March 25, 2015 - A months-long cyber security competition involving hundreds of Southern California middle- and high-school students culminates March 28 with the final round of the 2015 San Diego Mayor’s Cyber Cup. National University, the second-largest private, nonprofit university in California and a leader in cyber security education, is an event sponsor and providing faculty experts to mentor student teams.


The goal of the San Diego Mayor’s Cyber Cup, led by the National Defense Industrial Association San Diego Chapter, Securing Our eCity Foundation, Leidos, UC San Diego and National University, is to encourage students to learn more about computer security, provide an educational venue to apply theories and practical skills, and foster a spirit of teamwork, ethical behavior and effective communication within and across teams. As a leader in cyber security education and an event sponsor, National University has assisted in recruitment of team mentors, and providing direct mentorship to student teams, among other activities.

National University is the only college or university in San Diego County with a degree program designated by the National Security Agency/Department of Homeland Security as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education. It works closely with other colleges and universities throughout Southern California via the CyberWatch West educational consortium, and offers a Master of Science in Cyber Security and Information Assurance degree with a challenging online and on-campus curriculum that incorporates ethical hacking, incident response, mock cyber warfare, and a course dedicated to legal and ethical issues of cyber security.

“There is a shortage of cyber security professionals in the industry today, so exposing more and more high school and middle school students to this field through competitions like the San Diego Cyber Cup will lead to more of them becoming interested in STEM education and perhaps go onto a career in computer security,” said Christopher Simpson, Director of the National University Center for Cyber Security and Information Assurance.

The 6th Annual Cyber Cup holds its Final Rounds from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the San Diego Super Computer Center on the UC San Diego campus, where teams compete in tests of cyber-defense, protecting computer systems from attackers. A reception and awards banquet will follow.

For the competition, professional cyber security mentors began working with teams last fall. Practice rounds got underway in January, and qualification rounds took place in March. Top-finishing teams, which receive cash prizes, will also have the chance to take part in an annual Securing Our eCity Foundation Cyber Boot Camp at National University’s Kearny Mesa campus during the week of June 22. The Cyber Boot Camp includes classroom instruction, cyber security exercises, career counseling for cyber security degrees, and presentations by experts in fields ranging from law enforcement to computer forensics.

“By actively taking part in the Mayor’s Cyber Cup and providing a venue for the Cyber Boot Camp, National University is further fulfilling its mission as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education,” Simpson said.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that the number of computer network security analysts will increase 37 percent from 2012 to 2022. The average annual salary for a computer network security analyst nationwide was $91,210 in 2013; in California, that figure was $102,460, or just under $50 per hour.

About National University
Founded in 1971, National University is the second-largest private, nonprofit institution of higher education in California. With 30,000 students and more than 140,000 alumni, National University is the flagship institution of the National University System. National University is dedicated to making lifelong learning opportunities accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse population of students. Five schools and one college – the College of Letters and Sciences; the School of Business and Management; the School of Education; the School of Engineering and Computing; the School of Health and Human Services; and the School of Professional Studies – offer more than 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees and 23 teacher credentials. Programs are offered at locations throughout California and across the nation, and are also available online. National University is headquartered in La Jolla, California.


Media contact:
Anna Cearley
Director of Public Relations