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Game-based Tool Helps Students ID Cybersecurity Talent, Win Possible Scholarships

Students attending a Virginia-based college are eligible to use a free tool to discover their talent for cybersecurity and could win one of many scholarships totaling $2.5 million. Virginia is among more than two dozen states that have signed on to the initiative, which seeks to help ease the shortage of cybersecurity professionals and quickly identify and train those who have the interest and the aptitude.

Cyber Fast Track, a free three-stage program that will help college students discover if they have what it takes to make a difference in cybersecurity, kicks off April 5. The all-inclusive program will provide students with everything needed to build their knowledge of the foundations of cybersecurity. Additionally, students who excel in all aspects of the program will be awarded scholarships to advanced cybersecurity courses and industry-respected certifications from the SANS Institute, the world leader in cybersecurity education and research.

Students who score well but do not win full scholarships will be included in a drawing for 200 scholarships of $500 each to use at their college. To be eligible for a scholarship at the end of the program, students must have completed — or will complete by the end of the current semester — a minimum of 48 college credits.

The initiative uses a game-based approach, known as CyberStart, which has proven in a nationwide program in England that it can identify elite cyber talent.

Here’s how to get started:

  • CyberStart Registration: Today – April 5
  • CyberStart Assess: April 5 – May 10
  • CyberStart Game: May 20 – June 28
  • CyberStart Essentials: July 10 – September 16
  • Cyber Honors Academy: TBA (3 SANS Courses with associated GIAC certification exams)

For eligibility requirements, registration and full details, go to