Governor Abbott Encourages Texas Students To Participate In Cybersecurity Training

October 19, 2023 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today encouraged Texas high school and college students to participate in CyberStart America (CSA) and Cyber FastTrack (CFT), innovative, online cybersecurity talent search and competition programs sponsored by the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation that award over $20 million in scholarships to high-performing students.
“As Texas’ technology industry continues to grow, it is more important now than ever for Texas to strengthen our cybersecurity workforce and talent development,” said Governor Abbott. “These immersive, online cybersecurity programs will help ensure high school and college students have the opportunity to develop crucial skills for high-demand jobs in this critical industry. CyberStart and Cyber FastTrack are engaging ways to jumpstart a career in cybersecurity, and I encourage Texas students to take advantage of this opportunity to become leaders in this important field. Together, we will continue to build a more secure Texas.”
Registration for both CSA and CFT is now open, with student play ending on March 15, 2024.  
Open to all students in grades 9-12, CSA provides students with access to over 200 unique security challenges they can solve as cybersecurity agents investigating criminal gangs. As students play, they develop cybersecurity skills and receive cybersecurity credentials for subjects that include coding, penetration testing, digital forensics.
CFT aims to simplify and accelerate college students’ path to a cybersecurity career by helping them develop advanced training and skills needed for the profession. Currently, there are more than 58,000 cybersecurity-related job openings in Texas and over 660,000 open cyber-related jobs in the United States.
In 2022, the Texas Department of Information Resources created the CyberStart America Texas task force to increase awareness and participation in both CSA and CFT among Texas students. The task force is working to include Texas curriculum standards in CSA challenges to support educators who want to bring the program into their school. In the 2022-2023 school year, more than 5,000 Texas high school students participated in CSA.
In 2020, Governor Abbott announced a partnership with CyberStart America to help promote the cybersecurity field for Texas high school students.
Learn more about CyberStart America.
Learn more about Cyber FastTrack.