MISSOULA, Mont. - The weather is finally warming up and summer break is here, along with the return of summer camps. One camp series in Montana is working to help fill a national need in addressing cyber security.
Like many other industries, there's currently a shortage of skilled cyber security professionals, so Cyber Montana is teaching kids basic forensics and and programming through summer camps across the state, with the hope of inspiring kids to look into a career in cyber security.
These camps are targeted towards middle schoolers. They don't need any previous experience.
Through the camp, they'll learn about the Python programming language, different operating systems and networking concepts through different games and projects using single-chip computers.
Jeff Arends is a professor at the University of Montana Missoula College and helps lead some of the camps. He explained how these skills can be used in a lot of ways.
“Most of time when people see computers, they think, ‘I’m going to go into computer science,’ but there’s so much more, to engineering, technology, and all that, than just computer science," Arends said. "There’s lots of stuff in IT... there’s cybersecurity, that’s been one of my specializations lately."
Campers will also learn more about their own security and digital footprint, like what information is attached to a social media post and the best way to secure passwords.
Above all, Arends said it's just fun.
Kids will get to take home their own basic Raspberry Pi computers.
Camps will take place in Great Falls, Miles City and Missoula. For registration information, click here.