More than 30 Sacramento area middle and high school students are taking part in a CyberCamp at American River College this week. They're learning network security skills to defend against computer viruses.
One of the organizers of the camp is Steve Linthicum, a cybersecurity professor at Sierra College in Rocklin.
"We have such a shortage of cybersecurity professionals that what we're working hard on is introducing students at middle schools and high schools to cybersecurity," says Linthicum, "with the hope that they would move into the community colleges and ultimately become cybersecurity professionals and join the workforce."
Linthicum says the curriculum includes teaching students cyber safety and network security skills.
"The particular computers that they're on have vulnerabilities," says Linthicum, "and so they're doing actions like, you may have users that don't have passwords and there may be programs that are running that shouldn't be running. So we're hardening the machines, making them less susceptible to being hacked into."
Some of the kids that take part will end up competing in a team-based contest that puts them in the role of IT administrators tasked with finding and addressing cybersecurity risks.
This week's three day camp at American River College ends Friday.
About 80 similar CyberCamps are being held throughout the country this year.