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Newcomer I

High School Cybersecurity Curriculum

Is anyone aware of a high school with a good 4-year cybersecurity curriculum? I'm working a project for a non-profit interested in developing something in this arena and would rather leverage and expand upon an existing program than create a new one.  Thanks.

5 Replies
Contributor II

Re: High School Cybersecurity Curriculum

While I'm not sure about high schools, in the US the NSA/CSS and DHS have a program for "National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Security," which is targeted at colleges and universities.  You can start reading about it here:

 

https://www.nsa.gov/resources/educators/centers-academic-excellence/cyber-defense/

 

Digging through the site (iad.gov, has some, let's just say... certificate trust issues, at least on my systems), you can find the CAE-CD Knowledge Units PDF:  https://www.iad.gov/NIETP/documents/Requirements/CAE-CD_Knowledge_Units.pdf

 

That's basically the cirriculum guidelines with expected outcomes for each unit, etc.It's from 2013, but is probably a perfectly good starting point and would align with college/university cyber programs.

-- wdf//CISSP, CSSLP
Community Champion

Re: High School Cybersecurity Curriculum

I do not have a pre-built curriculum but if I were to build one I would ensure it included courses on networking, building computers, building security into the design, etc. I would probably structure it this way:

IT Skills, building computers. Have them understand how computers work. Have them install Windows, Linux, MAC/Apple iOS, etc.

Networking skills, connecting the computers that were built. Have them understand how the computers they built work together.

Security design. Learn how to build the network insecurely and then hack it to see how easy it is to attack an unprotected network and build skills through success so they can see how a successful attack is supposed to work. Then later when protections are in place they can see that they are being blocked instead of not performing the attacks correctly.

Coding skills. Teach Python and Powershell. Perhaps let them learn several languages.

Database skills, website skills. Have them build databases and websites, then hack them.

If you had time you could look into malware analysis, incident response and tracking, more sophisticated networking (VPN, remote use, etc).

 

You would help the students immensely having those basic skills listed above. The biggest thing is to nurture the talent young. Keep the focus away from it being a "nerd" gathering as this may discourage some people from choosing it as a profession. Make the focus on job skills and building for a good future.

Newcomer I

Re: High School Cybersecurity Curriculum

Thanks!
Newcomer I

Re: High School Cybersecurity Curriculum

Thanks!
Viewer

Re: High School Cybersecurity Curriculum

This may not be what you're looking for, but there is a site called Hacker Highschool (http://www.hackerhighschool.org/lessons.html) that offers lesson books which could be used to help develop a curriculum. There are 22 lessons, each containing around 20 pages of content. 

 

There's also the Institute for Cybersecurity Education: http://cybersecurityed.org/scope-sequence/ 

 

I haven't seen a high school integrate cybersecurity education into their mandatory class offerings, but rather have seen them offered as electives or opportunities to study and sit for certification exams. 

 

Hope this helps!