High school students dive into world of cybersecurity

DAVENPORT, Iowa - One of the most promising career paths for students is cybersecurity.  Thousands of jobs are open and there’s not enough people to fill them.

Today at Saint Ambrose, dozens of kids interested in cybersecurity careers got together for the annual CornCon conference.

Aubrie Schlotfeldt has always had an interest in computers, starting at a young age.

“I don’t really have time in my schedule to take classes on it,” she says, “so, I asked one of the teachers if there was anything we can do outside of school and he gave me a flyer.”

The flyer brought the Davenport West sophomore to this conference on cybersecurity -  where she found she’s one of a few girls in attendance.

“It’s one of those things, it’s like you feel like one of the only girls, but you kind of have to get past that I guess and not care,” says Schlotfeldt.

One day she wants a job helping companies protect their technology.

Kevin Lillis, Head of Computer Sciences at Saint Ambrose, says there’s never been more opportunities.

“Every year we have more internship offers than we have students who can take the internships,” says Lillis. “The demand is just huge.”

It all starts by inspiring high school students to consider a career in cybersecurity.

“As long as there’s been computers there have been people trying to do bad things with computers,” he says. “We don’t want kids to think everything is safe and secure because it’s quite the opposite.”

St. Ambrose even offers a cybersecurity major where students are practically guaranteed a job.

“They might be music majors or English majors and they realize they can solve problems that can make a difference,” says John Johnson of Quad Cities Cybersecurity Alliance.

After an afternoon in the world of code, Aubrie is convinced this is where she wants to be.

“Go for it, don’t let anyone stop you,” she says, encouraging other young girls to join in.