LSUS hosts free cybersecurity camps to lead high schoolers on career path

Example of Security Operations Center
Example of Security Operations Center(LSUS)
Published: Apr. 28, 2023 at 9:55 AM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Three free camps will be offered to high school students by LSUS as a potential start for career paths in cybersecurity.

Students will experience the cybersecurity world in one of three camps, Intro to Cyberspace and Cybersecurity, Intro to Network Security, and Intro to Cyber Awareness. In addition to the camps, students will get a real-world experience on campus as LSUS will be opening a security operations center (SOC) on campus with students working alongside information technology professionals in protecting the university’s networks. The soft launch is planned for this summer.

“These camps are a great way for students to get a big picture of the cybersecurity world,” said Dr. Roger Zhao, an LSUS professor in the computer science department. “We’ll explore a lot of different topics in a broad way so students can be introduced to a lot of different areas. If we can get kids to touch the field as early as possible, then maybe they’ll be interested in growing in those areas.”

“Lots of kids are interested in cybersecurity, but there aren’t really opportunities for them to touch or get a taste of real cybersecurity knowledge,” Zhao said. “Hopefully these camps will steer students to consider cybersecurity as a career, but even if they don’t, there are other benefits. We try to teach the kids to use their personal devices correctly and have awareness of what they’re using. You never know who is on the other side of whatever website or app you might be using, and we’ll be teaching practical skills on how students interact with the internet.”

All three camps last seven weeks and begin June 5, and will run from 9 a.m.- 12 a.m. on Monday-Friday for seven weeks. Students can register before the May 30 deadline at

Students must be entering the 9th, 10th, or 11th grades this coming school year to be eligible.

Camp activities:

  • readings
  • quizzes
  • cybersecurity-related games
  • projects

More than 40 students have already registered.

The cybersecurity industry is expected to grow by 33% from 2020 to 2030, four times faster then the average employment growth rate of all occupations nationwide, according to a 2022 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report. The median salary for information security analysts is $102,600.

“When we talk about our future and the future of our students, we want to open opportunities for kids to learn about cybersecurity,” said Dr. Julie Lessiter, Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives at LSUS. “These camps can prepare students for college cybersecurity programs, one of the fastest growing careers in the country.”

Lessiter echoed that sentiment, noting that there’s a shortage of trained cybersecurity professionals.

“Many entry-level jobs are looking for three years of experience and certain certifications,” Lessiter said. “The SOC is a way for us to close that gap as students are learning in an environment that will teach them all the key skills and software they’ll need on the job. They are identifying what’s a threat and what’s not a threat in real-time.”