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Utah is home to a tech boom of its own with top-names tech companies finding the Silicon Slopes a great place to do business and military and defense companies growing around Hill Air Force Base in Davis County.

For policymakers, finding ways to encourage more Utah students to explore careers in those fields has been an ongoing challenge. This month, the Beehive State made two big announcements to show it is ready to do everything it can to ensure a steady pipeline of talent for decades to come. 

First, Gov. Gary Herbert announced he was including $10.2 million in his budget proposal to ensure every Utah student from K-12 has access to computer science education. That money is in addition to the private sector money pledged by the heads of some of Utah’s top tech companies - a total of $4 million to this point. 

That announcement came just a few days after the state had announced it would actively participate in the Girls Go CyberStart initiative, a program to encourage high school girls to explore their interest in and aptitude for careers in cybersecurity. 

Registration for Girls Go CyberStart opened this week, with online gaming commencing on January 13, 2020. Additional details and pre-registration can be found at www.girlsgocyberstart.org

Teacher information and student practice programs are available by clicking here. To see the types of challenges the students will face in the games, click here

On this week’s episode of CYBER24 presented by VLCM, we talk with the head of the Utah Dept. of Technology Services and the state’s chief information security officer about why these efforts are so important to the state and why finding talent to fill these jobs can be difficult. 

Listen here