Georgia’s third year of partnership with the SANS Institute along with the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation will expand to launch CyberStart America, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced Thursday.

CyberStart America builds on the previous Girls Go CyberStart and Cyber FastTrack programs and is now open to all high school aged students. Students have the opportunity to explore their aptitude for cybersecurity and computer science by participating in the program to win prizes and recognition for their schools along with scholarship opportunities.

“Georgia is fast becoming the Cyber Capital of the World, and we must have a workforce ready to take on the jobs of the 21st century,” Kemp said. “Initiatives like CyberStart America offer a clear path in developing the cyber workforce needed in the days ahead. After seeing the success of Girls Go CyberStart and Cyber FastTrack, I am excited to watch this program expand and deliver new opportunities to the next generation of hardworking Georgians.”

Open to all high school students, CyberStart America is 100% online and can be assigned as part of homework or used in extracurricular clubs. The National Cyber Scholarship Foundation anticipates awarding scholarships worth a total of $2 million for use at any accredited college.

“Growing Georgia’s cyber workforce is critical to protecting our State’s most critical assets, and I appreciate Governor Kemp’s leadership and support for the cyber industry in our state,” Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “CyberStart America can be used in our schools as part of the curriculum, which greatly expands computer science and cybersecurity offerings in rural, urban, and suburban areas across Georgia.”

“Building on the successes of Girls Go CyberStart, CyberStart America is open to all high school students,” SANS Director of Research Alan Paller said. “By opening this program to thousands of students, we hope to help the nation identify the next generation of talented young people who will excel in this critical field.”