The National Cyber Analyst Challenge and Conference (NCAC) is a joint initiative by Leidos, NBCUniversal, Vanguard, Pfizer and the Institute for Business and Information Technology at Temple University.
There is a cyber talent crisis in the United States. According to SimplyHired.com there are 31,892 open cyber-security related positions (March 2019). The need in these positions is less and less for operators and more for analysts. As the threats multiply and diversify, intelligence analysis and identification is becoming critical rather than for example just the ability to configure or code secure servers. Yet, the talent pipeline finds it difficult to integrate operational skills with strategic threat and cyber analysis.
The goal of NCAC is to support the development of the best students pursuing cyber related degrees in the top cyber programs in the nation. The model is unique because (a) student development is emphasized and (b) students learn and compete on strategic skills involving cyber defense, risk analysis, threat identification, remediation, and communication. The model includes:
- Training on and experience with the most relevant strategic cyber challenges
- Mentorship by experts in industry
- Resources to develop both students and faculty