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NCL Announces Official Cybersecurity College Rankings

National Cyber League Announces Official Cybersecurity College Rankings Based on Record Participation in NCL Spring Season

Students from the University of Nevada – Reno prevailed against 5,026 students from 419 schools across the nation recognized as the top school in the nation during the National Cyber League (NCL) Spring 2019 season. This contributed to the inaugural college cybersecurity rankings by Cyber Skyline and NCL. View the entire Power Ranking list here: https://cyberskyline.com/data/power-ranking/.

NCL is a biannual cybersecurity competition for high school and college students. The competition consists of a series of challenges that allows students to demonstrate their ability to identify hackers from forensic data, break into vulnerable websites, recover from ransomware attacks, and more. Students compete in the NCL to build their skills, obtain scouting reports of their performance for hiring purposes, and to represent their school.

This is the first season that NCL and Cyber Skyline have designated official college rankings based on a record number of participation in the NCL Spring Season from individual students and schools.

  • Record participation from California with 1,165 Students
  • Followed by participation from Maryland with 483 students and Virginia with 478 students
  • NCL has seen participation from all 50 states and Puerto Rico

Students participated in a weeklong placement game followed by a weekend individual game, and culminated with a weekend team game. At the end of the competition, students received Scouting Reports that identified their strengths and weaknesses within different cybersecurity domains. Students use these reports in their resumes to validate their growth and skills in cybersecurity. The biannual competition is designed to help prepare students for relevant cybersecurity roles by aligning to industry certifications and government standards.

“We’re playing a full-on college cybersecurity sport. We are evidence-based, and we’re finally able to measure talent based on individual, team, and school’s performance,” said Dan Manson, NCL commissioner.

The University of Nevada — Reno faced fierce competition from schools such as the University of Hawaii at Manoa, California State University – Chico, New York University, the University of California – Davis, Texas A&M, and more than half the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security’s jointly designated cybersecurity Centers of Academic Excellence.

This spring, students from west coast schools topped the leaderboard with the University of Nevada — Reno, University of Hawaii at Manoa, and California State University — Chico placing first, second and third place, respectively. On the east coast, the top performing school was New York University while Wichita State University topped the central region.

“Demand for cybersecurity professionals has skyrocketed in the past several years. Cyber competitions like NCL provide a way for cybersecurity students to demonstrate their skills to employers, especially with many entry-level jobs requiring experience,” said Franz Payer, CEO of Cyber Skyline. “The new Cyber Power Rankings highlight the top schools producing new cybersecurity professionals. We’re excited for what competitions can do to help address the cyber talent shortage.”

Registration is open for the Fall 2019 season. Regular registration is $35 per student through October 10. After that, the costs increases to $45 until October 14.

The ranking position of Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico (PUPR) as of Spring 2019 for the National Cyber League (NCL) competitions in Capture the Flag (CTF):

PUPR ranks 16th at a national level in NCL competitions in CTF. Schools are ranked based on their top team performance, their top student’s individual performance, and the aggregate individual performance of their students. Every year, over 10,000 students from more than 300 colleges and universities across the US participate in the NCL competitions.

These rankings represent the ability of students from these schools to perform real-world cybersecurity tasks on the Cyber Skyline platform. Students had to identify hackers from forensic data, penetration testing & audit vulnerable websites, recover from ransomware attacks, and more.

PUPR also ranks in 9th position for the Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber-Defense Education (CDE) at a national level in NCL competitions in CTF. Currently there are more than 250 CAE’s in the Nation.