The new age industry demands constant upskilling and exposure to challenge thought processes and encourage the youth to explore new technology based courses. When it comes to being job ready, hands-on exposure through workshops, hackathons apart from academics is a need of the hour. To follow suit, students must attain additional knowledge and indulge in various skill based learning to enhance their knowledge base and make the best potential workforce of the future. Therefore, holistic education is crucial wherein a student can learn co-curricular and skill based knowledge of coding, hacking, designing with their academics.
Recently, RISE - an innovative, technology-first online campus - organized GET SET HACK, a hackathon that seeks to prepare India*s NextGenprogrammers and developers for the evolving job scenario, especially in the domain of Cybersecurity.
This Hackathon was one of largest ever hackathons that India witnessed with more than 22 thousand students partaking through. good number of meritorious girls and boys showed interest and participated with complete zeal, indicating that when it comes to careers and opportunities in tech, India shows little sign of slowing down. In fact, the country*s proclivity for innovation is as strong as ever.
Mid Day spoke to The GET SET HACK Winners along with Gaurav Bhatia, CEO at RISE to understand how such tools play an imperative role in providing holistic learning to the youth and how it makes them a future ready workforce.
Question for RISE team - This was one of the biggest hackathons in the field, why did you choose to go ahead with Cybersecurity as the driving factor? Also, how did the collaboration with Thrive DX and Andhra Pradesh Government come about? Any future plans to organize hackathons in another field?
Ans: India is one of the fastest-growing markets for digital technologies with over 1.15 billion phones and more than 700 million internet users. With this comes a need for more and more cybersecurity professionals to safeguards all types of data against theft and loss. It is estimated there will be about 1.5 million job vacancies in the cybersecurity space by 2025. In Spite of all these statistics, very few people know the demand for cybersecurity and how they can build a career in it. We at RISE wanted to create awareness about this field and give our youth an opportunity to understand this field better by taking part in the hackathon. We partnered with ThriveDX, an Israeli cybersecurity education company, to create specialized courses for Cybersecurity which can enable students to be job ready with industry led training and capstone projects. The Andhra Pradesh State Council for Higher Education approached RISE for a collaboration since they were also looking at creating awareness amongst their students about careers in cybersecurity
Ques:Winner - Are you pursuing a course in the field? How has your learning/training been instrumental in your successful win at the hackathon?
Ans: Sarthak Jain, winner of GET SET HACK by RISE says "I am pursuing full-time computer science engineering from GGSIPU, Delhi and also the 6-Month Cyber Security PG course by RISE WPU. I have real interest in cryptography and its applications and I have pursued a 2 month internship under DRDO for the same, that experience really helped me with the cryptography based hackathon.
Ques: What has been your inspiration to pursue the field while not many girls are seen entering this domain in India?
Ans: Answering this Vaibhavi, the only female winner in top 5 of GET SET HACK by RISE says "the covid era has meant a hike in cyber attacks for the cyber community. Being a 2020 graduating student from school, I had a lot of free online months during lockdown and went through the news of a number of cyber attacks daily. I started looking into the headlines and types of attacks and basics of the domain. This really got me interested in the field as I have been interested in computer technology since high school. After getting into the field for graduation, I saw my peers, mainly males, have been pursuing the field since class 10th, 12th and are deep into bug bounty and pen-testing etc. The competitive spirit in myself and the support of my peers and professors have been my motivation ever since."
Ques: What is the role of such events and activities in your growth journey to become a competent cybersecurity professional?
Ans: Arnab Sen who fetched second rank says "Events like this simulate real-life scenarios that cybersecurity professionals have to face to some extent. After participating in a bunch of CTFs I learned how to look for clues to detect vulnerabilities and further exploit them. These events would also remind me of my weak points and the specific topics on which I should research more to perform even better the next time".
Ques: Why do you think cybersecurity is a lucrative industry for Indian youth?
Ans: Upon answering this, Vaibhavi says "Cyber Security is a field that is solely based on building and breaking technology. As you already know the youth of India is highly interested in technology and the idea of penetration through technology is an idea that appeals to the youth. Cybersecurity is an industry which has a broad future and will be the leading industry in the tech world after the automotive industry. It is a concept that is very crucial and mandatory in all of technology. As the world is digitizing, the need for cyber-security is increasing and the appeal of the industry to Indian Youth with it.
Ques: How has your experience been at the hackathon? What were your favorite moments from it?
Ans: Deepanshu Arya who was among Top 5 says "It was my first hackathon, a hectic one but left me with a lifetime memories, I can be very sure that attending a hackathon teaches you more than any you can learn in a single month, because you interact with people and work on problems. Moreover I met people from all over the country and had a chance to interact, Attending a hackathon has an exponential graph, do attend at least one.