Cyber Aces to Find CyberSecurity Talent Veterans, Students Ideal for Recession-Proof Jobs

Governor Quinn, Illinois Lead National Effort

CHICAGO, IL - The second round of Illinois’ Cyber Aces State Championship to identify individuals with the skills to excel in the emerging cybersecurity field begins this week, the Illinois Department of Employment Security said today.

The challenge is part of Governor Pat Quinn’s agenda to grow the Illinois economy, increase public safety and help Veterans, students and career changers enter the growing cyber workforce and obtain meaningful employment.

“We are reminded every day of the critical importance cybersecurity jobs have in the public and private sector. These positions are in-demand, pay extremely well, and are recession proof,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “This challenge is a unique way to identify talent, especially among our Veterans, community college students and career changers.”

Here’s how the free, virtual competition works: The competition focuses on three critical modules: computer networking, operating systems and system administration. Anyone can compete. Contestants go to to register, complete a tutorial and practice between now and the first quiz, which will be held on Oct. 15. The competition, also virtual, is at the same website and must be completed Oct. 15 or Oct. 16.

This is the second phase of the year-long effort. The first phase occurred this past spring, and additional competition dates are scheduled to begin Nov. 5 and Dec. 18. Qualifiers who perform best in the three competitions will compete in a championship round Feb. 28-March 1.

“Cyber Aces is thrilled to continue our partnership with Governor Quinn to help Illinois provide its citizens with the opportunity to gain the skills needed to fill critical jobs in online security,” said Alan Paller, founder of Cyber Aces.

Illinois is one of the first states to recruit potential cybersecurity workers through a Cyber Aces State Championship as federal officials quickly expand cybersecurity forces to counter evolving threats.

The Defense Department’s Cyber Command plans to increase its workforce to 4,000, up from 900. Private sector opportunities in cybersecurity also are expanding rapidly. Currently, cybersecurity careers are the second-fastest growing positions in information technology (IT). Cybersecurity positions also are among the most secure and the highest salaried in the IT field.

About Cyber Aces

The Cyber Aces Foundation is a not-for-profit working to discover talent and provide a pathway to employment in critical cybersecurity jobs. The foundation challenges students, Veterans and jobseekers with training and competition, develops their abilities with cybersecurity education and prepares them for cybersecurity careers. It is a 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, visit


More than 120,000 help-wanted ads are on, the IDES employment website that links job seekers with employers. Keyword matching technology increases the likelihood of a successful new hire and compares favorably to private efforts that cost hundreds of dollars for a single advertisement. No-cost HR recruitment services are available at the website and at (877) 342-7533. also is able to contact potential employees with the skills necessary for cybersecurity careers, and will do so again in conjunction with the Cyber Aces State Championship.