Parkerson Blasts Through Cyber Space


Photo Courtesy of: Austin Parkerson

Austin Parkerson and his class

Jack Monson, Journalist

Senior Austin Parkerson started his passion for cyber tech and competitions in 7th grade. Since then he has excelled in his Network+ and earned a $2500 college scholarship from cyber competitions. He started cyber competitions in middle school when he was inspired by the technician and realized that working in cyber was important and also a job opportunity. Parkerson is currently studying for the Security+ certificate.

Austin is a driven individual and a self starter. He is a straight A student. He is always pushing himself to get better including in subjects that are not taught at SRHS. He is involved in a multitude of clubs and sports – including baseball and bowling, Varsity Quiz and Computer Club.

— Lloyd Mann

The Net+ and Sec+ are industry certificates that can be obtained through an exam. These certificates help prepare a student for the world of technology in the cyber field. These certificates, although not required, are recommended by employers since they qualify individuals and their abilities.

Parkerson says, “What it does is qualifies you to work with network equipment and not only create networks and manage those networks but also work on the hardware that compiles into all that.”

Parkerson participates in many cyber competitions, all of which the school offers. The competitions that he competes in are Cyber Patriot, National Cyber League, and Cyber Start. All of these competitions test the abilities of individuals to work with hardware and software and test their knowledge on how to manipulate the system. In class, teacher Lloyd Mann has to prepare the students for all of these.

The National Cyber League (Photo Courtesy of: Google Images)

Mann says, “In class, the students study for industry certifications like CompTIA’s A+ or Network+ certifications and also learn about common computer system vulnerabilities and what it takes to fix them. They also do a lot of practice for cyber competitions.”

Once Parkerson started, he knew he didn’t want to stop. He started by doing as much research as he could on the competitions and seeing what he could do to prepare for them and for the classes he would need to take. He hopes that this hard work will culminate into some field of work that either prepares him for computer engineering or join a firm that specializes in cyber services.

It’s really interesting because it’s always different and evolving because there are hundreds of thousands of people who are trying to undo your job,” says Parkerson.

This may be Parkerson’s last year at Shadow Ridge, but he is sure to succeed in his coming competitions and is going to make every moment worth it.