Like many of you I aspire to start a career in security, but it’s no easy task. CTF’s are the most recommended resource for security students online, but I don’t see an equally valuable opportunity mentioned as often as it should be – the Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition.
Students in the US as well as Canada, Europe and the Middle East can take part in this competition which involves having your team take on a meticulously realistic business network. Your goal isn’t to simply hunt flags – you must act as a team of penetration testing consultants. You get several full days of access to the company network and then must present your findings in a penetration testing report, as well as a presentation for executives.
Here’s a [blogpost](https://nosecurity.blog/cptc2020) myself and my teammates wrote detailing everything about this competition.
It’s a truly unique experience and things can get pretty wild. Last year the target company was a bank and the competition organizers set up real ATM’s for students to hack. This year was about a utility company with critical industrial infrastructure, which we accidentally took down, resulting in their dam overflowing.
If you want a career in cybersecurity, this competition and CCDC are the way to go. Competing in it was the breaking point in my academic and professional progress – I finally got a security internship. Many companies (like IBM) will literally put your resume to the top of the pile if you compete.
Let me know if you got any questions!