Developing a Cybersecurity Workforce Through Gamification

For Episode S6E2 of the BSM podcast, host Steven Bowcut dives deep with Cynthia Jenkins, CMO and Co-founder of Skillionaire Games by skillsgapp, into the innovative world of mobile gaming designed to bridge the gap between America’s youth and the most in-demand career paths in fields like Advanced Manufacturing, Cyber/IT, Life Sciences, and Healthcare. This conversation unpacks the origin story of skillsgapp and Skillionaire Games, revealing a shared mission to engage and educate middle and high school students about critical and emerging industries through the medium of gaming.


Jenkins highlights the strategic focus on industries like cybersecurity, underscoring the vital importance of raising awareness among younger generations about these lucrative and fulfilling career opportunities. The discussion around the games Cyber Watchdog and Hack Out Bl4ckout offers listeners a peek into how these games not only entertain but also impart essential skills and knowledge, aiming to inspire a new wave of professionals in the cybersecurity realm.

The podcast delves into the balance of education and engagement in game development, providing insights into the creative and technical process from conception to launch. Jenkins shares compelling success stories and feedback from students and educators, painting a vivid picture of the impact skillsgapp is making on students’ career trajectories, particularly in cybersecurity.

Addressing the rapid technological advancements in cybersecurity, Jenkins explains how skillsgapp games remain at the forefront of industry trends to ensure relevancy and effectiveness. The conversation also tackles the critical issues of diversity and inclusion within tech, with Jenkins outlining skillsgapp’s proactive measures to encourage participation from underrepresented groups in these burgeoning fields.

Challenges in distinguishing educational games within a market dominated by entertainment-focused gaming are discussed, along with strategies to overcome these hurdles. Beyond cybersecurity, the podcast touches on skillsgapp’s expansion into other critical industries and career paths, setting the stage for a broader impact on workforce development.

For BSM listeners keen on supporting or getting involved with skillsgapp’s mission, Jenkins provides actionable advice on how to contribute to this transformative educational endeavor.

This episode not only sheds light on the powerful role of gamification in education and workforce development but also serves as a call to action for listeners to support initiatives that prepare the next generation for the challenges and opportunities of the future. Engaging, informative, and thought-provoking, this discussion is a must-listen for anyone interested in the intersection of technology, education, and career development.

About our Guest

Cynthia Jenkins is a luminary in the world of marketing and creative development. Cynthia’s illustrious career spans several decades, during which she has garnered accolades for her work with some of the world’s most recognized brands. Her journey includes writing for Jenny Craig’s celebrity campaigns featuring Valerie Bertinelli, Queen Latifah, and Jason Alexander, spearheading Subway’s global franchise development, innovating with Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s on their new menu and celebrity broadcast campaigns, and leading Beltone Hearing’s push to engage younger audiences through cutting-edge technology.

Cynthia’s expertise isn’t confined to one field; she has contributed her skills across various industries, from workforce and manufacturing to talent recruitment, higher education, housing, digital applications, and economic development. Her work has consistently aimed at expanding business horizons, tapping into emerging markets, and pioneering new initiatives.

Click the image below to listen to this Brilliance Security Magazine Podcast episode

Steven Bowcut is an award-winning journalist covering cyber and physical security. He is an editor and writer for Brilliance Security Magazine as well as other security and non-security online publications. Follow and connect with Steve on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.