Okaloosa Technical College Places 55th at National Competition

In Brief:

  • Okaloosa Technical College (OTC) ranked 55th in the nation in the Spring 2024 National Cyber League Competition among 7,412 college-level competitors.
  • Notable individual performances included Joseph “Joey” Markey (67th, Diamond Ranking), Hardy Davis (219th, Diamond Ranking), and Daniel Kraus (901st, Platinum Ranking).
  • OTC’s success in the competition highlights the institution’s dedication to providing high-quality cybersecurity education and practical training.


The Spring 2024 National Cyber League (NCL) Competition featured competitors from all 50 states. Each season, the NCL publishes its Cyber Power Rankings, highlighting the top 100 schools based on students’ abilities to tackle various cybersecurity tasks individually and as teams.

This year, Okaloosa Technical College (OTC) made a significant mark by ranking 55th in the nation among 7,412 college-level competitors.
With 29 students representing OTC, a few individuals stood out, including Joseph “Joey” Markey, who placed 67th and earned a Diamond Ranking and challenge coin; Hardy Davis, who placed 219th, achieving a Diamond Ranking and a challenge coin; and Daniel Kraus who placed 901st earning a Platinum Ranking.

OTC’s cybersecurity instructor, Daniel Sligar, emphasized the importance of these challenges in reinforcing classroom learning with practical application. “The challenges are an excellent way of reinforcing and demonstrating the practical application of cybersecurity students are learning in the classroom. Students are not just learning theoretical concepts, but can demonstrate their mastery of different cybersecurity skills through the completion of real-world tasks they will encounter in different fields of cybersecurity once they enter the workforce,” Sligar remarked.

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During the competition, students had two and a half days to complete cybersecurity challenges ranging from easy to very challenging across nine different domains: Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), Cryptography, Log Analysis, Network Traffic Analysis, Forensics, Password Cracking, Web Application Exploitation, Reverse Engineering, and Scanning & Reconnaissance.

Jon Williams, Director of OTC, expressed pride in the students’ achievements, stating, “This is a testament to the quality and relevance of the education provided at OTC, and we are proud to share this accomplishment with our community.”

Superintendent Marcus Chambers also commended the students and staff at OTC, highlighting their commitment and success, “This is a remarkable accomplishment for our students who participated and the staff at Okaloosa Technical College. Their commitment and success serve as a model for others in cybersecurity, inspiring admiration and setting a high standard for excellence. Congratulations!”.

The impressive performance of OTC students in the National Cyber
League Competition demonstrates the institution’s dedication to providing top-tier cybersecurity education and training, preparing students for real-world challenges in the cybersecurity field.


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