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U.S. Rep. Ed Case
U.S. Rep. Ed Case speaks with UH students about cybersecurity internships with the Navy.

U.S. Rep. Ed Case visited with students from Kapiʻolani Community College and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa on May 3, to hear how cybersecurity internships with the Naval Information Warfare Center (NWIC) are helping to prepare them for jobs in areas of critical need.

U.S. officials said there are more than 30,000 jobs open nationwide in cybersecurity.

The students in the cybersecurity program at the various UH campuses are learning skills and gaining experience in areas that will prepare them for a career in this fast growing field. Some of the students presented their research, which ranged from data security for healthcare to using quantum computing to provide additional layers of protection.

U.S. Rep. Ed Case
Congressman Case listens to a UH student present her research she did during an internship with the NIWC.

Case said he was impressed by what the students were learning and had access to through such a program.

“I’m trying to make sure that people come out of my school here with the skills, and to find jobs and can stay home,” the congressman said. “I’m looking at how we can help further these efforts.”

Eric Inouye, a division head at NWIC, said that of the 400 employees at the center, about 175 are engineers, and 60 are computer scientists. He said about 75% to 80% have degrees from a UH campus.

One of the students who presented, Jericho Macabante, a junior from UH Mānoa, said the opportunity has provided a lot of experience in issues facing cybersecurity.

“I’ve had the chance to work on risk assessment, gaining technical knowledge and studying different areas that are part of cybersecurity,” Macabante said. He said he looks forward to a career that will involve some aspects of his internship.

David Stevens, a faculty member from Kapiʻolani CCs Information Technology Program, created the annual NWIC internship in 2020, which has since expanded systemwide. On most UH campuses, the internship counts toward an IT student’s internship requirements for their degree/certificate.

“As teachers, we’re always looking for ways to help students overcome the barriers they often face when transitioning from academia to professional life.
The NIWC Cybersecurity Internship provides the skills and real-world experiences that help students launch a career,” Stevens said.

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