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UH student interns and Overwatch League staff help prepare ahead of the Overwatch League’s Midseason Madness in 2022 at UH Mānoa.

A first-of-its-kind esports pathways program will launch this fall for University of Hawaiʻi students, as well as eligible Hawaiʻi residents through Good Jobs Hawaiʻi.

The free program consists of nine credits (SOCs 150 and COM 201 in fall 2024 and SOCs 489 in summer 2025) and a 150-hour internship in summer 2025. This is the first program from college to the esports industry in the state for students who want to learn more about careers in esports. After completing this program, participants will at least be qualified for entry level positions in the industry. This pathway program is designed to lead to a certificate program within the next year.

UH Mānoa is hosting the program and working in partnership with Kapiʻolani Community College. UH Mānoa esports program director Nyle Sky Kauweloa is the lead instructor for the courses and manages the program.

Kauweloa said the program is geared towards freshmen and sophomores, especially at the community colleges, who have long expressed their interests in the video games/esports industries, but due to various constraints have been unable to fully participate in the growth around esports in Hawaiʻi.

“The goal is to have this cohort of students better prepared with established contacts, relationships and knowledge to start finding sustainable work in esports from Hawaiʻi,” Kauweloa said. “This is an unprecedented move by the state to support a pathway experience in esports with the support of the community, higher education and industry.”

Current UH System students as well as Hawaiʻi residents who are not currently enrolled at a UH campus are invited to apply for the free courses through the Good Jobs Hawaiʻi website. Kauweloa is also hosting a virtual informational session for interested applicants on July 17 at 4 p.m. Visit this link for the informational session.

Vanta Esports is the program’s industry partner for the summer 2025 internship.

“We are excited to participate in the UH (Good Jobs Hawaiʻi) esports pathway program this year,” said Ed Lallier, co-founder and chief revenue officer at Vanta. “It is a meaningful program that will have a significant impact on the local economy. It’s also great to have the state of Hawaiʻi financially support this initiative to help increase skill development and address critical needs in today’s job market. Skills learned through this program will give students opportunities to earn high paying jobs so they can afford a quality lifestyle on the island.”

Under Kauweloa’s leadership, the UH Mānoa esports program has achieved global prominence, winning national collegiate program of the year in 2022, ranking in the top 5 nationally in multiple games and placing several students in successful international esports internships and jobs.

UH Esports receives funding from the Academy for Creative Media System. Visit the UH Esports team’s X and Discord. More stories on UH’s esports program.

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