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Interview with Professor Rick Hansen: Why I Hire Current Capitol Tech Students

It is well-known that Capitol Technology University’s students have close mentee-mentor relationships with professors and are highly sought after by employers post-graduation, but it may not be as well-known that some students are hired by professors.

Rick Hansen, for example, a Professor of Practice in Cybersecurity at Capitol Tech, has hired students for over two decades starting with Electronic Engineering Technology students in 1999.  

Professor Hansen hires current students at all levels, though he is currently looking for undergraduate students to work for him. As an alumni of Capitol Tech himself, Professor Hansen knows that students of the university are prepared for real-world work.

“I hire current students and graduates of Capitol tech because they have practical hands-on experience,” said Professor Hansen, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering from Capitol College and a master’s degree in Computer Science from the Johns Hopkins University. “In other words, when things go wrong, they can “find a way or make one.”

Professor Hansen also mentors and supports student projects from the university’s Cybersecurity program; the Astronautical Engineering Program; and the Cybersecurity Competition Team, called Signal 9. He also provides outreach to government and industry and researches topics such as Cybersecurity for the Internet of Things, application of Socratic Learning for technology training & education, autonomous vehicle communications & countermeasures, and Entrepreneurship. Professor Hansen is a military veteran and serves as the CEO of a Cybersecurity and Research firm.

Even before finishing their degree, Professor Hansen says Capitol Tech students are ready to work.

“Students of our cybersecurity program already have a thorough knowledge of the basics,” Professor Hansen said. “I hire based on attitude and help them apply their knowledge and learn.”

The university was built on the principal that students should be taught practical skills using models of education that focus on industry knowledge that can be applied immediately.

“Capitol Tech has always been had an advantage based on our students’ ability to write, research, and work with managers and technicians,” Professor Hansen said. “The founder, Eugene Rietzke, designed courses so students had to learn in the classroom, apply theory in labs, and write well-structured reports. This covers multiple learning modalities and provides students’ the fundamentals required to work with technicians and communicate with management and customers.