Promoting Economic Development

Scholarship programs developed by Cisco offer valuable opportunities for career advancement in economically-disadvantaged countries such as Nepal

In Nepal, not many women have the opportunity or resources to further their education or find work in the technology industry, but Cisco hopes to change that by providing scholarships for women to enroll in Cisco Networking Academy courses. Kajal Shiwakoti is a scholarship recipient who firmly believes that the Networking Academy can accelerate technological progress in Nepal, and hopes more women will embark on this journey toward success.

In a country where many girls do not have an opportunity to complete tertiary education, Shiwakoti is working toward a master’s degree at the Kathmandu College of Management while gaining technical skills through Cisco Networking Academy. Her interest in computers prompted her to apply for a Cisco scholarship for women. The scholarship provided a point of entry into the networking industry for Shiwakoti. “After I enrolled in the program, I started to develop a keen interest in networking,” she recalls.

Although networking tends to be a male-dominated field, Shiwakoti notes that more women are interested in joining the industry. “The scholarships provided by Cisco help girls get enrolled in networking,” Shiwakoti remarks. Many Nepalese students are grateful for the scholarships. “Nepal is a poor country and we have a very small budget set aside for technology and computing. Those who wish to study these subjects generally need to go overseas; an option reserved for the very rich,” Shiwakoti explains. “A lot of us don’t have the money needed to study these courses.”

Since joining the Networking Academy, Shiwakoti has benefited from learning basic network processes such as routing and switching, and gained newfound confidence along the way. “I was introduced to new topics such as server computing and high-speed networking,” says Shiwakoti. “I gathered hands-on experience with networking devices and acquired greater knowledge. I’m now able to configure devices and troubleshoot problems that occur in networks.” Shiwakoti adds that the program has also helped prepare her for future job opportunities.

Being equipped with these types of skills is important since networking may provide the foundation for Nepal’s growth in the technology sector. Shiwakoti feels that in the current age of information, social, economic, and political issues can be tackled with networking. She hopes there will be more facilities and funding set aside for technology and computing, and that networking education and resources will become more affordable and accessible to Nepalese citizens.