Mert Kilic mastered his networking courses, exceled in a national IT contest, launched a career, and is now helping other young people in Turkey aspire to similar success

As a foreign exchange student in Alaska, Mert Kilic participated in the Cisco Networking Academy program at Mat-Su Career and Technical High School. Determined to gain as much knowledge and technical skill as possible, he accelerated his studies so he could complete the entire CCNA networking course in one year before returning to Turkey. Kilic also teamed up with a classmate to compete in the Cisco NetRiders Skills Challenge, an interactive contest for Networking Academy participants to showcase their IT and networking skills. His team finished fourth among 850 students from the United States and Canada.

Success Generates Scholarships, IT Job Offers

Kilic's success in the NetRiders competition and mastery of his networking coursework translated to multiple job and scholarship offers. He began working as a network expert and security consultant for a private company while only a freshman at Yasar University. He also enrolled in the CCNA Security course to earn globally recognized certification.

"I can easily say there is no such thing as 'impossible' in the IT sector after I experienced courses in the Cisco Networking Academy," Kilic says. "The program explains complicated concepts clearly and provides strong, solid skills and knowledge about information technology."

Teaching IT and Networking Skills to Others

Kilic wants to do more than just further his own IT career; he wants to empower others through knowledge and technology. He partnered with Cisco, other volunteers in his region, and the SPARK Project to teach Networking Academy courses to economically disadvantaged youth. As a volunteer IT Essentials course instructor, Kilic can multiply the impact of his own experience by preparing other young people to enter and succeed in the information-based global economy.