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Technology for Good

Learning & Digital Skills Development

Through Cisco Networking Academy, we’re providing global and inclusive access for people to participate in the evolving digital workforce.

Cisco Networking Academy

Cisco Networking Academy’s best-in-class curriculum prepares learners for the most in-demand technology jobs in areas such as networking, network automation and programmability, cybersecurity, and IoT. And while hands-on and remote learning with physical equipment and the powerful network simulation tool Cisco Packet Tracer has always set Networking Academy apart, we continue to develop new ways to use virtual equipment and environments through remote access and virtual/augmented reality to advance remote learning.

The program is appropriate for those as young as 13 years old, those pursuing higher education and college, and those seeking a new career path. It is delivered through academic institutions, nonprofits, and directly to students, allowing the program to reach diverse learners and educators in 180 countries. With 34 percent of its 2.3 million participants in fiscal 2020 from North and South America, 29 percent from APJC, and 37 percent from EMEAR (44 percent of which are from Africa and the Middle East), Cisco Networking Academy is making major strides to help address the global technology skills gap. The program is:

  • Comprehensive. A skills-to-jobs learning experience where students work in teams and develop skills they will use in the workplace.
  • Accessible. Content is available through instructor-led or online self-paced courses and through compatible assistive technologies. More information available at https://www.netacad.com/accessibility. It’s also localized in up to 25 languages worldwide.
  • Future-focused. Students can access career resources and connect to potential employers through the Talent Bridge program.
  • Proven. Year after year, students say the program provides valuable skills that help them obtain jobs and grow their careers.

Students

There is ample data on the career benefits of Cisco Networking Academy participation. Between 2005 (when exit surveys began) and 2020, the program helped 2.7 million students who completed Cisco career certification or IT Essentials courses obtain a new job. Among students who complete Cisco CCNA networking coursework, 95 percent obtain a job and/or educational opportunity, according to these same surveys.

Career resources from the Talent Bridge program are a powerful way we prepare and connect students to jobs. Talent Bridge meets students on their journey, whether they are just starting their studies, are mid-way through, or about to launch into the tech workforce. It offers resources like:

  • An online job matching engine (available in 15 languages)
  • Experience-building activities like Dream Team
  • Career advice (on-demand and self-enroll)
  • An alumni network on LinkedIn
  • Virtual career fairs

This is Networking Academy

On netacad.com, former students share advice on how they navigated learning, starting and even changing their careers.

Through the efforts of bridging the gap between our featured employers and our students, the visibility and awareness of Networking Academy has grown with our channel partners and through our Talent Bridge program. Since it started in fiscal 2015, the Talent Bridge program (inclusive of the Talent Bridge Matching Engine) has helped over 30,000 students find a job. According to our 2020 Networking Academy Student Outcomes Survey, Talent Bridge participants are:

  • 3x more likely to have a job with Cisco or its partners/distributors compared to non-participants.
  • More likely to find a new job and have a faster time to employment than non-participating students.
  • More likely to have a job than students who did not participate in Talent Bridge activities.

For students looking for an extra edge, there’s the Networking Academy Dream Team. Through this program, instructors nominate students to participate in a short-term project providing IT support for major events like Cisco Live, Global Citizen Festival, and major international sports events. By setting up equipment, providing help desk support, and working in teams, students gain valuable on-the-job experience. And this experience makes them highly employable. Learn more about the program's impact on some of our fiscal 2020 Dream Team members.

28,400
instructors
22%
of instructors
are women

Instructors

Skilled and passionate instructors are essential to Networking Academy’s success. We offer comprehensive professional development and training for our instructors throughout the year. The Instructor Professional Development (IPD) program is designed to ensure our instructor community is well-trained on the latest Networking Academy portfolio offerings while being up-to-speed with the most relevant technological advancements in network automation and programmability, software, cybersecurity, and IoT domains. Instructors have access to different communities within Cisco where they interact directly and share insights with product teams and peer experts. Additionally, feedback from instructors on program direction and enhancements is collected through surveys and instructor advisory boards around the world. This data collection also helps us understand the impact of Networking Academy on instructors’ lives and careers.

Partners

Partnerships with governments, academic institutions, and nonprofits make the Networking Academy program possible. We continue to grow this network. Some of these partners support underserved and rural populations, veterans, prisoners, and people with disabilities. We also partner with governments and NGOs, helping them grow their skilled workforce to power a competitive digital economy. As part of our efforts to make access inclusive, Networking Academy is free to eligible education partners.