Leverage technology for growth
Companies should assess their business models on a regular basis and make adjustments as needed to set them up for growth. This includes making continuous upgrades to products, processes or internal structures as well as changing external partners if necessary.
To contribute to society and continue growing its business, Cisco’s leadership realized the world needed more people who understand networking technology and can participate in its future benefits. Launched in 1997, Cisco’s Networking Academy programme teaches students IT and career-building skills. In so doing, the company helps fill a pressing IT skills gap across industries while building the capacity for its future workforce; today, graduates of the programme are an important source of talent for Cisco’s businesses as well as for the company’s customers and partners.
“We are helping to build the digital workforce of tomorrow – a generation of global problem-solvers who can innovate as technologists, think as entrepreneurs and act as social change agents. This in turn builds Cisco’s reputation as a trusted adviser and accelerates demand for our products and services.”
Katharine Mulvany, Vice-President, Corporate Affairs, Cisco
In the first year, Cisco launched 37 Networking Academies in seven states across the United States. Almost 20 years later, that number has grown to more than 9,500 academies in over 170 countries that benefit 1 million students a year. Because all course materials are delivered online over the internet, Networking Academy was able to grow rapidly, sharing content with a worldwide network of academies, instructors and students.
Students and instructors worldwide are connected to the same standardized materials online, enabling a consistent experience of instruction, learning and skills building. Over 146 million online student assessments have been administered to date, providing the company with the aggregate data required to adapt and improve its curricula and instructor training to the evolving needs of students and employers.
Over the years, Cisco has continually invested in the Networking Academy learning platform, its global network of 20,000 instructors, and its Facebook community of 900,000 active users, to ensure students are prepared for industry-recognized certifications, entry level IT jobs and the digital economy. The market relevance of the skills gained is underscored by nearly a decade of student exit surveys from 2005 through 2014, during which time 1.3 million students, or 42% of the total, reported the Networking Academy training directly contributed to their getting a new job. “Graduates definitely stand out in our interview process,” said Jonathan Walker, Manager of Cisco Services. “They have all the basics in technical skills, but they also bring an enthusiasm for the technology that sets them apart from other candidates.”
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