Cisco launches 10-year plan to train 25 million people in IT skills

As Cisco celebrates the 25e anniversary of Cisco Networking Academy, the company on Tuesday announced two new certifications and a plan to provide networking, cybersecurity and general computer training to 25 million people over the next 10 years.

Training will be delivered through the company’s networking academy, a computer skills program that offers computer courses, learning simulators and hands-on learning opportunities, supporting instructors and learners in 190 countries. To date, Cisco says more than 17.5 million learners worldwide have taken Cisco Networking Academy courses to build IT skills, with 95% of students attributing their job or post-course training opportunity to the Cisco Networking Academy.

Research has shown that more than 85 million jobs could remain vacant by 2030 because there are not enough qualified people to fill them, while simultaneously 97 million new jobs will be created by 2025 through advances in technology and automation.

Along with the commitment to equip 25 million people with diverse digital skills, Cisco Networking Academy also launched two new certification programs. The first is a cybersecurity learning path, designed to provide candidates who complete the course with entry-level certification and the skills needed to place them in entry-level security roles. Additionally, the academy’s new free Skills for All program offers students self-paced lessons, interactive tools, and professional resources, all designed by industry experts.

The new certification programs join a wide range of certifications, including the foundational Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certificate.

Cisco forms educational partnerships

Cisco also announced several educational partnerships. These include a new partnership with Experis, which will focus on delivering learning in areas such as computing, cybersecurity, networking, programming and data, where demand for skilled workers far exceed the supply. Cisco aims to place 1,000 people in new IT roles in the first year of the partnership.

Cisco is also building on its commitment at the National Cyber ​​Workforce and Education Summit in July 2022 to educate an additional 200,000 students in the United States over the next three years by partnering with governments, nonprofit organizations profit and academic institutions.

Paul Chapman, executive vice president of consulting and systems integration firm Endava, said employers around the world are struggling to meet needs exacerbated by skill gaps across industries, roles and levels. jobs, with a particular lack of individuals with the kind of skills needed by IT and cybersecurity companies.

“The solution is deceptively simple,” Chapman said. “Any talent shortage can only be solved by people who learn and grow, improve and diversify.”

He added that while recruiting remains an “essential methodology for any company looking to improve its talent”, it only solves part of the problem. In addition to hiring, Chapman said companies need to invest more actively in developing talent, focusing on capabilities that already exist internally, to strengthen their teams to thrive and stay competitive.

In comments posted alongside the announcement, Laura Quintana, vice president and general manager of Cisco Networking Academy, said that for 25 years, Cisco Networking Academy has sought to empower the underserved and underrepresented through the power of education and technology.

“We are celebrating our silver anniversary with an ambitious goal to reach 25 million people over the next 10 years and help achieve our goal of creating an inclusive future for all,” she said.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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