ICT and Networking solutions company, Cisco Systems is celebrating 20 years of up-skilling millions of young people through its flagship CSR programme, the Cisco Networking Academy (NetAcad) in Nigeria.
Since its inception in 1997, the NetAcad has reached 7.8 million students, 9,600 educational institutions including schools, colleges and universities in more than 180 countries across the world.
The NetAcad is the world’s largest technology classroom, partnering closely with 22,000 educators to deliver a curriculum that gives students digital, problem-solving and entrepreneurial skills needed to get a job, promotion or start entrepreneurial businesses.
In Nigeria alone, the NetAcad has trained over 101,000 students (of which 41 per cent are female) in the past 20 years, and currently has over 32, 000 active students and an instructor population of 218 in 167 Academies, seven Academy Support Centre (ASCs) and nine Instructor Training Centre (ITCs).
With many industries experiencing a shortage of IT talent, NetAcad is developing a pipeline of IT talent to support digitisation in Nigeria.
The firm’s core focus of curriculum stays true to Cisco’s expertise in networking and security, and we are adding coursework in emerging fields like Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics in a way that is in line with the future of education and business trends.
Speaking at a conference, Cisco Regional Manager, Corporate Affairs, Sub-Saharan Africa, Alfie Hamid, explained that, “Cisco Networking Academy plays an essential role in Cisco’s commitment to positively impact over one billion people by 2025 through digitisation. For 20 years, Cisco Networking Academy has enabled people from all works of life to form part of the digital economy, positively changing the lives, incomes, and narratives of their families.”
Also speaking, Cisco’s General Manager in Nigeria, Olakunle Oloruntimehin, expressed the Nigerian arm’s commitment to advancing skills in ICT saying, “as we celebrate 20 years of innovative IT teaching, we are proud that the Cisco Networking Academy has contributed to the growth of IT workforce in the country.”
The crown jewel of Cisco Systems’ offerings is their Cisco Certified Network Associate curriculum (CCNA). CCNA curriculum includes basic mitigation of security threats, introduction to wireless networking concepts and terminology, and performance-based skills.
It’s aligns to industry recognised certification—which is what potential employers are looking for. This curriculum can be a gateway to a number of careers—network technician, support engineer, network administrator, network designer, network engineer, amongst others.
The Networking Academy learning experience includes e-learning curricula; personalised assessments; and hands-on opportunities such as labs, networking simulation software, competitions, and hackathons. Its global cloud-scale learning and assessment platform supports advanced simulations that model the evolution of digitisation. It also provides improved analytics and insights that optimise the learning experience for students and inform programme development.