Cisco Networking Academy Celebrates 20 Years in Canada
Corporate News, Cisco Canada, Education
TORONTO - November 8, 2017 - Cisco Canada is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Cisco Networking Academy, an IT skills and career building program available to learning institutions and individuals worldwide. Since 1997, 172,160 students in Canada have gained the technical and entrepreneurial skills they need to succeed in the digital economy through the Cisco Networking Academy program.
Networking Academy is Cisco’s longest-running and largest corporate social responsibility program. Curriculum, tools, resources, and instructor training are provided free of charge to academy partners, which include high schools, colleges, universities, and other non-profit community organizations. In Canada, 211 institutions and 481 trained instructors participate in the program. In the last 20 years, the program has reached 7.8 million students in 180 countries.
With many industries experiencing a shortage of IT talent, Cisco Networking Academy is developing a pipeline of IT talent to support digitization in Canada. The core focus of our curriculum stays true to Cisco’s expertise in networking and security, and we are adding coursework in emerging fields like Internet of Things and data analytics in a way that is in line with the future of education and business trends.
Toronto and Winnipeg are just two of the cities in Canada where Cisco Networking Academy has made the most impact.
Charles ‘Baz’ Bazilewich, a teacher at Winnipeg’s Sisler High School and a graduate student of Cisco Networking Academy himself, has successfully implemented Networking Academy into numerous school programs, resulting in the creation of The Sisler Network & Cyber Security Academy in 2015. The first of its kind in Canada, the academy specializes in IT education to ensure Manitoba High School students are introduced to relevant technologies in grade 9 and supported through grade 12. In addition, Baz has helped students launch an anti-cyber bullying program and encouraged increased participation in the program among female pupils.
“I had a poor GPA in high school because I didn’t apply myself,” says Bazilewich. “I didn’t get one compulsory credit in Grade 12, but I had a full football scholarship. That's just the type of student I was: invisible and knew everything there was to know, especially that football was going to pay my bills. I didn’t get it. The Cisco Networking Academy gave me the confidence to get my first Cisco certification, and now after years of college and University post-secondary education, I’m working on my graduate studies in education. It gave me the confidence to actually get this all started, which is the honest truth. So whatever I can do to help these students, I’m all in.”
Cisco Networking Academy has over the past 20 years consistently sought to fill the IT skills gap in Canada, where it is predicted that by 2019 there will be nearly 182,000 IT jobs unfilled due to lack of skilled people.
The Networking Academy learning experience includes e-learning curricula; personalized assessments; and hands-on opportunities such as labs, networking simulation software, competitions, and hackathons. Our global cloud-scale learning and assessment platform supports advanced simulations that model the evolution of digitization. It also provides improved analytics and insights that optimize the learning experience for students and inform program development.
Commenting on the contribution Networking Academy makes in Canada, Rola Dagher, president of Cisco Canada said: “Networking Academy has been a vital component of Cisco’s commitment to fostering digitization in Canada and ensuring that all generations have the necessary IT skills to take advantage of the many career opportunities on the horizon. We are extremely proud of the last 20 years and look forward to creating even more success stories in the future.”
To see more about the Networking Academy 20th anniversary, visit: https://www.netacad.com/twenty
To learn more about Sisler High School and its use of Networking Academy, download the PDF: https://www.netacad.com/documents/312593995/0/CANADA-SislerHS-Baz-GirlsTeam-CyberPatriot.pdf/511ea72a-d7ba-4ff5-9131-147306039fc3
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The Information and Communications Technology Council, The Smart Economy Reshaping Canada’s Workforce, 2015