Cisco’s Shared Value Initiative
The Cisco Networking Academy programme was launched in 1997 to help students develop foundational ICT skills along with other career skills such as problem solving, collaboration, critical thinking and an entrepreneurial mindset. The hands-on learning activities and network simulations are filling a growing need for ICT & networking professionals around the world.
Through a public-private partnership model, Cisco works with educational institutions, non-profits and nongovernmental organisations, governments, and community centres that provide classroom space, computer lab equipment, and qualified instructors. Cisco provides online curricula, teacher training, and professional development for instructors, as well as career and employment focused programmes for students.
Networking Academy courses include rich multimedia content, interactive activities, videos, games, simulations,
and quizzes to support a variety of learning styles and help increase knowledge retention. The course model combines classroom instruction with online curricula, interactive tools, hands-on activities, and online assessments that provide immediate feedback to learners and teachers. The Academy helps students prepare for entry-level ICT jobs, pursue additional training or education, and earn globally recognised certification so they can maintain the IT infrastructure and services that form the backbone of global economy.
Shared Value for Business and Society
Since the launch of the programme in 1997, more than 5.5 million people have participated in the Networking Academy and more than 9,000 institutions across 170 countries, including schools, universities, community centres, and other non-profits, offer the Networking Academy programme today. Between 2005 and 2013, 1.2 million students have obtained new jobs after completing the core Networking Academy curriculum.
The Networking Academy has built an ecosystem that connects and generates Shared Value for students, educators and employers. At the same time, the Networking Academy provides an opportunity to familiarize the students and educators with Cisco’s own products and services, which generates student brand loyalty and preference,which often leads to a desire to work for Cisco and with Cisco technology.
Other key business value generated for Cisco includes reduced barriers to business growth through decreased IT skill gaps in key markets, not just for Cisco but for customers and partners, which expands the overall market opportunity for Cisco. The programme also leads to an improved reputation among key stakeholders, especially with governments, where skills and education are key national agenda issues. In the age of Internet of Things, the demand for IT skills is ever growing. Continuous investment in the Networking Academy by Cisco is bringing up-to-date curricula for the industry, enhanced employment outcomes for students, and solid foundations for the company’s business growth.