Cisco Networking Academy Raises Profile of IT Careers

It’s been a good year for the Cisco Networking Academy, which has the mission of promoting IT careers to high school and college students. The past 12 months have included unprecedented levels of interest in the program’s Job Shadow Day and networking events, as well as a visit to an Academy site from President Bush.

“It’s going really well,” said Gene Longo, senior manager of the Cisco Networking Academy’s field operations. “I feel really good about the visibility over the past few months. It’s interesting: As we have moved forward on a variety of levels, there’s actually been a lot of involvement with different groups within Cisco, from the channels group to the sales organization to even some folks in HR. I think that the big consensus out there is that there’s a need for more people, and I think that’s good news for students and graduates of the Academy program. It’s starting to be a good time again. I think it’s starting to help people realize that we have to stay competitive as a nation. We have to engage students back into engineering-, scientific- and technology-oriented programs.”

The program scored a major public relations coup a few months ago when an Academy site hosted then-Secretary of the Treasury John Snow during his visit to Cisco offices, Longo said. “We took him to a local community college. They had students that represented every segment. They had a high school student who was taking the course part time because…



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