Cisco to train 100,000 Indians into Web experts by 2005

This world-wide force in networking solutions says that the skills shortage facing the high-tech industry today will only get worse as demand for services strengthens, and is taking action to ease the strain.

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By  Colin Browne Published  January 21, 2001

Cisco Systems will establish training academies in India to produce about 100,000 Internet professionals, in a move to combat an expected shortage of such personnel by 2005.

During a two-day visit to India at the start of an Asian tour, Cisco chief executive officer John Chambers said the company will establish 34 regional networking academies and use India as a major base for software development.

According to Indian Information Technology minister Pramod Mahajan, the world is likely to face a shortage of two million Internet professionals by 2005.

Chambers said a training drive in the United States had produced 100,000 qualified staff over five years. "I think this is a very reasonable number for India [as well]," he said.

In addition to investing about US$8.6 million to help set up these academies, Cisco will spend about $2 million to set up a centre to develop related technology skills.

The Cisco Networking Academy programme has about 5,900 academies worldwide now, with about 150,000 students learning how to design, build and maintain computer networks.

Chambers said he discussed with Mahajan how spending on Information Technology infrastructure will power overall economic growth in the coming years, and the importance of government-business partnerships.

Cisco already has two software-development centres in India, in addition to about 1,500 dedicated engineers working for Cisco in three Indian companies.

In the last quarter of 2000, Lebanon's University of Saint Joseph gained Cisco Networking Academy status, bringing the concept into the Middle East region.

The University, like its counterparts in India. is a training hub for other education institutions in the country, assisting them to develop their own capabilities in teaching the basics on Information Technology.

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