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Cisco reveals networking academy growth

Networking giant Cisco has hailed the success of its Networking Academy Programme (NetAcad) in the region following rapid expansion during its fiscal year to the end of July. The initiative, which grew 73% compared with the previous 12 months, has seen 45 new academies established in the Gulf during that period.

Networking giant Cisco has hailed the success of its Networking Academy Programme (NetAcad) in the region following rapid expansion during its fiscal year to the end of July. The initiative, which grew 73% compared with the previous 12 months, has seen 45 new academies established in the Gulf theatre during that period.

Cisco now boasts 111 academies in the region with half of those based in Pakistan. A further 27 are up and running in the UAE, while another 10 are located in Oman. The US-based outfit has also rolled out the scheme in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Yemen.

Samer Alkharrat, general manager at Cisco Gulf, said: “Our main objective is the success of Cisco academy students. With the support of education establishments, we have achieved tremendous growth in the number of Networking Academies and NetAcad graduates across the world. With Cisco’s roots in the education community, we strive to provide local communities access to the knowledge and skills required to succeed in an increasingly technology-dependent economy,” he added.

The expansion of the programme comes as a timely boost to the market given a recent report by IDC that suggested the Middle East IT industry is suffering from a deficit of qualified networking professionals.

Cisco claims its programme aims to bridge such skills shortages by providing a curriculum tailored to the market’s needs. The scheme combines the theory and practice of designing, developing and implementing the networks that support organisations.

Since launching NetAcad 10 years ago, Cisco has overseen the creation of 11,000 academies in more than 150 countries. The curriculum is delivered in 11 languages to over 1.9 million students worldwide.

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