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Girl Scouts Wowed by Cisco Technology

Members of my Global Delivery Center (GDC) Public Sector Team at Cisco’s campus in North Carolina recently spent an evening with more than 60 Girl Scouts, who all have a passion in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

Girl Scouts, North Carolina Coastal Pines (GS-NCCP) serves girls and adults in 41 counties in central and eastern North Carolina. Through this program, girls develop leadership skills while learning the important of personal responsibility, the value of goal setting, the spirit of teamwork, and the thrill of accomplishment.

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The girls visited Cisco on July 18, when 15 Cisco employees and college interns gave them a tour of Cisco’s lab, TelePresence technology, and Security Operations. The Public Sector team led the TelePresence portion of the night, during which Cisco’s TelePresence technology was shown off to the girls with an exciting game of charades and Pictionary.

RTP_GS_2At the end of the game, we shared with the girls how the TelePresence technology is used during our day-to-day lives at Cisco. They were amazed to hear that we were able to meet with people in other states and countries all over the world with such ease.

Cisco’s Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, Padmasree Warrior, recently wrote “Girls at a young age must have something that sparks their interest in technology or science.” As the Girl Scouts entered the conference room to see another group of Girl Scouts in another building on three large screens, they shouted out beyond disbelief, “Oh! They can hear us?” By the end of the night, with quotes like “I want one of these at my house!” it was easy to see that Cisco definitely sparked every Girl Scouts’ interest in technology.

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Connection, Collaboration, and Innovation at the Cisco Networking Academy Conference

July 18, 2013 at 7:50 am PST
Cisco Executive Chairman Emeritus John Morgridge

John Morgridge

The annual Cisco Networking Academy Conference opened with a fitting tribute to celebrate its rich 15-year history. Cisco Executive Chairman Emeritus John Morgridge took the stage just days before his 80th birthday and told the audience the story of how Networking Academy was founded. Hundreds of academy instructors and Cisco staff watched in person from Cisco headquarters in San Jose, California and virtually from around the world.

According to John, there are 3 reasons why NetAcad has been such a success. First of all, it capitalized on Cisco’s strengths and capabilities. Cisco also invested for the longer term: 15 years and hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars. Finally, he mentioned and thanked the great instructors who have taught more than 4.75 million students in 165 countries since 1997. Today, NetAcad is evolving to keep up with the ever-changing educational system. One key component, according to Morgridge, is that “we test to master not to measure.”

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Networking Academy Instructors Help Close Widening Job Skills Gap

July 15, 2013 at 3:30 pm PST

Starting tomorrow, hundreds of Cisco Networking Academy instructors from the United States and Canada will travel to San Jose, California for the 2013 Academy Conference.

Networking Academy instructors prepare people to design, build, maintain, and secure computer networks. Demand for these skills is growing as more and more industries – from healthcare to entertainment to education – are relying on computer networks to do business.

In the United States, jobs in computer systems design and related services are projected to grow 45 percent between 2008 and 2018. And Canada will need 106,000 new information and communications technology (ICT) workers over the next 5 years, according to the Information and Communications Technology Council, which began partnering with Cisco to deliver the Networking Academy curricula in Canada in 1998.

Nearly 4200 instructors teach the Cisco Networking Academy curricula at 2120 high schools, community colleges, universities, military bases, and other community-based organizations in the United States and Canada. They help open doors for people like Kelly Gheesling, who says being part of the Cisco Networking Academy and getting her Cisco CCNA certification was “probably he single best thing I did for my professional career.”

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“Even though I didn’t really have any experience at all professionally in the field, I had the accreditation that I went through the Cisco Networking Academy, so they said come down, we’d like to interview you face to face,” Kelly said of her interview for a contract position at Ford Motor Company. “Next thing you know I was packing up my stuff and moving down to Columbus [Ohio] for my first job as a network engineer.”

The annual Academy Conference is a chance for instructors to meet one another, learn about updates to the NetAcad curriculum, discover new teaching technologies, tour Cisco demo labs, and more.

Cisco Networking Academy was founded in 1997 and today teaches 1 million students worldwide each year, including 174,000 in the United States and Canada. Networking Academy courses prepare students for entry-level career opportunities, continuing education, and globally recognized Cisco certifications.

Want to teach and inspire with your passion for technology? Learn how you can become a Networking Academy instructor.

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NetAcad Students Win 2 of 3 Medals in WorldSkills Competition for Networking Administration

I am still in awe at the incredible WorldSkills event that took place in Leipzig, Germany last week. It was truly amazing to see thousands of the most talented youth from around the world compete for the top title in their skill.

World Skills brings top international trainees age 23 and younger to compete for medals in 46 official disciplines — from cooking to IT networking.

The closing ceremony brought tears of joy and shouts of excitement as the names of each competition winner were unveiled, bringing to an end the intense week in Germany. Seeing the sheer joy on the winner’s faces was emotional and an experience I will never forget.

Skill #39 medal winners Takuya Nishide, Jason Soh, and  Hui-zhong Liu

Skill #39 medal winners Takuya Nishide, Jason Soh, and Hui-zhong Liu. Photo courtesy WorldSkills.

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Accelerating the shift to renewable power

July 10, 2013 at 8:00 am PST

When we announced Cisco’s new environmental sustainability goals, one goal continued to require the most clarification from both internal and external stakeholders:  having our corporate electricity emissions factor at half of the International Energy Agency (IEA) world average.

This goal, and it’s delicate wording, perhaps only makes sense to us sustainability nerds who are immersed in the Greenhouse Gas conversation…

Given the recent market report from the IEA on renewable energy, I thought a post would be useful to explain the reasoning behind this goal, and how it helps both Cisco and the planet by including this goal in our efforts.

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