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Cisco’s Palestine Investment Commitment Featured in Forbes Magazine

The August 12 issue of Forbes magazine features Cisco’s investment to fuel job creation and economic development in the Palestinian information and communications technology (ICT) industry.

Cisco CEO John Chambers on the cover of Forbes

After visiting Ramallah in 2008, Cisco CEO John Chambers pledged to help develop the ICT sector in the Palestinian Territories.

“We do this because we want to change the world. And we don’t do it on a small scale. It’s nice to help a village, but the key is how do you help a country?” Cisco CEO John Chambers says in Forbes.

In 2008, Cisco began outsourcing projects from its Israeli office to three companies in the Palestine Territories. Those firms have since reported a 65 percent increase in their workforces.

Forbes contributor Richard Behar writes, “Cisco’s efforts created a ripple effect, bringing in other American tech giants, which also use their Israel offices to work across the border. And as U.S. companies got Palestinian companies comfortable with working with entities based in Israel, large Israeli tech companies have been able to establish relationships, too. … HP now outsources some of its research and development to the West Bank. Microsoft Israel has started putting Palestinian engineers in Ramallah on its payroll.”

Indeed, according to a June 2012 report on the Palestinian Investment Commitment by Mission Measurement, Palestinian ICT firms reported a 64 percent increase in international client work from 2009 to 2012.

Cisco ultimately contributed US$15 million to the initiative, including millions of dollars in incubation, venture capital, and equity funding for ICT companies, and a capacity building program for entrepreneurs.

Read the complete Forbes article featuring Cisco’s Palestine Investment Commitment.

In a separate piece, Behar describes Cisco’s capacity building program for Palestinian entrepreneurs, which provides training and mentoring for CEOs and managers. Behar attended two of the training sessions “in rooms filled with Palestinian CEOs and mid-level managers being coached by Israeli Jewish tech experts.” Seventy Palestinians from 24 different companies have participated in 100 days of trainings since 2011.

Read about the capacity building program in Forbes.

The video below features Tareq Maayah, founder of Ramallah-based Exalt Technologies, one of the three companies that undertook outsourcing work from Cisco.

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

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

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.”


“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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5 Reasons to Study Networking Technology Now

Gary_ComanThis post was written by Gary Coman, who oversees engineering and development for Cisco Networking Academy. It originally appeared on the Huffington Post

I love my job and I want you to love yours too. I meet people of all ages, everywhere in the world who are shaping the future of their communities and transforming their lives. As director of engineering with the Cisco Networking Academy, I am part of a global community dedicated to training the next generation of networking technology professionals who will design, build, and dream up the technology networks that will connect everyone, everywhere. They will change the way we work, live, play and learn.

Whether you’re just planning a career or considering a career change, here are 5 reasons you should include computer networking in your course studies.

1. Opportunities abound

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