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Refreshed Wireless and Design Certifications Offer Up-to-date Skills for IT Professionals

As the technology landscape continues its rapid transformation, those who work in the industry are faced with the constant challenge of keeping their skills up-to-date. To address the needs of professionals looking to build, assess and continually reinforce wireless technology or network design expertise throughout the spectrum of their career, we are announcing updates to three of our training and certification offerings: CCDA, CCDP and CCNA Wireless.

Designing Tomorrow’s Networks

Enterprise environments require networks designed for performance, availability and scalability with the flexibility to meet rapidly evolving demands. Skilled IT professionals are needed to plan, design and optimize today’s enterprise networks. Cisco’s Design certifications drive successful business outcomes by building and validating end-to-end network design skills.

Learning@cisco2The new training courses we are introducing teach Cisco network design principles that apply to enterprises of all sizes. This update to the curriculum extends the design perspective across all segments of Cisco’s Enterprise Network architectures while adding focus on new and evolving technologies such as services virtualization and programmable controller based architectures. The updated training and certification offerings are:

Updates to the design certification and training offerings include:

  • Teachings on current technologies and solutions that are leveraged in designing and optimizing reliable, scalable and resilient enterprise networks.
  • Goals that align to the promotion of a modular network design that Cisco formalized and that remains applicable to new and evolving enterprise networks.
  • Expansion of network design topics to include Network Programmability, controller based architectures and virtualized services that require a holistic design perspective in order to transform the digital enterprise.
  • Elevating the focus to consider design dependencies and considerations that span across the campus, data center, WAN and branch segments of advanced enterprise networks.
  • Additional aspects of the modular, hierarchical campus design, advanced addressing and routing to enable transitions to IPv6, optimizing WAN services, interconnecting data centers and improving overall network security.

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New IT Career Strategies for a Dynamic Technology Ecosystem

Skills such as IT management and software development have become intricately interconnected as new digital architectures enable new technologies. As a result, tech companies are innovating increasingly advanced and sophisticated solutions to meet the demands of a services-rich environment.

Collaboration environments, rich media and cloud services delivery models are examples of the many new drivers that are changing the way we operate. The massive influx of data from the growing Internet of Things is what really dictates the new requirements for the IT infrastructure: transaction times, transaction security, customer data protection, just-in-time offerings and more.

A shift in career strategy

The combination of rich architectural offerings and quickly changing business needs is creating unprecedented opportunities across the business spectrum. However, it is also placing a knowledge burden onto an evolving IT workforce, whose mandate is to become more and more focused on adding business value to their organization. What really matters is what we get from the new technology in practical terms, rather than how interesting or amazing the technology is. A good technology architect now has to be able to clearly explain the value proposition of his or her solution.

In response to this transformation, IT professionals will need to shift the way that they plan and operate their careers. New technologies are shaping the workforce of the future, and the skills needed to meet the demand of our new digital age can be built on your current foundational skill set, no matter if you come from the IT world, the services world or the software development world.

Tomorrow’s IT professionals will be comprised of an organized blend of all skill sets and will be capable of providing top-notch support, no matter which vertical they are attached to. Read More »

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Building an Agile, High-Performing Workforce for the Workplace of the Future

Technology continues to evolve at a break-neck pace, and our definition of the workplace — and how we work with our customers, partners and stakeholders — has expanded beyond the four walls of an office building. The adoption of mobile devices and cloud-based services has created an anytime, anywhere work culture. At the same time, global competition is at its greatest level, and organizations must re-evaluate how they can remain competitive and market relevant in this rigorous environment.

The need to provide products and services faster, reduce cost of operations and automate mundane tasks in order to stay competitive continues to accelerate in today’s digital world. As such, new skill sets and continued talent development are needed that address these changes currently impacting the way we work inside and outside of an organization. This isn’t an obstacle just central to the U.S. or certain markets. This is a global challenge, and will require organizations to rethink how they evolve, retrain and reskill their workforce to best complement this new way of working.

For instance, sales and marketing departments have had to adjust to this digital transformation; nowadays the vast majority of marketing is now done online through mobile and social channels. Manufacturing skills are also changing, the way we design products are changing, and the way we collaborate is changing. Across the board, significant development of new technology skills is needed.

Approximately 90 percent of technology jobs are expected to change in this new digital economy in order to keep up with new business models and technologies, which leaves us with a massive skills transition in the workforce. At the same time, there will be an estimated shortage of between 38-40 million college-educated workers by 2020, which means organizations will be competing for a relatively small pool of talent.

To keep employees up to speed on the skills they now require mandates access to pertinent information and learning, and real-time access to experts on the job, every day.

The time has come for a next-generation workforce solution to empower customers with the digital tools and technology they need to access information, experts, learning, and knowledge in real time – anytime, anywhere. To that end, Cisco is unveiling its new cloud-based, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) knowledge platform: Cisco Collaborative Knowledge. The platform is designed to help customers reshape the way they work, learn, collaborate and innovate together, creating a smarter, more productive organization.

Cisco Collab Knowledge pic

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Introducing the Industry Talent Consortium

The Internet of Everything (IoE) will connect people, data, processes and things into a vast web of communication that is already dramatically changing how we live and work. Cisco projects that by next year, 25 billion devices will be connected, and that number will double by 2020. This expanded and enhanced connectivity carries tremendous opportunities for organizations and individuals as job roles and networks change.

An irony exists, though, in the midst of all this new opportunity. There are over 11 million unemployed people in the US today, yet 45 percent of employers cannot find qualified candidates for open jobs. Klaus Schwab, Chairman of the World Economic Forum, encapsulates our current dilemma: “We have entered a global economy where talent and skills shortages challenge economic and business growth around the world.”

The debate about whether the skills gap exists is over. It is real, and it is serious. The 2014 Cisco Annual Security Report indicates a shortage of more than a million security professionals across the globe in 2014. Employers are facing challenges finding people with the necessary skills for new industry jobs such as data scientists, cybersecurity specialists, industrial network engineers, mobile app developers and network programmers.

The business outcomes, productivity gains and organizational efficiencies that are attainable through IoT can only be achieved with a skilled and competent workforce. There is a need for reskilling the existing talent pool and bringing new employees into the workforce to align with the skills needed for the future.

A skills gap of this magnitude must be met head-on and as quickly as possible. It’s too big for any one entity to tackle; it requires a group of dedicated stakeholders. Toward that end, the IoTWF Steering Committee is introducing an Industry Talent Consortium It’s a gathering of employers, academia, industry change agents and human capital solution providers to connect talent who have pre-requisite skills to employers – after necessary training and certifications.

Key players in each of these areas will bring their subject matter expertise to the table:

  • Academia (The New York Academy of Sciences, MIT, Stanford) will help prepare students through degree programs, professional development and in partnering with companies to provide training for the jobs of the future.
  • Human Capital Solution Providers (Careerbuilder) will help identify top jobs, regions, supply/demand and skill gaps.
  • Employers (Rockwell Automation, Davra Networks, GE) are looking to hire individuals for the new job roles.
  • Change Agents (Cisco, Xerox, Rockwell Automation, Udacity, Pearson, Knod) will create education curriculum, training and certifications that will help train and validate the skills needed for the new jobs.

Working together, we will identify skill gaps, find talent with the right background to up-skill or re-skill, create and implement the needed training and certification programs, recruit them into appropriate degree or certificate programs and hire that talent for the jobs that will power the Internet of Everything. The Industry Talent Consortium is, in a real sense, a battle stance on behalf of our collective, connected future. The Consortium will continue to evolve, adding new contributing partners as its scope and scale increases.

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Tackling the Cybersecurity Skills Gap

The demand for skilled IT security professionals is growing everyday in both the private and public sector, and much of today’s security training is dangerously out of step with current threats.

A recent Ponemon Cyber Attack study found that cyber crime was up 78% in 2013 vs. 2012, with resolution and recovery time more than doubling over the past year, costing organizations tens of millions of dollars annually.

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