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Connecting the World to the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, Canada

With 31 venues, 364 medal events, 7,000 athletes, 1 million attendees, 650 hours of online coverage, and 23,000 volunteers, the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, Canada were one of the largest international multi-sport competitions ever. And to broadcast the nearly month-long event, organizers needed a massive network capable of reaching every corner of the globe.

To do that, technology-sponsor Cisco tapped local Cisco Networking Academies to build the technology to power the games. Working with Cisco Systems engineers, students were given a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience, build out their resumes, receive mentoring and training, and gain exposure to potential workplaces. The program was designed to showcase the potential of the students for employers and highlight their unique skills in a professional setting. From behind-the-scenes to the podiums of a world-stage sporting event, the students were given the chance to gain the experience needed to stand out in a competitive job market.

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Say “Hello” to the Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders Winners

Technology has the power to connect more than just computers, routers, or switches. In the right hands, it can connect people from all corners of the world. And for 11 students from 11 different countries, this week’s Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders grand prize trip to San Jose, California is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do just that. As winners of the annual NetRiders competition, they have the chance to discover new IT career paths, network with industry experts, and learn how they can use their skills to someday solve the world’s most pressing social issues.

Meet this year's group of NetRiders winners; they're the future of the IT industry.

Meet this year’s group of NetRiders winners; they’re the future of the IT industry.

Current and recent Cisco Networking Academy students can compete in NetRiders, an interactive networking skills contest from May to October that motivates students to pursue future education and training in the technology field. During the competition, students take a timed theoretical exam, a Packet Tracer exam, and participate in a network simulation activity — hands-on challenges designed to put their knowledge of Networking Academy curriculum to the test.

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How The Internet of Everything Will Change The Job Market

This blog was originally published on the Huffington Post

Students in Milan learning the importance of the Internet of Everything during their hands-on lessons in IT.

Students in Milan learning the importance of the Internet of Everything during their hands-on lessons in IT.

The Internet of Everything (IoE) is poised to generate broad implications across technology and business markets — and especially jobs. Last year, there were more than 201 million people unemployed globally, and this number is expected to increase by three million in 2015 and eight million in the following four years. In fact, the World Economic Forum ranked unemployment as the highest economic risk in terms of probability of occurrence. There is a clear connection between IoE and the job opportunities it creates, which can help alleviate this unemployment challenge, especially among youth.

A new Gartner study, supported by Cisco Corporate Affairs – the “Cisco IoE / IoT Employment Opportunity Creation Analysis” defines the landscape of job opportunities related to IoE. This will be the most exciting phase of the Internet yet, and Cisco believes its impact on society will be five to 10 times greater than the impact of the Internet to date. According to Vision Mobile, there will be 4.5 million entrepreneurs, innovators, and developers working on projects related to IoE by 2020.

In this new report, Gartner predicts that by 2020, four industries will comprise the majority of business services and applications spend: manufacturing, utilities, transportation, and healthcare. In addition, the fastest growing job families from 2014 to 2020 will be digital security and privacy by 28 percent; applications development by 26 percent, application support by 30 percent; systems operations by 29 percent; business analytics by 30 percent; and product design and experience by 29 percent.

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Young People Show Off Their IT Skills at Global Competition

It’s hard to believe 2 years have already passed since I first experienced WorldSkills in Leipzig, Germany. The intensity and energy of the week were unforgettable, so I’m excited to be back this year, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to experience it again.

I always feel inspired meeting young people who take their skills to the next level. WorldSkills is one of the best events to do just that – this vigorous 4-day competition tests young people’s vocational skills, ranging from hairdressing to carpentry to robotics to IT network systems administration. More than 1000 competitors travel from 50+ countries around the world with the hopes to take home a medal at the end of the week.

Cisco is a strong supporter of World Skills and the opportunity it provides for young people to showcase their talent. Specifically we sponsor Skill #39, IT Network Systems Administration. This year we will meet top talent from 36 countries who will compete in Skill #39 – the largest number in this skill ever. And, approximately 90% of them are enrolled in Cisco Networking Academy courses.

Jean-Philippe Desbiens represented Canada in Skill #39 at WorldSkills 2013. He was later hired  by Cisco in Montreal.

Jean-Philippe Desbiens represented Canada in Skill #39 at WorldSkills 2013. He was later hired by Cisco in Montreal.

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IT Competitions Unleash Critical Thinking and Hone Job Skills

One year from now more than 10,500 athletes from 205 National Olympic Committees will put their skills and perseverance to the test at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Next year’s medal winners may go on to become professional athletes, role models, and commercial spokespeople – for many, the visibility and success they achieve in front of an international audience launches their careers.

Most of us are familiar with the world’s largest international multi-sport event. But it might surprise you to learn that next week a different kind of global competition will take place in Brazil. Instead of tennis, swimming, or gymnastics, next week’s participants will show off their abilities in 50 professional fields – ranging from carpentry and cooking to robotics and web design.

Held every two years, the WorldSkills competition inspires and prepares today’s young people to become the skilled professionals of tomorrow. Participants also gain hands-on experience that helps them stand out with employers.

The Internet of Everything economy will create many opportunities for creative, tech-savvy people everywhere. As a WorldSkills Global Partner, Cisco provides networking infrastructure and sponsors an entire segment of the competition – IT Network Systems Administration, or Skill #39.

A student competes in Skill #39, IT Network Systems Administration, at WorldSkills 2013 in Leipzig, Germany. About 90% of Skill #39 competitors participate in Cisco Networking Academy. Photo courtesy WorldSkills.

A student competes in Skill #39, IT Network Systems Administration, at WorldSkills 2013 in Leipzig, Germany. About 90% of Skill #39 competitors participate in Cisco Networking Academy. Photo courtesy WorldSkills.

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