This International Teachers Day, we would like to highlight someone very exceptional – Cisco Networking Academy instructor Rebecca Harrop. Rebecca is a specialist in computer networking and security, and senior lecturer of cybersecurity at the University of Bedfordshire. She is also an associate lecturer in computer networking, cybersecurity micro credential consultant, and co-author with the Open University.

Rebecca Harrop teaching hands-on IT skills. Photo credit: Mark Phillips
Rebecca Harrop teaching hands-on IT skills. Photo credit: Mark Phillips

This year she celebrates her 20th year as a Cisco Networking Academy instructor. Rebecca was a long-standing manager of a Cisco Networking Academy and Cybersecurity lab at Barnet and Southgate College. She’s also a loving mom of two young children – and in her spare time continues to upskill, most recently obtaining CCNA Security and CyberOps certifications.

Throughout Rebecca’s career, she has successfully trained thousands of students in professional computing skills and inspired many from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds to pursue a career in IT. The diversity of the students she teaches is apparent – from a 59-year-old grandmother working to complete her bachelor of science degree to students with disabilities who learn to create LAN cables and configure networks independently. Always an advocate for teaching real-world skills that translate directly to the workplace, Rebecca was voted “Role Model of the Year” in the 2019 Women in IT Excellence Awards.

As a Cisco Networking Academy instructor, Rebecca teaches the following courses: CyberOps Associate, CCNA Security, Cybersecurity Essentials, IT Essentials, CCNA, and many more. She has taught in the classroom, online, and in a hybrid learning model, and is accredited for teaching with acknowledgements and awards by professional bodies for professional certifications.

“Even at its very worst, teaching is helping someone who is lost to take steps forward. At its best, it is running alongside them on a path of discovery, pointing out all the cool and useful stuff along the way.”

Rebecca is well-respected in the field and on occasion appears  as a technical guest speaker at professional conferences to share her expertise at parliamentary groups for the national cyber strategy and CompTIA events. Prior to teaching, Rebecca completed a psychology degree at the University of St. Andrews, specializing in cognitive thinking and computing, cyber-psychology, neural networks, and artificial intelligence. She also gained a first class master’s degree, on an ESRC scholarship, in cognitive science at the University of Dundee.

Highly experienced in cybersecurity, Rebecca explains what makes it so relevant today:

“In today’s world, where every aspect of our lives involves the exchange of digital data, there is more than just a chronic lack of cybersecurity professionals – there is an absolute need for every person to be responsible for information security. Cybersecurity protects the most valuable asset we have – ourselves. If data is now the currency of our world, then everyone needs to keep a hand on their wallet, because cyber-pickpockets operate in all areas.”

Rebecca has been rated consistently as an excellent instructor in lesson observations and course feedback. Also, she has been granted an Instructor Excellence Award in recognition of her lasting contribution to the Cisco Networking Academy program. We can’t thank her enough for her passion, contribution and commitment to the field.


Sarah Hurd

Marketing Communications Content Specialist

Corporate Affairs