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.”

Michael Yutrzenka
Michael Yutrzenka

The next general session speaker was Michael Yutrzenka who spoke on “Trends, Technology, and Networking Academy.”  He is the Senior Director of Corporate Affairs for the Global Engagement Organization in Asia, the United States, and Canada. He emphasized the need to proliferate the Networking Academy program model. “I hope that the instructors in the schools share what they are delivering so it can influence other courses,” Michael said. “NetAcad has a chance to influence the use of enabling technology in education.”


Cisco Networking Academy Leaders: Omar Shaban, Mary de Wysocki, Gary Coleman, Harbrinder Kang
Cisco Networking Academy Leaders: Omar Shaban, Mary de Wysocki, Gary Coman, Harbrinder Kang

The opening day of the conference finished with an overview by the Networking Academy leadership team. A big topic was NetSpace, the program’s new technology platform with built-in learning and collaboration experiences. According to Harbrinder Kang, Cisco Corporate Affairs Senior Director, “with NetSpace as a platform, we can create the environment and conditions to solve some of the world’s biggest problems. Those conditions are when you can enable connection, collaboration, and innovation.”

The day was inspiring and informative alike, creating an atmosphere of in-person collaboration and innovation that will strengthen the online instructor community online. John Morgridge seemed to summarize the feelings of the instructors and the staff alike when he said, “I hope I can speak in another 15 years at the 30th anniversary of Cisco Networking Academy.”

Read more about Cisco Networking Academy at csr.cisco.com.


Jennifer Barr

Social Media Manager, Online Brand

Cisco Talent Acquisition