With shifts to hybrid work, IT talent continues to be in high demand across the globe. A recent report by Manpower Group suggests IT and data skills represent the largest hard-skills talent shortage worldwide.

India alone faces a shortage of 1.5M to 1.9M tech professionals by 2026. India’s National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) Future of Work report identifies access to new and diverse talent, continuous learning, upskilling of the workforce and frontline enablement as particular areas of concern.

But in line with the shift to hybrid and online work, similar trends can be found in technology education. In India, organizations such as Cisco Networking Academy partner and recent Be the Bridge award winner, EdCreate Foundation, is leading an outstanding effort to help bridge those skills gaps, and to provide opportunities for learners who may not have had the opportunity in the past.

Manas Deep, co-founder of EdCreate Foundation, says its vision is to ensure equitable education for all, by leveraging technology and technical education to impact millions of students across India.

Its aim is to build a skilled workforce that can accelerate the digital economy of India. In partnerships alongside governments and regulators it advocates global learning programs as a part of the academic curriculum to empower young people, particularly underserved students, with special learning programs.

I’m thrilled to award EdCreate Foundation a Be the Bridge award for its 2022 Skill-A-Thon. This has been a successful way to encourage competition between students, their instructors, and educational institutions, and helps students focus on a specific skills theme, such as cybersecurity, programming, or networking.

In the second edition of Skill-A-Thon in 2022, EdCreate Foundation collaborated with state governments and academies and saw more than 20,000 students participate in Cisco Certification Training, and Career and Explore courses.

Kishan Kumar
Kishan Kumar

Finding a different path

Kishan Kumar is a student at B. P. Mandal College of Engineering Madhepura in Bihar. Bihar is  a state in India where, according to India Brand Equity Foundation, 80 percent of people are employed in agricultural production. Kishan used the opportunity with EdCreate to find a different path.

“I always wanted to hone the skills which could make me employable. When I got to know about the Cisco Networking Academy program, I jumped at the opportunity and asked my NetAcad instructor to enroll me in the NetAcad course during the Skill-A-Thon,” said Kishan.

“I enjoyed collaborating with like-minded friends in the classes,” he said. “I learned problem solving skills, got the opportunity to do hands-on challenges, and completed lots of quizzes and assignments on the NetAcad portal and this holistic experience has really helped.”

“Thanks to my NetAcad credentials, I got placed with Tata Consultancy Services, which is one of the most reputable IT companies in India. This would not have been possible if I had not decided to upskill and I will always be thankful to Cisco Networking Acadamy, to my faculties for their guidance and to EdCreate Foundation.”


Kishan is just one of many students across India – many from underserved backgrounds – who benefit from the EdCreate Foundation. EdCreate Foundation is a worthy Be the Bridge Award winner, and I look forward to more outstanding programs like this in the future.

For more on the partnership between Cisco Networking Academy and EdCreate Foundation and our work with other partners in India, please visit:

EdCreate Foundation on LinkedIn



Marcella O'Shea

Regional Manager - APJ

Corporate Affairs