For the fourth UNESCO International Day of Education, the theme “Changing Course, Transforming Education” addresses three main issues: Our relationships with each other; with nature; and with technology.

The global report that informs the theme of this year’s Day of Education, Reimagining our futures together: A new social contract for education, highlights issues that Cisco Networking Academy has addressed since its inception.

For example, inclusiveness and accessibility are core to Networking Academy, which has enabled over 15 million learners worldwide since 1997. Illustrating this further, women represent 25 percent of all participants and we’ve trained nearly 120 thousand people who declared diverse abilities since 2019.

But it is where the Reimagining our Futures report suggests that “learning must be relevant to the world of work” that shows the core purpose of the Networking Academy program: To provide learners best-in-class, inclusive skills-to-jobs pathways to empower even more people worldwide with career possibilities.



Worldwide 95 percent of Networking Academy students who completed a Cisco certification-ready course, such as CyberOps Associate and CCNA, obtained a job or further education opportunities. Based on fiscal 2021 exist survey data of Networking Academy students taking Cisco certification courses:

• 96% said that the program had a positive impact on their life.
• 94% said that they used the skills they learned in their daily lives.
• 92% said the skills they learned were important to their current job.
• 95% said the skills they learned were important to their career overall.


I believe it is this real-world relevance that not only inspires our learners, but also our instructors and partners, whose enthusiasm and motivation make Networking Academy what it is today.

Every year, Cisco celebrates its Networking Academy partners’ many achievements with the Be the Bridge Awards, recognizing organizations and individuals who have gone above and beyond expectations to provide learners with impactful results.

Here are just a few of these pioneering educators we have recognized:

  • Keith Davis, of the Camden Dream Center in New Jersey and educational partner, applied to be an intermediary with the U.S., Department of Labor leading to two approved apprenticeship programs that now use Networking Academy’s curriculum. This positions the Camden Dream Center as a conduit between employers and academies that are interested in apprenticeship opportunities and the opportunity continues to foster collaboration and the building of new relationships.
  • Yuliya Tanasyuk, of the Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University; Serhii Martsenko, of Ternopil University; and Anatolii Chepynoha, of Cherkasy State Technological University, served as the Networking Academy steering committee in Ukraine, strengthening the educator community and enabling growth.
  • In North Africa, Belal Mohamed of Skills Plus Egypt, achieved CCNA and CCNP certification while helping trainees in Egypt overcome financial restrictions by participating in the Fresh Grads Initiative and voluntarily offering his time and effort.
  • Malin Borghager and Olga Torstensson of Halmstad University in Sweden spearheaded efforts to get Networking Academy instructor accreditation for 18 instructors from the European Cybercrime Training and Education Group, and a plan to deliver CCNA Introduction to Networks and CyberOps Associate courses across Sweden, Romania, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Ireland, Greece, Belgium, Iceland, Austria, and Cyprus.
  • Ligang Lu of Southwest Petroleum University in China is a devoted DevNet Associate teacher and evangelist, personally training more than 100 DevNet instructors many at university professor level, for a new and relatively difficult course, despite challenging Covid circumstances.

As Cisco Networking Academy continues to evolve and grow with new mobile platforms such as Skills for All, which aims to reach even more learners, I’d like to thank all the instructors in our 12,000 partner organizations around the globe for their enthusiasm and commitment. It is thanks to them that we can continue to impact the lives of learners from diverse backgrounds in 180 countries, powering opportunities and an Inclusive Future for All.

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Katherine Carvalho

Senior Director

Cisco Networking Academy