Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 1.33.02 PMThis post was written by guest blogger Tracy Granlund, a project manager with the Networking Academy Student Advocacy Team

Earlier this year, we had the privilege of hosting the 19 winners from the 2013 Cisco Networking Academy International NetRiders competitions on a week-long study trip to Cisco’s headquarters in San Jose, California.

What is NetRiders? These competitions are open to students currently or recently enrolled in a Cisco Networking Academy course. Through them, students learn valuable networking and IT skills through a series of online exams and simulation activities.

During the week-long study trip, some of the winners shared their thoughts on Cisco Networking Academy and the NetRiders competitions in the Cisco TV studio.

Cisco Networking Academy prepares people in 170 countries to design, build, maintain, and secure computer networks, the backbone of today’s economy. Since 1997, more than 5 million people worldwide have participated in the program.

NetRiders Skills Competitions are a great way for Cisco Networking Academy students to test their networking and IT skills. We are starting to schedule national competitions for 2014, and we encourage Cisco Networking Academy students and instructors to check the page for their region on www.academynetriders.com over the coming months as we add more dates and countries.

All participating countries host a Cisco CCNA competition geared toward CCNA Routing and Switching certification. In addition, some countries also hold a Cisco CCENT and/or a Cisco IT Essentials competition.  The competitions are composed of online exams that normally take place in one or two rounds and are normally proctored by a Cisco Networking Academy instructor.  Each round includes a theoretical exam and a practical exam utilizing Cisco Packet Tracer, a simulation program, to resolve a networking dilemma.

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 1.01.05 PM

Over the years, many NetRiders competitors have shared how their participation has helped them prepare for certification exams, challenge themselves, and get jobs.  Some of those stories can be found on the NetRiders Champions page or on the I Got a Job page on our NetAcad Advantage site.

We asked some of our 2013 winners to share their advice to other students who are considering participating in NetRiders this year. Here is what they said:

  • Just do it! It is not just about winning – it’s about the process of learning beyond the classroom.
  • Enter it! You do not lose anything, but you get an opportunity to test your skills against other competitors from all over the world. Before the competition starts review the material and think over your tactics as you will be really short in time, and you will have to make your decisions quickly. Check out the Practice Site to get familiar with the overall competition spirit and the type of questions you may encounter.
  • Do not necessarily try to be better than someone else, but try to be better than you were before. Believe in yourself and your own career dream.
  • Stick to the basics and know all the core concepts there is to know.
  • Join the competition even if you haven’t completed CCNA 4.  NetRiders generates a great experience for future certification.
  • That it is a great opportunity to share and demonstrate your knowledge about what you learned, what you are learning and what you will learn.
  • Absolutely go for it: It’s worth your time, your effort, and is an opportunity you may otherwise very well regret passing up.
  • Even if you think you may not be able to make it, it is a great experience to enter and see some of the problems that come up and being able to troubleshoot them. And who knows, maybe you do have the knowledge and skills to win the entire competition. You will not know unless you try.

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 1.01.19 PM

So, what are you waiting for?  In 2013, we ran NetRiders competitions in 97 countries.  Do you have what it takes to compete?  Are you ready to challenge yourself?  If so, we may be welcoming you to Cisco headquarters in January 2015 as one of the 2014 International NetRiders CCNA Skills Competition winners.

Find out more about Cisco Networking Academy’s 2014 NetRiders Competitions.


Alexis Raymond

Senior Manager

Chief Sustainability Office