Cisco Networking Academy graduate Megan Chapman says that she “didn’t know how to open a computer case” when she started the program, but she’s now in demand. “I got a job in IT right out of college,” she notes, “and I’m constantly presented with new opportunities. I love it!” Megan’s post-Networking Academy success isn’t surprising: 90% percent of organizations report a shortage of potential new hires with technical skills, and nearly 800,000 technology-related jobs are available in the U.S. alone. (Read the infographic.) A combination of soft skills and strong capabilities in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) can open many doors.

Students not only learn technology, they learn it on a team, helping others, discovering individual strengths.

—Engineer/Cisco Networking Academy Instructor

And open doors also mean higher salaries. Having any IT certification means a new hire can earn 22% more than an uncertified peer.

Overcoming the skills gap
Cisco Networking Academy is helping students like Megan overcome the skills gap. Since the program was launched two decades ago, more than 9.2 million students in 180 countries have learned computer networking, programming, IoT, cybersecurity, entrepreneurship, and more. As this interactive infographic shows, in the U.S., the numbers are no less significant: 1.6 million students, more than 1800 academies, across all 50 states—for an in-kind contribution to easing the skills gap of $747 million. Even students in my small home state of New Hampshire have benefited. In New Hampshire, 1400 students currently take advantage of programs delivered in 14 academies offered at high schools and colleges across the state. See what’s happening in your home state, or find an academy near you.

Empowering women in STEM
Cisco Networking Academy is educating women who want to build careers in IT. Worldwide, 28% of Networking Academy students are women, and in Megan Chapman’s home state of North Carolina—where almost 1300 women are enrolled in Networking Academy courses—the program is preparing women for careers that are in worldwide demand.

Cisco Networking Academy empowers women in IT, helping to close the skills and wage gaps.

Networking Academy is Cisco’s longest-running corporate social responsibility program and is supported worldwide by public-private partnerships with educational institutions, nonprofits, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government agencies, and community centers. Visit the Networking Academy website to learn more.

Read Why Cisco? to learn more about Cisco in education. To discover more about the solutions that prepare students for the world of work, visit cisco.com/go/education.


Donna Eason

Global Customer Marketing Writer