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Making New Connections In Russia: First-Ever Mobile CCIE Lab Opens in Kazan

- December 18, 2014 - 0 Comments

The Internet of Everything (IoE) continues to drive network demands and, parallel to this, international needs for skilled networking professionals are on the rise. World Bank Studies estimate that over the next ten years there will be two million unfilled ICT-related jobs globally. To connect the unconnected, it is estimated that 220,000 new engineers are required every year between 2014 and 2022. To meet these growing requirements, Learning@Cisco is constantly on the lookout for ways to partner with higher education institutions and governments worldwide to provide training and certification for in-demand skills. Our CCIE Mobile Labs are one facet of this strategy.

Learning@Cisco recently opened a Mobile CCIE Lab in Kazan, capital of the Republic of Tatarstan (one of Russia’s dozens of regions.) This represents the first CCIE Mobile Lab to ever be offered outside of Cisco premises. It marks the first time the mobile labs have reached Russia’s regions, outside previous operations in Moscow and select locations across the globe.CCIE certifications are of the highest level of achievement for network professionals, which will help Russian IT pros further their careers while also providing Russia with a workforce of highly skilled networking professionals who have the capabilities to help usher in IoE.

The launch and operation of the CCIE Lab will support the additional objective of transforming Kazan into a “smart and safe city.” The President of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov, is moving rapidly toward his goal of making Kazan the smartest city in Russia and one of the five smartest cities in the world. His strategy is to create a city platform to enhance the interaction between government and citizens by sourcing local solutions by citizens, for citizens. Cisco has partnered with President Minnikhanov, the Mayor of Kazan and the Kazan Federal University in recently opening an Innovation Hub at the University to turn this goal into a reality.

Certification exams will be offered in Kazan for CCIE Routing and Switching, CCIE Security, CCIE Service Provider, CCIE Collaboration and CCIE Data Center (recently added). These one-day exams offered for five days on a quarterly basis provide students greater access to lab testing than they would otherwise have. The fully equipped, eight-hour lab exam provides CCIE students with greater access to lab equipment while also testing their ability to configure actual equipment and get the network running in a timed-test scenario.

In the first mobile lab, held at the beginning of September, we were able to test 12 IT specialists from Moscow, St. Petersburg, the Republic of Tatarstan, and Uzbekistan. The successful launch of the testing lab lends great momentum to the global expansion of our CCIE program and to our focus on improving access to Mobile CCIE Labs. These labs provide a convenient and cost-effective method for students to test for CCIE Routing and Switching, CCIE Security, CCIE Service Provider and CCIE Data Center in areas that do not have permanent lab locations. The Mobile CCIE Lab reduces the need for costly travel; hotel, passport and visa fees; and the need to leave the country to take the CCIE Lab exam. As a result of the successful launch, we will be testing in the mobile lab regularly.

In further support of these initiatives, Wim Elfrink, Cisco’s Executive Vice President, Industry Solutions & Chief Globalization Officer, recently kicked off the University’s first Hackathon in which, after 48 hours of non-stop effort, the nine teams involved created innovative solutions for the city, ranging from Smart Lighting to Smart Bicycle alarm systems to Smart Shop queues. He also addressed 300 eager undergraduates at the Kazan Federal University in Tatarstan on the IoE.

These popular events demonstrated again great interest by the local youth in Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) and IoE. That’s good news, because Russia will need a skilled workforce in order to take advantage of IoE’s opportunities. Our studies show that IoE can drive $273 billion of economic benefit over the next decade in Russia. The depth of engineering talent in Russia places them, as a country, in a very strong position to capitalize on this value – and quickly. If other countries want to enjoy their share of IoE’s potential, they would do well to follow Russia’s proactive, right-now example of reskilling current workers and preparing future workers for our interconnected world.

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