We recently introduced Cisco U., one of our newest learning initiatives, at Cisco Live. Cisco U. promises to meet the diverse global community through an inclusive digital learning experience. If you’re wondering what that means, well, I’m so glad. Inclusive learning is something that is a huge priority for me on a personal level. And as a member of the product team for Cisco U., I find myself uniquely positioned to explain how Cisco U. embraces inclusive learning.  

When I was a young girl in Pakistan, I was fascinated by technology. I spent days thirsting for new knowledge. When I got my first computer during my senior year, it was the first time I had easy, direct access to the Internet. I was completely engulfed in the possibilities. It was then that I realized my love of learning. Soon after, I graduated with my IT degree.  

I felt ready to take on the world. I was finally able to pursue a career in tech! But, as I searched for my first professional role, I could feel my heart begin to sink. 

The local market lacked tech communities. Access to learning the latest trends in tech was limited. Local tech jobs were few and far between. Despite these major barriers, I wasn’t willing to give up. Thus began the international search for a better learning and growth environment that led me to Cisco.  

My tale is not a common one, though. Many do not have the opportunity to pursue their passion as I did. Many never discover their valuation beyond a spark of potential. So you can understand my eagerness to share how Cisco is making inclusive learning a priority with Cisco U. I can personally attest that the need for inclusivity in technical learning is very real.  

Inclusive learning in an IT skills shortage 

Customers try out our Cisco U. inclusive learning experience.
Cisco Live attendees test-drive Cisco U. in the Learning & Certifications space.

Today’s demand for new IT skills* has created a global hiring challenge.** Luckily, global connectivity and access to digital learning opportunities are knocking down the barriers that once halted those with non-traditional educational backgrounds.  

Online learning enables the reskilling and upskilling of a workforce that is more diverse, aware, and eager to learn than ever. They can move into technology roles and define their careers at their own pace — not restrained by the limits of their location. 

Inclusive learning means being accessible to all 

Cisco U. makes learning material accessible across a broad spectrum of demographics. Digital learning experiences can reach people in geographic locations that might not have the ability to travel to an in-person instructor-led class, for example.  

The beauty of Cisco U. is it gives you access to free content and the opportunity to learn, despite your geography. That’s something that really hits home for me. Opportunities I could have only dreamed of as a student in Pakistan are now crucial in today’s ubiquitous learning environment.  

Cisco U. welcomes users with a motivation-based approach that helps them find content and training personalized to their needs.   

The onboarding experience is tailored to guide learners to achieve their goals. There’s a path for everyone, whether you are launching your career, transitioning from another industry into technology, or advancing in your existing field. 

Inclusive learning, powered by Cisco

Cisco has been a leader in the training and certification space for nearly three decades. I’ve seen firsthand how our programs impact learners, customers, and partners. They rely on our programs for continuous learning and growth. That’s the key to growing successful teams across the globe, in my opinion. We need to create a learning experience with content that is inclusive and accessible for all. It’s not only a good thing to do, but it’s the right thing to do.  

Cisco’s commitment to building an inclusive future for all and upholding the action items outlined by the Inclusive Future Action Office is also the foundation of our learning philosophy.As a member of the product management team in the Learning & Certifications organization, I can vouch for how we embrace Cisco’s core values to inform our product decisions. With these values as our compass, we strive to be intentional about inclusivity. We unlock new possibilities. And with Cisco U., we offer equal access to learning opportunities for everyone — everywhere.   

Inclusive learning, delivered.


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* Reskilling Revolution, World Economic Forum, 2021
**The Talent Shortage, ManpowerGroup, 2022

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Huma Hamid

Product Manager

Learning and Certifications