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Talent Bridge Through the Eyes of the Educator

December 21, 2016 - 2 Comments

Last week, I discussed the NetAcademy and Talent Bridge program from the student’s perspective. But really, that is only half of the story. I believe it’s essential to understand the NetAcademy program from an educator’s perspective, too. Why, you ask? Because who knows students better than their own teachers.

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NetAcad instructors at ECC

Pete Avino is an Ingram Micro Solution Center Sr. Engineer, and also a NetAcad Instructor. Pete is a brilliant guy and has been a Cisco Certified instructor for the last decade at Erie Community College in New York. He’s extremely passionate about the work being done. He describes, “Talent Bridge has created the perfect storm. It caters to various types of learners – auditory, visual, and others – while teaching a technical curriculum. Having the ability to learn inside a large data center environment has created a synergistic effect between teacher and student.”

As companies and cities strive to become more digital, employees will need a breadth of knowledge across a number of high tech fields, including data analytics, security, programming, and infrastructure management. Day after day, NetAcad students are learning a technical skillset, as well as developing in other areas like problem solving, team collaboration, and critical thinking. Combine technical knowledge with a creative and innovative lens, and you have tomorrow’s workers ready to make a difference in the world. Instructors are invested in enabling and developing people – not the machines they drive. And students gain something unique – tangible and intangible skills that will carry them far beyond the walls of a data center.

Each day, NetAcad instructors across the globe take complex technology and processes and makes them simple. This creates an engaging, fulfilling, and most importantly, impactful environment for learning.  So, why is the program producing such large numbers of talent? According to Pete Avino “Simple. It’s because we speak to the class at 3 levels – we help guide them through coursework, we identify if they are going to go through Cisco certifications testing, and how we can help them take the knowledge learned and apply it to other parts of their skill set.”

This three-pronged approach is proving out. When great instructors blend time spent in the classroom with time spent in the field, positive things happen. This approach highlights a great opportunity available to folks looking to break into our industry.

Here is Pete Avino’s take on the Cisco and Ingram Micro partnership, “We’re offering exposure. Exposure to technology at Ingram Micro & Cisco combined with a deep architecture-focused perspective. By completing our courses and participating in testing, students are provided with a feel for the thought process of certification testing.”

Senior Vice President Tae Yoo leads Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility strategy and heads up the Cisco NetAcad development. Her recent blog, Skilled Talent: A Necessity for Country Development, notes that many countries face a significant shortage of workers with the right skills for digitization. Between 2005 and 2016 approximately 1.6M students reported that NetAcad helped them obtain a new job. Talent Bridge plays a large part in accelerating graduates’ access to employment opportunities around the globe. Cisco is combining technology and education with the goal of creating a pipeline of global thinkers to tackle the future’s most difficult challenges. It’s programs like Talent Bridge that aim to help actualize that pipeline for our partners. And instructors like Pete Avino who make it happen.

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  1. Nirav,
    You’re spot on with this article. I owe both Pete, Bill, Jim and the entire talent bridge my entire career, they’re an extremely valuable asset to Cisco. The networking academy was where I got my start, Ingram is where I matured and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    PS. Missed you at the last Enterprise PVT, congrats on the promotion!

  2. I was in this program at Erie Community College 4 years ago and the Cisco academy Network classes were fantastic. The instructors were all experienced andcould relate the material to applications. One of the instructors was a CCIE and he would connect into live networks and demonstrate the lessons. I work for a partner now and these classes and people made a difference. Thanks Pete, Jim, Bill and ECC.