Cisco has announced its goal to provide digital skills training to 25 million learners over the next ten years through its Cisco Networking Academy programme. By 2025, 97 million new jobs will be created due to advances in technology and automation. Cisco is helping millions of people around the globe gain access to those jobs by empowering the workforce of the future with education and career opportunities through its Networking Academy.
Founded in 1997, the Cisco Networking Academy is celebrating its 25 anniversary. It continues to be one of the longest-standing IT skills-to-jobs programmes in the world. The Cisco Networking Academy provides high-quality IT courses, learning simulators, and hands-on learning opportunities via a learning platform to support instructors and engage learners in 190 countries. To date, over 17.5 million global learners have taken Cisco Networking Academy courses to gain digital skills. Additionally, 95% of students that have taken Cisco certification-aligned courses have attributed obtaining a job or education opportunity to the Cisco Networking Academy.
Cisco Networking Academy’s impact in sub-Saharan Africa
Since the introduction of the Cisco Networking Academy in sub-Saharan Africa, more than 1.07 million people have been trained and upskilled.
During Cisco’s 2022 fiscal year alone, more than 345,000 people were enrolled in Cisco Networking Academy courses across 50 countries in the region. These students were supported by approximately 2,427 instructors, working across 906 academies in sub-Saharan Africa.
Many of these people were trained in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa. In Nigeria, the programme has upskilled 411,194 people, in South Africa, 189,272 people benefitted from the programme, and in Kenya, 104,978 people received digital skills training. The 2022 cohort shows that the programme is growing from strength to strength, increasing its ability to train people at scale. There are currently 123,132 people enrolled in Nigeria, and 29,558 enrolled in Kenya.
The 2022 cohort also shows that the Networking Academy is making significant progress towards the meaningful inclusion and upliftment of women in the technology industry. In South Africa, 61% of the current intake of 82,219 students are female. This dedication to inclusivity also translates to instructors, where out of a total of 1,127 instructors, 574 were female (51%).
With 50 academies in Kenya, 228 in Nigeria, and 172 in South Africa, it’s clear that the programme is well-positioned to provide skills training to prepare the region for in-demand digital jobs.
Hani Raad (pictured top), the MD of Cisco sub-Saharan Africa, commented: “We are very proud of the Cisco Networking Academy’s regional achievements where they have succeeded in bridging digital divides for underrepresented and underserved communities with partners who share the same values. These significant partnerships comprise educational institutions, governments, corporations, and NGOs. Our shared purpose is to drive an inclusive future for all. To this end, our goal is to empower 25 million global learners with digital and cybersecurity skills over the next 10 years.”
As the Cisco Networking Academy continues to grow and promote new training and education opportunities, it will leverage the latest programmes and partnerships that are essential to developing the digital skills needed for an inclusive future, including:
- The recent launch of Skills for All, a free, mobile-first programme that delivers leading-edge learning experiences, including self-paced courses, interactive tools, and career resources that are designed by industry experts.
- A new cybersecurity learning pathway culminating in an entry-level certification that will provide learners with skills needed to earn entry-level security jobs in the fast-growing security industry sector.
- Continued development of partnerships with governments, such as Cisco’s commitment at the National Cyber Workforce and Education Summit in July 2022 to train an additional 200,000 students in the US over the next three years, and partnerships with non-profits and academic institutions to bring more courses and opportunities to learners around the world.