News Release

Cisco Systems to Spearhead Internet Education Program in Malaysia from Multimedia Super Corridor

Internet networking leader may also showcase next-generation technologies and concepts such as the Internet Home in MSC
Aug 27, 2001

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- 27 August 2001 -- Cisco Systems today announced that it is spearheading its Cisco Networking Academy program for Malaysia out of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC). The company is also exploring ways to showcase next-generation technologies and concepts such as the Internet Home in the MSC.

Cisco was recently awarded MSC Status by the Multimedia Development Corporation, a standing awarded to companies that commit to contributing to the development goals of the MSC. Cisco submitted its application for MSC Status in June this year.

The Cisco Networking Academy program is a global networking education initiative designed to prepare students to meet the challenges of the 21st Century. The program is a philanthropic effort by Cisco to bridge the digital divide. The non-profit initiative reflects Cisco's commitment and contribution to the education and training of the future generations of knowledge workers. With a curriculum developed by education and networking experts, the Networking Academy program is offered by high schools, technical schools, colleges and universities, community-based organizations, and other educational institutions.

The Networking Academy program is also an e-learning model that delivers Web-based educational content, online testing, student performance tracking, and instructor training and support, as well as hands-on labs. The e-learning technologies and methodologies used by the program will be an important value-add to the MSC.

Cisco currently has two Regional Networking Academies in UiTM, and UNIMAS in Sarawak. Regional Academies are responsible for recruiting, managing and supporting affiliated schools as Local Academies.

"The Internet is as relevant, if not more so, today than it has ever been before," said Shaifubahrim Saleh, Managing Director of Cisco Systems (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. "We started the Cisco Networking Academy in the US more than five years ago to address the shortage of skilled networking professionals in the industry. The rapid global success of the program proves that we were right about the impact the Internet was having on economies around the world."

"We are confident that the program will be just as successful in Malaysia. We are committed to contributing to the development of the knowledge economy in the country and the best place to start is in the schools", he added.

Cisco expects the Networking Academy program to produce about 3,000 skilled professionals over a 5-year period. These knowledge workers will be proficient in vendor-neutral communications, networking and Internet technologies. The program's curriculum also prepares students for industry-standard certifications such as Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP). These certifications are the first step in Cisco career certifications and lead to the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE), the industry's most respected qualification for network professionals.

"The skills they acquire will complement strategic MSC initiatives to create the ideal multimedia environment that will attract world-class IT companies to use the MSC as their hub, by helping to create sufficient quantities of suitably qualified knowledge workers that will be required by IT companies setting up operations in the MSC," he explained.

Cisco estimates that there will be 1.3 million openings globally for Internet and networking specialists by the year 2003. In Asia Pacific, the demand will be for 200,000 skilled professionals by the same period. Malaysian industry observers have estimated a shortfall of 40,000 IT technical personnel in Malaysia over the next few years.

In the future, Cisco will explore showcasing next-generation technologies and concepts such as the Internet Home as well as providing networking labs in the MSC to facilitate R&D activities.

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