News Release

Cisco "Promoting IT Careers" Initiative Builds on Strength of Cisco Networking Academy Program

Anticipated Shortage of IT Professionals Sparks Effort to Attract More Technology Students
Jun 06, 2006

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 6, 2006 - The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that demand for information technology (IT) professionals will grow by nearly 50 percent through 2012, with more than 1.5 million new computer- and IT-related job openings. The same study reports that the United States will have only half that many qualified graduates due to the declining number of students enrolling in math and science courses. To address this trend, Cisco Systems® and the Cisco Networking Academy® Program are teaming to promote IT careers in the United States. The multifaceted initiative includes Job Shadow Days, NetWork Strategic Recruiting Events and All-Academy Days.

"The main focus of the Promoting IT Careers initiative is to raise awareness of the need for IT professionals, position Cisco Networking Academy Program students for the best chance at employment, and provide Cisco partners and customers with a skilled selection of IT workers to help their businesses grow," said Gene Longo, senior manager, Cisco Networking Academy Program Field Operations, United States and Canada. "The initiative underscores the Cisco Networking Academy Program's commitment to provide access to the knowledge-based economy for students of all backgrounds, enabling them to further their educational and occupational goals, while keeping America competitive in the global economy."

In conjunction with National Job Shadow Day which began earlier this year, Cisco, its business partners and customers, began helping thousands of students from the Cisco Networking Academy Program learn firsthand about working in the IT industry. This season, Cisco hosted more than 100 Job Shadow Day events across North America, featuring technology demonstrations, facility tours, and the opportunity for students to hear directly from a variety of technology professionals about what a career in IT entails. This year, the Cisco Networking Academy Program provided nearly 3,100 students with the opportunity to interact with industry professionals through its Job Shadow Day efforts. Cisco has donated more than 1,200 volunteer hours from 230 volunteers this year to help ensure the success and impact of the Job Shadow program. Additionally, the Cisco Foundation is providing over $10,000 in funds benefiting Junior Achievement of America to match Cisco volunteer hours at Job Shadow Day events.

Cisco is also hosting a series of NetWork Strategic Recruiting Events throughout the United States as a pilot project. The NetWork Strategic Recruiting Events link students and alumni of the Cisco Networking Academy Program with potential employers. Cisco is identifying partners with current openings and coordinating with local Cisco Networking Academy Program schools to recommend qualified candidates. Events were held last fall in Long Beach and San Jose, Calif.; Phoenix, Ariz.; and in Chicago, Denver, Seattle, Minneapolis, Boston, Atlanta, and New York. Events have been held this year in Grand Rapids, Mich.; Cleveland, Ohio; Raleigh, N.C.; Garden Grove, Calif.; Syracuse, N.Y.; and the Maryland-D.C. area.

All-Academy Days enable Cisco Networking Academy Program students and instructors to celebrate careers in networking with a day of informal competitions, presentations and fun. Cisco Networking Academy Program schools can establish small teams to compete in events such as router troubleshooting, computer repair, cable building and quiz bowls. Employers are invited to judge the competitions.

For more information about the Promote IT Careers Initiative, visit

For more information about the Cisco Networking Academy Program, visit