News Release

17 Schools in Moscow Launch Cisco Network Academy Courses to Address IT Skills Gap

Initiative includes IT competition to Qualify Graduates for Russian National Students' Cisco Networking Olympics
Apr 28, 2008

MOSCOW - April 28, 2008 - Cisco announced today that seventeen high schools in Moscow's South-Eastern Administrative District (SEAD) are updating their IT curriculum to include an IT Fundamentals course that is part of the Cisco® Network Academy program. According to IDC, in Russia the networking skills gap in 2008 year may reach 60,000 specialists. The initiative aims to address the IT skills gap, a growing issue that is recognized by governments, businesses and educational establishments alike, both world-wide and in Russia.

SEAD's administration and education departments, and the Education and Methodology Media-Center of South Eastern Regional Board of Moscow's Education Department are key supporters of this initiative.

Twenty-seven SEAD teachers that have already been trained at the Cisco Training Center* confirmed that the IT Fundamentals course provides better knowledge than the existing high school IT curriculum due to its inclusion of a networking section. Head of SEAD Regional Board of the Moscow Education Department, Albert Borisovitch Polle, highlighted that 17 SEAD schools were willing to participate in the project due to "a high level of motivation from students striving to gain more IT knowledge and skills".

More than 190 students have already applied for the Cisco Network Academy course. The program concludes in May 2008 with an IT Fundamentals competition across the 17 SEAD schools. In June, the winners will participate in the Second Russian National Students' Cisco Networking Olympics (high school section).

"Cisco is championing education initiatives to reduce the network skills gap, which prevails not only in Russia, but worldwide," said Irina Velikhova, education programs manager, Cisco Russia. "While networking is becoming increasingly important for individuals and businesses, the lack of skilled specialists undermines the basic provision of network-based services for business development. The future of networking is in the hands of today's school and college students. Education initiatives, like the National Students' Networking Olympics, demonstrate that Cisco is ready to help develop local IT skills and plug the gap in the fast growing IT industry," he explained.

The Russian National Students Cisco Networking Competition is now recognized by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation as an important initiative and has government funded prizes to encourage young talent. Cisco Students Olympics are held within the framework of Cisco Networking Academy program which celebrated its 10th anniversary last year.

IT Fundamentals I: PC Hardware and Software is a 70-hour elementary course about IT and data transfer, designed for high school students, with an emphasis on practical skills, data security and effective collaboration. The curriculum will include assembly of PCs; installation of different versions of Windows; connecting various peripherals and multimedia devices; and familiarization with LAN architectures, network protocols, OSI models and TCP/IP services. As well as network fundamentals, the course also covers network functions and configurations. On completion students become eligible for the international CompTIA A+ certification, which is recognized by leading IT vendors. The certificate is key to a successful technical career in growing sectors, such as the Data Center.

* Operating in the Moscow Technical University of Communications and Informatics (MTUCI)