News Release

Cisco Launches Knowledge Competition in Latin America to Award and Identify the Best Talents in the Region

Netriders competition to connect leading talent with businesses needing IT professionals
Apr 20, 2009


MIAMI, Florida, April 20, 2009 - Cisco today announced the launch of Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders 2009, a region-wide knowledge competition which aims to identify and recognize the most promising individuals in networking technology across most of the countries in Latin America. The competition includes the approximately 140,000 existing students that are currently enrolled in the Cisco Networking Academy program in the region.

According to the "Networking Skills Gap in Latin America 2008" study conducted by IDC, the demand for Latin American professionals with Internetworking skills will outpace supply by nearly 27 percent by the year 2010. The shortage equates to nearly 90,000 qualified professionals to meet the expected demand. Network technologies represent a growth engine with a powerful influence over sectors in the areas of production, commerce and services, which helps contribute to the increase of gross domestic product of the Latin American countries.

Highlights / Key Facts:













  • NetRiders 2009 is one of the key initiatives under the Cisco Networking Academy program that Cisco is promoting to foster training and employment for the Latin American region's socio-economic development.
  • The competition is oriented to students currently enrolled in any Cisco Networking Academy course, who will have to pass online evaluation tests based on content related to network design, deploy and management. Prizes and acknowledgements will be given for the best performers per country or sub-regions that are part of the Latin American continent - as described in the program regulations.
  • There will be three qualifying phases with theoretical and practical exams in the area of networking. All current students from Cisco Networking Academy program in the region are eligible to participate and compete for the best ranked positions, based on performance.
  • The top 20 participants with the highest scores in each country will be included in a ranking posted on the Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders 2009 website, with the goal of identifying top talent. This website will be available for more than 4,500 Cisco registered channel partners in Latin America, as well as for thousands of Cisco and non-Cisco users that may require qualified personnel for the networking areas.
  • Five finalists, representing the different regions of Latin America, will remain after the third phase of the competition, all of whom will compete to obtain the first place in the Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders 2009.
  • Registration for the Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders 2009 starts on April 20th of 2009, at

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Supporting Quotes:



"Through this type of initiative of using technology for education, we have two major goals: We are looking to create awareness around technology talent that can be available to the Latin American employers and to continue to invest together with our Academic Partners in generating greater volume of qualified resources in order to improve the socio economic development of our countries in this information era."

"Internet extends education, communication and collaboration to each person connected to a network, and makes time and place irrelevant. Any country that can offer employees with adequate training and skills will be better equipped for the future."



"Education in the 21st Century is largely based on a new environment that includes collaboration and innovative ways of using technology to foster the learning process as required by today's students and labor market. Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders 2009 is a unique opportunity for thousands of students to collaborate, compete, have fun as they learn, obtain international experience, and recognition for their knowledge in the management of network technologies. Additionally, those best rated will have a real awareness opportunity to be accessed by the employment market."

  • Jaime Valles, vice president, Cisco Latin America<
  • Ricardo Santos, regional manager, Networking Academy, Cisco Latin America

Tags / Keywords:

Cisco Networking Academy, Talent development, Networking Skills Gap, Education

About the Cisco Networking Academy

Launched in 1997, the Cisco Networking Academy is a collaboration among Cisco, education, business, government and community organizations around the world, aimed at nurturing IT professionals. The program employs an e-learning model, using a combination of Web-based and instructor-led training along with a hands-on lab environment to teach students how to design, build and maintain computer networks. Worldwide, have more than 2.75 million students from a total of approximately 9,000 academies in 165 countries.