News Release

Students Showcase Networking Skills at Cisco Contest

Networking Academy Students From 40 Countries Competed in Online Event to Win 5 US Study Trips Sponsored by Cisco
Jul 15, 2010

LONDON, July 15, 2010 - Cisco today announced the winners of International NetRiders, its prestigious Internet networking competition, which was held July 7 across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (MEA), and Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The 117 Cisco® Networking Academy® entrants participated simultaneously online, across five time zones The winners of each category will go on a sponsored study tour to California's Silicon Valley in January 2011.

Overall top male score: Toma Marini, Croatia
Overall top female score: Gordana Tanackovic, Serbia
Western Europe winner: Andreas Broerken, Germany
Central and Eastern Europe, Russia/CIS winner: Maros Kukan, Slovakia
MEA winner: Matthew Nicole, South Africa

Key Facts / Highlights

  • NetRiders is a global networking contest created by Cisco Networking Academy. Integrated into the competition are theoretical elements based on the CCNA® curricula as well as simulation activities that use the Cisco Packet Tracer tool. This software enables students to build, configure and troubleshoot virtual networks alone or in collaboration with other students, and is a popular teaching and learning tool within academies.
  • The competition supports learning and builds on skills that students acquire as they go through their training, whilst at the same time fostering the sense that participants are part of one online community, collaborating with each other across a range of shared activities using the same tools.
  • The International NetRiders contest took place on July 7. The finalists were nominated as the top three entrants from each participating country. The five winners will join winners from other NetRiders competitions around the world for a one-week study tour in California in January 2011. They will spend a working week at Cisco headquarters in San Jose; meet with senior executives, systems engineers and experts from Cisco and other information technology organisations; and experience the California lifestyle with trips to San Francisco and Stanford University.
  • Identifying top talent remains a priority for Cisco Networking Academy, as research is again pointing to skills gaps within the IT sector that could hamper productivity and competitiveness across the globe.
  • Entering the third year of the competition, the organizers interviewed last year's contestants about how participating in NetRiders had affected their professional lives. The survey(1) revealed that about half of the respondents were now working in a full-time job, most of them as IT network engineers. When asked a multiple-choice question about the benefits they saw from participating in NetRiders, almost 80 percent said they were more interested in furthering their education in networking or IT. About half of the respondents also said they had a better understanding of their next steps for career or education (answer chosen by 51 percent) and felt better prepared to present themselves to potential employers (answer chosen by 49 percent).

(1) International NetRiders, Where are you NOW? survey; 52 Individual respondents

Supporting Quote:

  • Amy Christen, vice president, Corporate Affairs and Networking Academy, Cisco
  • "Employment is top of mind across the globe and is a topic closely connected to education. Training today's youth for the jobs that will be most in demand over the next years and even decades is key in addressing unemployment. Cisco Networking Academy works with many employers who are keen to recruit top talent identified through skills assessments such as NetRiders."

Tags, Keywords:

Cisco, Cisco Networking Academy, e-learning

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About Cisco Networking Academy

Launched in 1997, Cisco Networking Academy is a partnership between Cisco, education, business, government and community organizations around the world, aimed at nurturing IT professionals. The education programme 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, more than 2 million students have graduated from a total of approximately 10,000 academies in more than 165 countries.