ORLANDO, Fla., CiscoLive, June 24, 2008 - Underscoring its commitment to accelerate the development of technical talent across the globe, Cisco today unveiled the Cisco Learning Network (www.cisco.com/go/learnnetspace). Designed for both the seasoned professional as well as individuals considering a career in information technology (IT), the Cisco Learning Network is a Web 2.0 community that enables networking professionals to collaborate globally through document sharing, open forum discussions and idea exchanges in a dedicated environment.
Cisco is also announcing a major augmentation to its popular associate-level career certification with the introduction of three concentrations: CCNA Security, CCNA Voice and CCNA Wireless. By expanding on the competencies and skills in the CCNA curriculum, these highly specialized concentrations offer individuals a career stepping-stone into the converged technologies that make up today's sophisticated networks.
"As networks continue to stimulate economic growth, collaboration and human interaction, the need for networking talent will grow in importance. To address the growing global demand for networking talent, we estimate that we will need to double or even triple our certified individuals over the next five years," said Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, general manager of Learning@Cisco. "With the expansion of the CCNA portfolio and the launch of the Cisco Learning Network, we have added two more critical components to our companywide initiative to address the global IT talent shortage, accelerate the development of the information economy and improve the productivity of this vital technical community."
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Providing social networking features such as blogs, wikis and forums, the Cisco Learning Network enables individuals to discuss top-of-mind issues and interact with thought leaders in network design, implementation and operations. The community will also directly contribute to the continued development and co-creation of Cisco's education strategies by providing real-world community feedback that can be used for training development and assessment.
With the built-in document-sharing tool, there is now a single source for the certified community to seek out product documentation, configuration and troubleshooting advice as well as expert opinions on networking challenges. As the community develops, it will become an important resource that can be taken advantage of by IT professionals to increase productivity and address critical issues in the networks they administer.
"With the demand for IT professionals on the rise, it's great to find a centralized resource that unifies industry trends, developments and certification opportunities," said renowned author and networking expert Terry Slattery, CCIE® #1026. "The Cisco Learning Network is a great tool for individuals who are looking to learn about new technology, stay in touch with colleagues, or pursue certifications."
Growing Need for Security, Voice and Wireless Specialists
A recent study commissioned by Cisco and conducted by Forrester Consulting found that there is a pervasive need for specialized networking skills. In fact, 36 percent of the global companies surveyed reported that they have dedicated wireless specialists in their IT organizations, a number that will almost double in the next five years. Dedicated network security specialists were found in 46 percent of the companies surveyed and that number is expected to increase to 80 percent in five years. Additionally, 69 percent of the companies surveyed expect to have a dedicated voice specialist in their organizations within five years up from 40 percent currently. The survey respondents also cited the importance of certifications in their professional development. In their own career history, the IT decision-makers surveyed indicated that professional and technical certifications were second only to a four-year college degree in the qualifications needed for their position.
Reflecting the increasing specialization within networking job roles, these concentrations provide a "lifecycle of learning" blueprint for career advancement. Following are the new CCNA concentrations:
- CCNA Security - This certification confirms an individual's skills for job roles such as network security specialist, security administrator and network security support engineer. The certification validates the candidate's skills in the installation, troubleshooting and monitoring skills of network devices to maintain the integrity, confidentiality and availability of data.
- CCNA Voice - This certification confirms a candidate's skills for job roles such as voice administrator, voice engineer and voice manager. It also validates skills in voice over IP (VoIP) technologies such as IP PBX, IP telephony, handset, call control and voicemail solutions. Candidates also get exposure to the Cisco Unified Communications architecture and design for mobility, presence and TelePresence applications.
- CCNA Wireless - This certification confirms a candidate's skills for job roles such as networking associate/administrator, wireless support specialist and WLAN project manager. CCNA Wireless validates a candidate's skills in the configuration, implementation and support of Cisco wireless LANs.
To learn more about the Cisco career certification program, including course and exam availability please visit: www.cisco.com/go/learnnetspace
Cisco Press, the leader in CCNA self-study products, has products for the new CCNA Security exam already available and will publish on all CCNA concentration exams in 2008. All products will be available for purchase at:http://www.ciscopress.com/ccna