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Information Technology students told to equip themselves to meet growing demand-supply gap

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ACADEMY inaugurated: Sandy Walsh, Asia Pacific Regional Manager, Educational Programmes and Corporate Responsibility, CISCO Systems, Singapore, inaugurating the CISCO Networking Academy at VIT University in Vellore on Friday.
ACADEMY inaugurated: Sandy Walsh, Asia Pacific Regional Manager, Educational Programmes and Corporate Responsibility, CISCO Systems, Singapore, inaugurating the CISCO Networking Academy at VIT University in Vellore on Friday.

Special Correspondent

“They should be tech-savvy with a greater understanding of fundamentals”

VELLORE: The demand-supply gap in advanced technology skills in networking is increasing at a faster rate, and it will be up to students in computer science and related subjects to equip themselves in view of the opening up of tremendous opportunities in the field, according to Sandy Walsh, Asia Pacific Regional Manager, Educational Programmes and Corporate Responsibility, Cisco Systems, Singapore.

Inaugurating the Cisco Networking Academy at the VIT University campus here on Friday, Ms. Walsh said that while the number of persons skilled in networking technology was 1.13 lakh (22 per cent) less than the demand in 2006 world over, it was projected that the gap would go up to 2.21 lakh (26 per cent) in 2009. The gap is expected to go up to 3.75 lakh in 2009.

As the Net became more pervasive and more and more feaures being added to it, the demand for networking skills would automatically go up.

Technology avalanche

Ms. Walsh said, “Today there is a technology avalanche, which will enable unprecedented capabilities and bring with it unpredictable opportunities for innovation.” The businesses and the Government would need to adjust themselves more to the rapid changes taking place in the field of networking. Employees will need to develop different skills.

They should be tech-savvy with a greater understanding of the fundamentals, and also possess business acumen. The Cisco Networking Academy official said that the academy has created 10,000 opportunities for students including 3,397 in India. In the Asia Pacific region, the academy has 1.05 lakh students studying in 1,277 centres, 27 per cent of them being women. If the students completed one of the courses offered by the academy, they were eligible to join the Cisco Alumni Programme, which enabled them for continued access to the academy’s curriculum, networking opportunities, and resources for the workplace.

Research collaboration

Sekar Viswanathan, Pro-Chancellor, VIT University, said that the Cisco Networking Academy and the VITU could collaborate in research and placements besides having exchange of faculty. Anand A. Samuel, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the VITU, said that the university wanted to establish a Centre of Excellence in Networking, which would focus on state-of-the-art research. M. Khalid, Dean, School of Computing Sciences, spoke. Mohan Kumar, Manager (Systems), proposed a vote of thanks.

Later talking to newspersons, Ms. Walsh said that the Cisco Networking Academy already offered a 280-hour course for the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) for the entry-level students at the VITU. It would henceforth offer the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) course as well.

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