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Q and A

Question 1:

Are they working with any NGOs who are providing other types of job-related training to low-income adults who are either unemployed or underemployed.  If so, which countries - which groups?

Answer:

Developing Countries.where we are working directly with NGO's:

Philippines - (World Bank), Ayala Foundation. Meralco Foundation, Myrant Foundation
India - SEWA in UP and also establishing 5 other all-female academies (3 currently set up) - each will have a scholarship fund and  a job placement component.
El Salvador -  Salesian Mission technical schools, training and job placement
Mexico -
South Africa - Sangonet, Youth Development Trust, SOS Foundation - 2 more NGO's will be selected in this project.
West Bank - Gaza - Welfare Association,  This includes a scholarship fund and job placement.  UNRWA - training centers,  SalesForce.com Foundation in US is sponsoring an academy in Ramallah.    
Cameroon - ASAFE - (with UNDP support too)
Ghana - 31st December Women's Movement (NGO of former First Lady)
Benin - World Women Education
Bulgaria (UNDP project)
Jordan - UNIFEM project includes job placement  for all 10 academy sites- YWCA, is an NGO also included as an Academy
Korea (in discussion) with 2 NGO's
Jamaica - Heart Foundation and Jamaica Government (UNDP project)

Other NGO's we are working with in Africa but are not gender specific programs:

Guinea LA is at an NGO:  Internet Society of Guinea
Cameroon LA:  SchoolNet
Madagascar: FASP (its co-running the RA along with the Univ, plus will have its own LA).

Question 2:

Do they have any statistics on employment rates of those who go through their Cisco Academies?  By countries and by types of groups.  For example, I know they provide training in high schools, community colleges, universities, prisons, etc.  I know that the content is highly technical and difficult and wonder if there are high dropout rates in, say high schools vs. universities, or prison populations. What are exam pass rates of various groups?  What percent who go through the training can't find related jobs?

Answer:

There are several questions here.
a. The answer is no.  We do not have precise data on this at this time regarding employment.  Cisco has an alumni site and we are gathering the data.  It is not required for students to provide this.
b. Exam pass rates can be drawn up by request per academy, per country, etc.
c. The "retention rate" totally varies. 
d. We do not have the % of those who have graduated and have not found work - again this is related to the "alumni" issue - it is totally voluntary. 

Question 3:

Do they have any data on salaries of those who get jobs and enter into Cisco-related jobs - not just anecdotes, but larger datasets.

Answer:

We have anecdotal information - not larger data sets.  In the U.S. we have had feedback that the students are getting $45,000-$65,000

Question 4:

Is there still a demand for Cisco-trained workers in the US, with the tremendous slow down in the dot com environment, and the oversupply of IT workers.  Does it make sense for people in the US (and probably other developed countries)  to bother pursuing Cisco certification?

Answer:

The Internet is not going away.  The 21st Century will continue to be a knowledge based society.  There are thousands of "studies" available that back this up.  Numerous studies have been done by the World Bank and several International Organizations that claim that Human Capacity Development is critical to the success of any National Information and Communications Strategy established by a country.   Education and IT skills are paramount to a country's economic development.
As of last year, IDC updated a previous study and stated that the "Networking Shortage" alone - would reach 1.4 million by 2003.

There remains a big demand for the Cisco training that is why the Academy has scaled so fast and in so many countries across the globe.
In the past year - we have not had a decline in enrollment - there has been an increase.

Our job is to try meet the demand by providing  the program in countries and institutions where it is requested - from the US to the  Least Developed Countries of the world.  Different countries move at different paces.  Clearly, the program has taken off in some countries and others it is slow.   From our experience, there have been many governments that have taken the lead and moved quickly to establish the Academy program - even integrated it into the curriculum.  In other countries - the governments have not been very aggressive, or even very involved.  In those countries, it has been the academic institutions, private sector and the individuals themselves that have led the way. 
It is not our decision to determine whether it "makes sense" - individuals are making that decision in 133 countries.

Question 5:

Since they have been training so many people in so many countries, it would seem like they would eventually reach a glut of trained people.  Do they anticipate an oversupply anytime soon?

Answer:

We don't.  However, it is important to look at it on a per country basis.  Many OECD countries have determined their own needs.
Jordan has also done the same.  Numbers for Networking technicians go into the thousands in many countries.  Other countries have not focused on exact numbers or specific IT skills i.e. software/database, networking, web, cabling, unix, java, etc. but are establishing these courses at academic institutions and training centers.  It should be pointed out that attaining the CCNA provides a fundamental understanding of the Internet and its "possibilities."  There are many people that have graduated and end up in business, government, academia.   We have a female graduate in China that worked on CERNET and now has a job with the Shanghai Stock Exchange working on the Internet and WTO issues. 

Where the Networking Academy Program is just getting started, for example in Rwanda - there is currently one Academy (with 2 classes) and a plan to establish 5 more Academies by the end of 2002.  There are between 15-25 students in every class on average.  It takes a minimum of 6 months - one year to complete the Networking Academy course.  At the same time, the Government has just put out their IT strategy and their goals to become a knowledge based economy. They can't do that without a educated and IT skilled work force.  Without people who have the skills to design, build and maintain computer networks, they will not have the capability to establish the Internet across the country and move towards a knowledge based economy. 

There are many other variables involved from policy, regulation, cost, education, "brain drain," that will determine whether a country moves to this state and whether there will be an oversupply. 

Question 6:

What is the level of literacy and numeracy needed to succeed in their training?

Answer:

By US standards - 7-8th grade math and reading.

Question 7:

What percent of students female over all sites?

Answer:

18-23%

 

Updated: 6/9/04




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