Cisco Announces New Skills Framework to Address Evolving Technology

Cisco on Thursday announced a new skills framework to incorporate evolving technologies and ensure channel partners can show they have a properly trained workforce with future-proofed skills.

Topics such as the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud, business transformation and network programmability will influence all Cisco Career Certifications, including the expert level. These changes will be introduced starting with the upcoming refresh of Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) Data Center and Cisco Certified Network Associate Security (CCNA).

Cisco's Tejas VashiCisco is revising the charter of all expert-level CCIE and Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) certification programs to ensure that experts are equipped to participate in meaningful business discussions about the new technical areas that are shaping business strategy and operations.

Tejas Vashi, director of product strategy and marketing for Learning@Cisco, tells Channel Partners that while this change affects all CCIEs, including ones employed by partners, it will not have a disruptive impact as the rollout is gradual and affects only people who either need to recertify or are working to achieve a new certification status now.

“These changes will help partners to ensure their employees are in line with the industry demand in terms of skills, and at the same time, these changes will allow them to prove to their customers and to Cisco that they are fully equipped to face the challenges of the modern IT industry,” he said. “This evolution in the certification program assesses individuals to make sure they are ready to articulate the business value of their solution, as well as the impact that the major trends in the industry are having on the IT world.”

According to a recent report from the MIT Center for Digital Business, 77 percent of companies surveyed considered missing digital skills as the key hurdle to their digital transformation.

“Individuals from the industry, including channel partners, are continuously included in the process of reviewing and modifying our programs, to make sure we do align with the needs of the ecosystem,” Vashi said. “Channel partners are just one segment of the many stakeholders who are involved with our development efforts. We also include customers, technology partners, internal subject matter experts and certification candidates/holders.”

There also is a CCIE Advisory Council comprised of CCIE-certified senior technical professionals from among the top Cisco enterprise customers, service providers, and channel partners, he said. The council is chartered to provide recommendations on the CCIE certification program’s product road map and strategies in order to further increase customer relevancy in terms of technical knowledge assessment, job role alignment and career advancement, he said.

“In a critical transition time, the relevance of skill sets – and knowledge of emerging technologies – is top of mind for corporate executives and hiring managers,” Vashi said. “Cisco is dedicated to providing the training and skills assessment that individuals need to survive and thrive as new industry trends emerge and evolve.”

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