Cisco launches Network Academy Advantage

I haven’t seen Cisco officially announce it on the Network Academy Headlines, but the new NetAcad Advantage website is up. It’s aimed at anyone who’s completed the Cisco Network Academy courses and is looking to further their career and take advantage of their new skills.

This should be great for all the Academy regions that currently don’t have a proper Career Connection portal (The UK included) . I’ve been waiting and pushing for something like this for over a year now; and it’s great that Cisco is taking care of its students.

I’m looking forward to seeing how the site progresses and grows. Who knows, maybe they’ll ask the author of the excellent Career Builder’s Toolkit, Matt Moran, to contribute? 🙂

Cisco and WiMax

After watching a brief overview of WiMax on ZDnet which touched on Mobile WiMax, I wondered what Cisco might have in the pipeline regarding services orientated around WiMax and, in particular, Mobile WiMax.

Fixed WiMax Potential

Cisco already make point-to-point Wi-Fi bridges that, with a dish and some breaking of the 802.11 spec, can go very far. For 2.4Ghz, potential figures of up to 11mbps over 11.5 miles (18.5km). For 5Ghz, the figures are around 54mbps over 12 miles (19km).

WiMax should be able to beat that distance and speed, and more reliably, too. Because WiMax doesn’t have to operate in the unlicenced band, WiMax could help eliminate the current issue of saturated Wi-Fi frequencies in urban areas.

I am ignoring the glaring price issue; A point-to-point WiMax solutions would probably be prohibitively expensive in comparison to a Wi-Fi solution. Hopefully, as with Wi-Fi , the prices will rapidly fall as more people adopt the technology.

Mobile applications of WiMax

Recently, Nokia and Motorola announced they will ship WiMax support in some of their Mobile Equipment in 2008. With Intel firmly behind WiMax, this means that both Cellular Phones and Laptops will eventually ship with WiMax as standard; much the same as almost every Phone ships with Bluetooth and every laptop seems to ship with Wi-Fi nowadays.

Maybe Cisco will develop a Unified Communications client for the Symbian OS? Seems they already have, along with a bunch of other Mobile platforms. Mobile WiMax access to your company’s VPN at true broadband speeds would be amazing. Not to mention the cost benefits of redirecting voice over WiMax and Wi-Fi networks, particularly for international calls.

We are the lifeguards of the Internet

We are the lifeguards of the internet

Wow.

I just watched the Mind Wide Open video from Cisco’s updated Networking Academy site. For something which only last 50 seconds, it offers a whole lot of inspiration for Academy students and graduates.

When I began the Cisco CCNA program in 2003, all I knew is that I wanted to learn more about Networks. By the end, coupled with my work experience, I had a fundamental understanding, not only of networks themselves, but that Networking affects every business. The skills I acquired are just as applicable to the Stock Exchange in NYC, as they are to the industrial sector in China. Nowadays, all businesses need to exchange and access data through networks of some form or another (after all, the internet is the world’s largest public network). I can work for almost any organisation, in any industry.

I really hope the video inspires students to think more broadly about the skills they’ve acquired and their career options; Last year, during a phone call with Jane Lewis (the CCNA program leader for the UK) she told me that most people who’d finished the CCNA program thought their only avenue was to work for Cisco. It’s not: there’s a whole world out there 🙂