Certification to help Singapore IT graduates get high-paying jobs

Cisco and Republic Polytechnic have signed a memorandum of agreement to integrate the Cisco CCNA Security training program, the leading global certification for security credentials in networking, into Republic Polytechnic’s Diploma in information technology (IT).

In addition to this memorandum of agreement, Republic Polytechnic and Cisco collaborated on a project for students enrolled in the final year of the Diploma in IT.

For the final year project, students developed a working prototype of a mobility-focused physical demonstration unit, a Web portal for information access, a video and a demonstration script. They were mentored by Cisco engineers, taught to develop outcomes based on business needs and customer applications, and schooled on the business value of technology. The winning final-year project — by Ong Man Ru, Gerald Lim, Gary Koh and Honey Aung — will be displayed at Cisco’s new regional headquarters at Changi.

The Cisco CCNA Security curriculum within the Diploma in IT at Republic Polytechnic will provide students at Republic Polytechnic with the skills and access to high-paying, in-demand jobs within the network security industry. The program trains the students on the skills required to develop a security infrastructure, recognize threats and vulnerabilities to networks, and mitigate security threats. It emphasizes core security technologies, the installation, troubleshooting and monitoring of network devices to maintain integrity, confidentiality and availability of data and devices, and competency in the technologies used in a security structure.

As Generation Y graduates enter the workforce in greater numbers, they test corporate cultures and policies with expectations of social media freedom, device choice, and mobile lifestyles that the generations before them never demanded. According to the first chapter of the Connected World Technology Report indicated in December, the new generation of office workers are constantly checking social media, email and text updates, whether it’s in bed (3 of 4 surveyed globally), at the dinner table (almost half) or while driving (1 of 5). That lifestyle is entering work environments in greater numbers, spotlighting the future of work and how companies must consider competing for the next wave of talent. Unfortunately, what the security studies show is the next-generation workforce’s lifestyles are also introducing security challenges that companies have never had to address on this scale.

The Cisco Networking Academy program is the flagship of Cisco’s social investment program worldwide. The Networking Academy uses a public-private partnership model to create the “world’s largest classroom,�? partnering with educational institutions, nonprofits, governments, and other international and local agencies. The program has taught hundreds of thousands of students worldwide while filling the global demand for networking professionals. Cisco has established more than 10,000 academies in 165 countries, helping individuals build ICT skills and prepare for industry-recognized certifications and entry-level ICT careers in most industries. Students develop foundational skills in ICT while acquiring career skills in problem-solving, collaboration and critical thinking.

Launched in Singapore in 1998, the programme has since attracted more than 15 educational institutions to implement the programme, and trained more than 46,000 students resulting in approximately 6,000 Cisco CCNA certified skilled ICT graduates for the workforce.

Recognizing the importance of a highly secure network and the 21st-century skills needed for Singapore’s future workforce, Republic Polytechnic is also including Cisco’s community-developed content in cloud computing and data centers into the diploma program.