Corporate Social Responsibility

Case Study: Closing the Skills Gap in Asia

Webinar series inspires young people to pursue networking technology careers

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The Asia-Pacific region could face a shortage of 400,000 computer networking professionals by 2016. Yet almost half of global unemployment is in Asia. Cisco’s yearlong Webinar series exposed thousands of young people to new career opportunities that will exist in a world where everything is connected to the Internet.

The Issue: Too many connections, too few trained professionals

We are entering the age of the Internet of Everything – the intelligent connection of people, process, data, and things online. Fifty billion devices alone will be connected by 2020. Industries will need millions of professionals to maintain those connections and harness the Internet of Everything to create business value and benefit humanity. But many countries face a dramatic shortage of people who possess the skills to do so.

  • India, a fast-growing economy, will be short over 250,000 networking professionals by 2016; 30% of networking jobs will go unfilled.
  • In Indonesia, more than 35% of networking jobs will go unfilled by 2016.
  • The Philippines will be able to fill only 40% of jobs that require skills in emerging technologies such as cloud computing, mobility, and data centers.
  • A recent poll by executive search firm Korn/Ferry predicted that half the undergraduate class of 2017 will end up in jobs and careers that don't even exist today.

The Solution: Cultivate interest in networking careers

Cisco’s Asia Pacific Social Innovation Group developed a Webinar series to expose young people to the job opportunities the Internet of Everything will bring. Speakers covered a broad range of topics, demonstrating that networking technology permeates just about any career path possible.

  • Cisco TV, Cisco WebEx and TelePresence collaboration technologies and the Cisco NetSpace online learning environment facilitated in person and online events
  • Ten Webinars were offered from November 2013 to August 2014
  • Eleven Cisco executives and engineers spoke on topics like cybersecurity, sports and entertainment, and healthcare.

Impact Multiplied

People from 145 countries have attended the Webinars, developing an interest in joining the Internet of Everything economy. To help fill the expected shortage of skilled workers in Asia-Pacific countries, Cisco is committed to training 400,000 networking professionals by 2019 through the Cisco Networking Academy program.   

  • 16,332 people attended the Webinars in person; another 8000 downloaded recordings.
  • 83% of participants said the webinars helped them identify the career path required to join the Internet of Everything economy.
  • Recordings of the webinar series are now available to a worldwide audience for continued learning.
  • The Cisco Networking Academy program has already trained 840,000 networking professionals, 24% of them female, across 25 Asia-Pacific countries since 1997.
  • A new Internet of Everything is part of the Networking Academy curriculum, helping interested students continue beyond the webinar series

“Technology is changing so quickly, I didn’t realize all of the opportunities that it offers until I learned about the Internet of Everything,” said Webinar attendee Callum Jubb, a student from Adelaide, Australia.