Cisco has boosted its worldwide talent development effort to help meet the increasing global demand for networking skills.
The firm has unveiled a social learning community and new development opportunities for individuals.
As part of the effort, Cisco has unveiled the Cisco Learning Network.
Designed for both the seasoned professional as well as individuals considering a career in IT, the Cisco Learning Network is a Web 2.0 community that enables networking professionals to collaborate globally through document sharing, open forum discussions and idea exchanges in a dedicated environment.
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Cisco is also announcing a major augmentation to its popular associate-level career certification with the introduction of three concentrations: CCNAÒ Security, CCNA Voice and CCNA Wireless.
By expanding on the competencies and skills in the CCNA curriculum, these specialised concentrations offer individuals a career stepping-stone into the converged technologies that make up today's sophisticated networks, said Cisco.
"As networks continue to stimulate economic growth, collaboration and human interaction, the need for networking talent will grow in importance. To address the growing global demand for networking talent, we estimate that we will need to double or even triple our certified individuals over the next five years," said Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, general manager of Learning@Cisco.
"With the expansion of the CCNA portfolio and the launch of the Cisco Learning Network, we have added two more critical components to our companywide initiative to address the global IT talent shortage, accelerate the development of the information economy and improve the productivity of this vital technical community," said Beliveau-Dunn.
In separate announcements, Cisco has also upgraded its datacentre virtualisation technologies to further help firms increase productivity while reducing their power consumption, and also promised to slash its own greenhouse gas emissions from its worldwide operations by 25% over the next four years.