Cisco has gathered together over 10,000 of its NetAcademy students from around the globe to explore the potential of what it calls "the Internet of Everything" (IoE) to drive social innovation, skills and employment.
In a prelude to its annual Cisco Live! customer and partner event in Milan, Cisco pulled together 1,500 people, with many thousands more joining online, for a day of learning with internet of things (IoT) experts, futurists and innovators in an attempt to get more young people interested in the IoE.
The supplier also invited a select number of students to take part in a 48-hour hackathon over the duration of Cisco Live!
It has challenged eight teams to use IoE technology to create systems geared toward social change and justice, while learning soft and technical skills.
Cisco vice-president of corporate affairs, Harbrinder Kang, said students who could combine fundamental technology skills – especially around security and networks – with soft skills, such as problem-solving, would be well placed to help businesses succeed.
Filling the skills gap
"The Internet of Everything will accelerate the need for skilled talent to lead application development and new social innovation. The Cisco NetAcademy Day aims to inspire this generation to become global problem solvers, as architects of the Internet of Everything,” said Kang.
David Bevilacqua, vice-president of south region for Cisco EMEAR, said: "In Europe, we know the demand for ICT workers is outstripping supply. There are about 26 million people unemployed in Europe, and the European Commission (EC) expects there to be up to 900,000 unfilled vacancies by 2020.
“We recognised that the Internet of Everything will create further demand for higher-paying, skilled jobs and we are creating a specific curriculum that addresses these opportunities."
The Networking Academy programme was established by Cisco in the late 1990s, and trains around a million people worldwide every year on aspects of network building, design and maintenance.
It has 9,000 academies in 170 countries with around 100 at various secondary schools, academies and sixth form colleges in the UK.