After I reviewed the Cisco Packet Tracer Mobile and hearing the announcement that CCIEs can put themselves on a new “Continuing Education Program”, I am encouraged by this methodology in keeping pace with new technology and making these training programs accessible to working professionals.
But it shouldn’t stop there. High School students who are serious about advancing a career in technology should ALSO be apart of this structure. Syncing learning tools like Cisco Packet Tracer Mobile to very specific goals, and then building them out in a rapid “level up” environment, feeds encouragement in a students quest for learning networking skills for life.
If Cisco Network Academy takes their modules, breaks them up and introduces a lab at the end where a student immediately applies what they learned, they can then “level” up and collect skills like searching for “coins” or “easter eggs”. When all objectives are found, they move onto the next tool set which would be another platform like GNS3.
By breaking up the traditional way of learning (by semester), it’s broken down to functional skill sets. This mirrors closer to real operations where professionals need to update their skill sets and their resume doesn’t read like a twitter feed gone horribly wrong, but could state the following:
Obtained 50 skill sets in troubleshooting OSPF.
Mastered fundamental networking concepts (346 skill sets) from the Cisco Network Academy. Click here to see all completed skill evaluations and lab work here: (insert web page).
No longer is there a need to go to a traditional university for a four year program when an employer can evaluate the labs and white papers of the applicant and make a decision based on tangible values as opposed to playing the ‘interview game’.
You took the time to learn these valuable skills, you get a shot at doing what you love.
I think structuring the learning experience like this will allow us to keep up with supporting new innovations at the same pace of the new releases that are projected to come out at a rate of 72 hours as opposed to the old notion of 18 months.
By decentralizing tools and implementing rapid training programs in very small, manageable skill sets, we are then more prepared to handle the future of tech.
If you have heard of the 80/20 rule, then it wouldn’t be hard to understand the 600,000/6,000/60 rule. Basically, out of 600,000 clickers on an online community, there is really 60 who are active, contribute and help others. Those 60 should be encouraged to use this type of training. Those are the ones I look for in my network and are worth the time to mentor. Mentor those 60 and you can mentor 600,000 at the same time. If you read this within 24 hours, you are in the 60.