Cisco Updates Training for the Internet of Things

Certification portfolio updates and expansions help prepare for new job roles and enable companies to avoid talent gaps.

Network specialist. Source: Cisco
Network specialist. Source: Cisco

There’s been lots of news recently about the current and pending impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) on manufacturing. This news is most often focused on explaining the IoT concept in general, since few manufacturers have implemented such processes. A notable exception is Airbus (as detailed in a recent post). Since so few examples of real world IoT applications exist, and the whole IoT concept is of a relatively recent vintage, you can expect to continue to hear lots more about it in the coming years as everyone gets up to speed with the idea and, inevitably, adapts it as a result of real world application.

One definite sign that things are moving forward at full steam around IoT is the recent announcement from Cisco about how the company is revising it’s IT (information technology) and OT (operations technology) training in light of the IoT. According to Cisco, major revisions have taken place with the company’s CCNP Routing and Switching certification. The company has also introduced specialist certifications pertaining to network programmability, the IoT, and business transformation.

Here’s a breakdown of the changes Cisco has made:

Cisco Industrial Networking Specialist: The convergence of information and operational technologies is expanding IP networking and Ethernet connectivity on the industrial plant floor. This creates demand for skilled professionals who understand three-way interactions among IT, networking, and traditional control systems. Control system engineers and plant technicians will need to be reskilled on networking to do their jobs without stoppages or downtime. To help scale IoT applications, it is currently estimated that 220,000 IT/OT engineers are needed every year. The Cisco Industrial Networking Specialist Certification is the first step that Cisco and its partners are taking to address the skills gap challenge in the IoT arena.

Speaking to the importance of certifications such as Cisco’s new Industrial Networking Specialist is a recent comment made by Johan Ydeskog of Rockwell Automation in his blog: “My first job as an automation engineer was about automating a manual task. It used to be that you spoke with a technician in the company, agreed on the signal levels for the input and output, the size of the internal memory for the PLC, and then it was done! Nowadays it’s about integrating production lines and sections of factories, even entire factories.”

CCNP Routing and Switching Certification: The Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Routing and Switching certification update covers IPv6, addressing workforce mobility and the proliferation of Internet-connected devices while supporting network scale and accommodating the continued growth of IoT.

Network Programmability Specialists: Cisco is introducing four Network Programmability Specialist certifications: Business Application Engineer, Network Application Developer, Network Programmability Design Specialist and Network Programmability Engineer. These job-role oriented accreditations support technical staff in more closely integrating networking with business applications.

Cisco Enterprise IT Business Specialist: This certification provides technical candidates with a holistic set of skills, validating that candidates can understand business needs, appreciate the financial costs and benefits of an IT solution, identify actions to gain broader adoption of IT capabilities, plus influence and communicate effectively with business leaders.

Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise Training: The Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise (UCCE) v10.0 Training helps learners design, configure and deploy effective customer collaboration solutions with integrated cloud and mobility features and APIs.

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