Cisco’s initiatives prepare Vietnam’s workforce for the digital future

January 20, 2017 | 11:47
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Building a digital economy will be vital for Vietnam to keep pace with rapid technology developments across the world and maintain its competitive edge in the years to come.

Earlier this year, the government pledged to spend $111.6 million in the ICT sector by 2020, with the goal of incentivising the local and international technology firms to invest in the country.

Job roles in a digital economy will become more complex and to be successful, individuals will need a balance of depth in key skills such as data analytics, security, and application development and softer competencies such as creativity, innovative design, and entrepreneurship.

However, approximately 80 per cent of the 54 million workers in Vietnam did not receive any training and do not have the necessary skill sets to participate in the digital economy.

The IT workforce is only expected to increase by 8 per cent a year, much lower than the annual average job growth of 47 per cent in the last three years.

Vietnam is forecasted to face a shortage of over 500,000 employees in this field by 2020. This can severely undermine the growth of Vietnam’s IT sector.

Cisco, a global technology leader, is committed to help Vietnamese gain the skills needed to take advantage of the opportunities in the digital economy.

To achieve this goal, Cisco has partnered and initiated a number of social innovation programmes that not only improve student performance and engagement in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) studies but also connect these skilled individuals to relevant jobs across different verticals in Vietnam.

According to Luong Thi Le Thuy, general director of Cisco Vietnam, technology trends such as IoT and smart cities will play a pivotal role in the development of nation’s future.

“Cybersecurity, in particular, is extremely pertinent as it not only protects our growing digital assets but also enable innovation and new services. Cisco is deeply committed to help Vietnam develop a skilled and digital-savvy workforce through our social innovation programmes so that our country can maximise the potential of these technologies to increase our competitive edge and greatly improve the quality of life for our people,” Thuy said.

One of Cisco’s eminent programmes is Cisco Networking Academy, an IT skills and career building programme that not only helps students to learn about designing, building, and operating networks, but also problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration, and teamwork—skills they can apply in their future education and on the job.

The Networking Academy programme partners with more than 9,500 institutions that teach ICT skills to one million students each year in more than 170 countries, thus providing greater economic opportunities for individuals and building a pipeline of innovators for the future workforce.

In Vietnam, the Networking Academy currently has 19 academic institutions as its partners and more than 29,000 people have gone through its curriculum.

Another initiative, Cisco NetRiders Competition, utilises Cisco's Web technologies to create an interactive networking skills contest that enhances classroom learning, unites students from across the world, and promotes further technology education and training.

These competitions are a great opportunity for the students to learn valuable networking and IT skills through a series of online exams and hands-on simulation activities as well as increase their visibility for more career and internship opportunities.

Approximately 15,000 students from 20 Asia Pacific countries, including 200 from Vietnam, have participated in the NetRiders competition over the past four years. The registration for the next Asia Pacific NetRiders competition will open in May 2017.

Cisco also hosted quarterly live TV series Find Yourself in the Future. The series features industry experts who share their knowledge of advanced technologies that are transforming industries and shaping the modern world, future jobs and opportunities for graduates.

The next two episodes will be aired on Cisco’s internal broadcast platform on 1 March 1, 2017 and June 7, 2017.

Another element of this initiative is the virtual career fairs. These sessions help students gain an in-depth understanding of the different work environments, graduate programmes, career opportunities, and attributes that employers today are seeking. The next virtual career fair will be held on June 7, 2017.

Cisco’s Women Rock-IT is a quarterly live TV broadcast which communicates the benefits of a career in IT by talking about the type of work women do and how technology plays a key role in their business success.

Invited speakers are in different stages of their career and are from different occupations and businesses. They are also chosen because they are relatable and realistic role models for the audience.

Since the Women Rock-IT programme first launched in November 2014, 13,500 females have joined the series with a further 3,000 downloads of the recordings.

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By By Mai Thuy

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