How our young colleagues are being educated....

Scott Voll svoll.voip at
Tue Dec 23 21:21:55 UTC 2014

I will agree with most of the others that took the Cisco academy courses at
the local community college.  it all depends on the instructor.  My 1st
year was taught in the evenings by a full time Network Engineer.  Best 3
terms I had.  The problem was that year two was taught be a bunch of old
guys that used to teach electronics and DB classes.  So everything the old
DB guy taught was how the network was like a DB.

I think that getting real world teachers are the only way to fix it.
 unfortunately the program went away as the CC could not pay for new


On Tue, Dec 23, 2014 at 12:29 PM, Mike Hammett <nanog at> wrote:

> When I took my CCNA a bit over ten years ago, it was terribly out of date.
> That said, I beleive I was the last class to go through on that version.
> The next one added OSPF and some other things.
> At the time, though, Ethernet belonged within a building. If you were
> wanting to connect multiple buildings together, bust out those T1s.
> -----
> Mike Hammett
> Intelligent Computing Solutions
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Kyle Kinkaid" <kkinkaid at>
> To: "Javier J" <javier at>
> Cc: nanog at
> Sent: Tuesday, December 23, 2014 9:38:02 AM
> Subject: Re: How our young colleagues are being educated....
> In addition to my "9 to 5" job of network engineer, I teach evening courses
> at a US community college (for you non-USers, it's a place for the first
> 2-years of post-secondary education, typically before proceeding to a full
> 4-year university). The community college I work at participates in the
> Cisco Academy program which trains students to get specific Cisco
> certifications like CCNA, CCNP, CCNA Security.
> I feel like the Cisco Academy program does a pretty good job at training
> the students and and addresses many of the issues you found with education
> in US. Without knowing for sure, your description sounds like that of a
> "traditional" 4-year university curriculum. The Cisco Academy program
> focuses on being up-to-date (revisions happen every 4 years or so) and
> emphasizes working with (preferably physical) routers and switches from day
> one. I've found 4-year universities, if they have networking courses at
> all, cover too much theoretical material, emphasize legacy technologies,
> and are updated only when they must.
> Further, when in front of students, I always try and relate the material to
> either what they have experienced in their professional lives (if they are
> already working) or to what I see in my job regular. I try and keep the
> students focused on what's practical and only discuss theory and abstract
> ideas when necessary. I might not be able to do that if I was a professor
> at a 4-year university, having worked hard on a Ph.D. then on getting
> tenure. I think it's important to seek to be educated at schools and seek
> to hire from schools where the instructors have copious practical
> experience and, preferably, experience which is concurrent with their
> teaching experience. That will hopefully get you a corps of workers who
> are better prepared for a job from day one.
> Just my 2 cents.
> P.S. This is not to denigrate the value of a Ph.D. or academia. My mentor
> in my network engineering career has a Ph.D. in Mathematics and having that
> high-level education was a boon to his being able to understand difficult
> networking concepts.
> On Mon, Dec 22, 2014 at 1:13 AM, Javier J <javier at>
> wrote:
> > Dear NANOG Members,
> >
> > It has come to my attention, that higher learning institutions in North
> > America are doing our young future colleagues a disservice.
> >
> > I recently ran into a student of Southern New Hampshire University
> enrolled
> > in the Networking/Telecom Management course and was shocked by what I
> > learned.
> >
> > Not only are they skimming over new technologies such as BGP, MPLS and
> the
> > fundamentals of TCP/IP that run the internet and the networks of the
> world,
> > they were focusing on ATM , Frame Relay and other technologies that are
> on
> > their way out the door and will probably be extinct by the time this
> > student graduates. They are teaching classful routing and skimming over
> > CIDR. Is this indicative of the state of our education system as a whole?
> > How is it this student doesn't know about OSPF and has never heard of
> RIP?
> >
> > If your network hardware is so old you need a crossover cable, it's time
> to
> > upgrade. In this case, it’s time to upgrade our education system.
> >
> > I didn't write this email on the sole experience of my conversation with
> > one student, I wrote this email because I have noticed a pattern emerging
> > over the years with other university students at other schools across the
> > country. It’s just the countless times I have crossed paths with a young
> IT
> > professional and was literally in shock listening to the things they were
> > being taught. Teaching old technologies instead of teaching what is
> > currently being used benefits no one. Teaching classful and skipping CIDR
> > is another thing that really gets my blood boiling.
> >
> > Are colleges teaching what an RFC is? Are colleges teaching what IPv6 is?
> >
> > What about unicast and multicast? I confirmed with one student half way
> > through their studies that they were not properly taught how DNS works,
> and
> > had no clue what the term “root servers” meant.
> >
> > Am I crazy? Am I ranting? Doesn't this need to be addressed? …..and if
> not
> > by us, then by whom? How can we fix this?
> >

More information about the NANOG mailing list