How our young colleagues are being educated....

Laurent Dumont admin at
Fri Dec 26 03:33:42 UTC 2014

The Cisco "Networking Academy" program was used throughout my 
"CEGEP"(End of high-school/first college year equivalent in the US) 
education in Quebec. There was no deviation from the course work and the 
aim was to get the student CCNA certified at the end.

On 12/25/2014 7:21 PM, Miles Fidelman wrote:
> Cisco as the basis of networking material? Does nobody use Comer, 
> Stallings, or Tannenbaum as basic texts anymore?
> Miles Fidelman
> Mike Jones wrote:
>> I am a university student that has just completed the first term of
>> the first year of a Computer Systems and Networks course. Apart from a
>> really out of place MATH module that did trig but not binary, it has
>> been reasonably well run so far. The binary is covered in a different
>> module, just not maths. The worst part of the course is actually the
>> core networking module, which is based on Cisco material. The cisco
>> material is HORRIBLE! those awkward "book" page things with the stupid
>> higherarchical menu. As for the content.. a scalable network is one
>> you can add hosts to, so what's a non-scalable network? will the
>> building collapse if i plug my laptop in?
>> As I have been following NANOG for years I do notice a lot of mistakes
>> or "over-simplifications" that show a clear distinction between the
>> theory in the university books and the reality on nanog, and
>> demonstrate the lecturers lack of real world exposure. As a simple
>> example, in IPv4 the goal is to conserve IP addresses therefore on
>> point to point links you use a /30 which only wastes 50% of the
>> address space. In the real world - /31's? but a /31 is impossible I
>> hear the lecturers say...
>> The entire campus is not only IPv4-only, but on the wifi network they
>> actually assign globally routable addresses, then block protocol 41,
>> so windows configures broken 6to4! Working IPv6 connectivity would at
>> least expose students to it a little and let them play with it...
>> Amoung the things I have heard so far: MAC Addresses are unique, IP
>> fragments should be blocked for security reasons, and the OSI model
>> only has 7 layers to worry about. All theoretically correct. All
>> wrong.
>> - Mike Jones
>> On 22 December 2014 at 09:13, 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?

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