CCIE Pursuit Blog

February 6, 2008

The Sky Is Falling

Filed under: Cisco,Cisco Certification,Work — cciepursuit @ 7:41 pm
Tags: , ,

This story made the rounds at my work this week, usually hyperlinked from an email warning about the end of my networking career.

Cisco Plan Will Create 360,000 Network Engineers In India
The five-year strategy builds on Cisco’s $1.1 billion investments in Indian ventures in recent years.

Cisco (NSDQ: CSCO) released on Monday its plan to help India increase its number of networking engineers from about 60,000 today to 360,000 in five years. The plan entails, of course, training and certifying those engineers on Cisco technologies.

Cisco says it has established partnerships and is opening testing facilities to meet that workforce goal. Two of India’s largest tech training organizations, IIHT (Indian Institute of Hardware Technology) and NIIT (National Institute of Information Technology), have become certified for training on Cisco technologies. Those organizations and another, Global Knowledge and Training Partner Ltd., have begun Cisco training and certification from 200 locations in India.

Another Cisco partner in India, Pearson VUE, says it will add 150 testing facilities for Cisco certification by the end of the year, including several mobile testing centers to reach engineers in rural areas. Pearson VUE is requiring centers to adopt “increased security measures in order to safeguard the value of IT certifications.”

“With these initiatives in place, we are able to ensure that our customers and partners have the resources available to train and equip the thousands of motivated students in India with the knowledge and skills necessary to shape the country’s burgeoning information economy,” said Leo Scrivner, VP of human resources for Cisco Services & Globalisation Centre East, in a prepared statement.

Cisco inaugurated a new development center in Bangalore last October, and has spent more than $1.1 billion in Indian ventures in recent years, said a Cisco spokesman. A year ago, Cisco announced plans to triple its India-based workforce from 2,000 to 6,000 employees within several years. To support that growth, the company’s chief globalization officer, Wim Elfrink, who reports to CEO John Chambers, relocated from the United States to Bangalore last year.

I’m not going to start working on that Accounting degree or taking Hindi lessons just yet.  The article basically states that Cisco and its partners are building a training/certification infrastructure in India.  It’s my understanding that there were/are a number of testing facilities already existing in India.  Cisco’s goal of increasing the number of network engineers in India by sixfold in five years is ambitious, but what is the catalyst?  Cisco is only planning to add 4,000 of their own employees in that country (and I doubt that they are all going to be engineers).  Is there really a worldwide network (Cisco) engineer shortage of 300,000 – let alone in India?  If so, then I am vastly underpaid.  🙂



  1. No worry
    I worked for Cisco B2B partner (producing electronic parts for Cisco devices – cisco had own network at our campus)and I had a chance to work with Cisco India “engineer” (cisco employees) few times and it was horrible. Members of Cisco support team had problems to change static route or add line to ACL, or create simple NAT rule – finally i always asked my friend who works for at Cisco for other team and he made config changes for me… It was always nightmare for us to call them

    Comment by acol — February 7, 2008 @ 1:55 am | Reply

  2. My plan from the start has always been to finish my MBA after finishing my CCIE just in case. This article doesn’t hold good news though either way.

    Comment by Carl Yost — February 7, 2008 @ 6:56 am | Reply

  3. Cisco obviously has some aggressive certification targets; maybe they’re trying to get close to Microsoft that has over 2M MCPs and 800K MCSE worldwide (source: If you take in account that India has one sixth of the world population (sources: and, the 360K certified engineers (remember, they’re talking about everything, from CCNA to CCIE) does not look too wrong.

    Of course, Cisco’s goals are not altruistic: if you want to sell lots of boxes (eventually, India’s GDP will grow and their buying power is getting closer to western economies) you need a lot of support. Of course “a few” of those engineers will spill over to other countries, but majority might be needed at home.

    As for the visionary comments about your networking career, they just prove the “global perspective” of the writer. Some people simply can’t check the facts and add numbers.

    Comment by Ivan Pepelnjak — February 7, 2008 @ 4:14 pm | Reply

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