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Computing students to meet national skills shortage

Published: March 18, 2016

Cornwall College Camborne 16-18 | Adult

Cornwall College Camborne is ‘the best in the west’ for IT and network training, according to industry peers, after an outstanding set of results in the Cisco Network Training.  Eight students have received letters of recommendation and another has become the first Cornwall College student to ever be awarded the Cisco Certified Network Profession Routing (CCNP Route) Certificate

Andrew Smith, senior lecturer in networking at the Open University, said: “There is a skills shortage of high end network engineers, national and internationally and for Cornwall College to get such a high number of their students through CISCO training shows that they are able to meet industry demand.”

The pass rates for the Cisco certificate training is 850 out of 1000, so to pass is tough, let alone receive a letter of recommendation.  Andrew continues: the challenge with Cisco is that you have a lot of countries trying to compete with The UK and failing.  The pass mark for this is very high, so to receive a letter of recommendation shows you are not just good, you are exceptionally good.”

The Cisco Certificate forms part of the FdSc in Computing, Networking and Software Development, a two year course which is validated by Plymouth University.  Former students have all progressed into careers in IT, either for private companies or for agencies like GCHQ.

Andrew added: “This opens the students up to careers on a global scale and this course is special because of its global recognition. At the Open University we are delighted to be working with Cornwall College because there is definitely strengths in this area of the curriculum and these students are globally employable.”

According to the Boston Consulting Group, as a share of gross domestic product, the UK already has the largest internet-based economy in the world. This growth is resulting in a surge of demand for jobs and it’s predicted that recruitment in the digital sector will outperform all other areas by 2020.

IT Network Lecturer at Cornwall College, Tina Simpson, said: ““The students make this course special because they really embrace it and all the elements that it brings.  We have fantastic industry partners; this year our students could leave the course to work as network engineers with half of their course feeds paid and with a starting salary of £35,000; that is unheard of in Cornwall for a graduate.

“The cisco qualification makes them ultimately more employable; if an employer is looking at a bunch of CV’s this this qualification when accompanied by a letter of commendation  should ensure that our student ‘s stand head and shoulders above the other potential candidates.  This delivers on our ethos of making learning work.”

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