Networking giant Cisco Systems has teamed up with the UK's Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) in the hope of luring young whippersnappers away from the clutches of Media Studies and into the loving arms of the IT profession.
Addressing a global shortage of accredited professionals within the IT industry, the firm reckoned that its new partnership with the community-hugging IET - which boasts 150,000 members worldwide - presented a number of incentives for would-be Cisco certificate holders.
It said that under the agreement, accredited Cisco professionals will be eligible to receive fast-track entry to IET membership, giving them access to a range of products and services.
Other benefits touted include free entry to IET-sponsored events, a chance to rub shoulders with fellow IT types through local networks and access to online libraries of head-scratchingly difficult technical publications.
IET CEO Robin McGill said: "The IET is committed to increasing the level of proficiency and professional development in engineering and technology, and therefore our working together is an important development in supporting the advancement of technologists around the globe."
Elsewhere in Cisco world, the firm today announced that it plans to buy privately held wireless technology outfit Cognio for an undisclosed sum.
Cisco said it expected the deal to complete in the first quarter of 2008.