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Switchzilla revisits training and cert tools with looming debut of 'Cisco U.'

Some training in refreshed certification platform to be free, including short how-to vids

Cisco will shortly open the doors of a new online training service called Cisco U.

Announced six months ago with a promise of “AI driven personalized learning paths by learners role, skill set and certification”, plus “modularized and searchable” content, the new service is set to go live in the northern Spring.

Cisco recently dropped a little more info about the service, promising “courses, events, webinars, podcasts, communities, and Learning Paths.”

The latter explain the curriculum needed to achieve a Cisco certification, with a view that “seems linear, but it actually lets you move through the material in a non-linear way” if that’s what you fancy.

Whatever you do on the platform will be observed, with the best of intentions.

“Over time, Cisco U. will get to know you better and better, to guide you to content that better meets your needs,” Switchzilla states. “Cisco U. combines machine learning and natural language processing with good old-fashioned human learning to give you the best possible experience all the way along your learning journey.

Maybe the T&Cs for Cisco U aren’t the ones to just approve without reading?

Cisco U. – which has a full stop after the U – will mix “the best of” Cisco’s existing training content, and some new stuff, organised around the aforementioned Learning Paths.

The refreshed service will have one free tier and two paid tiers.

Freebies will include tutorials, described to The Register as “short, step-by-step learning to solve a specific issue”.

The networking giant has billed Cisco I. as “an important step towards addressing IT skills shortage experienced by enterprises around the world, helping them to upskill and reskill teams across projects and roles.”

Your correspondent has observed Cisco for nearly 20 years, and across that timespan the company has often refreshed its approach to training in the hope of addressing skills shortages. One memorable attempt in the late 2000s saw Cisco seek to lure undergraduates away from careers such as the law to instead pursue networking, on grounds that law was a dead end and router-wrangling was a fast-track to riches and relevance.

Maybe Cisco U. will deliver on that vision. ®

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