Nortel Networks has made optical networking skills a priority, with the announcement it will be offering a certification designed to benchmark people's skills in Nortel's optical networking kit.
The program is derived from in-house training offered to Nortel staff. It's now being made available to its partners and networking professionals in a bid to address the skills shortage in the Optical Internet market, claims Tony May, business development manager for education services at Nortel.
The company is offering six units within the Optical Internet Track, catering to various levels of required skill, such as sales, pre-sales and technical training. Courses run, on average, for three days and cost between $US1000 to $5000.
The company is gearing its course offerings towards the enterprise and carrier markets, where May claims there is not enough skill at the high-end to service these types of companies.
May is confident the take up of the course will be strong. "I don't think there is a company or solutions provider in the industry who doesn't want to be certified. Up until now there has been no way of gauging their competencies. The market is requesting this from us."
While May admits some resellers are reluctant to train up their staff for fear of losing them to higher paid jobs, he believes the consequences of not training staff are far worse.
"If you don't train your staff, they are likely to leave anyway because they feel like they don't have any opportunities," says May. The new certification program will be a prerequisite for many resellers under Nortel's preferred partner scheme. For more information contact Nortel on (02) 8870 5625.
Cisco curriculum in class of 2001
In other training news, Cisco has teamed up with the ACT Government to offer its entry-level program, Network Academy, in ACT schools from the first term of 2001.
The Networking Academy is a fundamentals approach to non-proprietary networking and will be offered to seven senior secondary colleges and one private school for year 11 and 12 students. The program will count towards the student's tertiary entrance score and if achieved accredits the student as a Cisco Certified Networking Associate.