Why teach with Cisco Networking Academy?
Cisco Networking Academy is a skills-to-jobs program offering technology education through public-private partnerships, high-quality curriculum, and inclusive workforce development programs. We partner with high schools, vocational colleges, universities, and non-profits worldwide, offering our industry-leading curriculum in tandem to enrich their programs and services. We've been transforming the lives of learners, educators, and communities for over 25 years.
Top-notch curriculum + free license
Backed by learning science and designed with Cisco industry expertise in areas like networking, cybersecurity, Python, and data science. Courses build job-ready skills, are vendor-neutral and align to digital credentials and industry-recognized certifications.
Spark curiosity, teach confidently
Stay at the forefront of your field with our customizable, real-world curriculum that evolves as new technology trends emerge. With intuitive teaching tools and flexible course delivery options for in-classroom, online, and hybrid learning — you can engage all learners, including those new to tech, no matter where they are.
Frequently asked questions
Below are the most commonly asked questions we receive from those wanting to teach with or otherwise become an official learning partner with Cisco Networking Academy. If you've already reviewed and feel ready, please apply to become an academy.
Becoming a Networking Academy
When you partner with Cisco Networking Academy, you align your organization with the worldwide leader in technology that powers the Internet and become part of a global community of strong public-private partnerships and inclusive workforce development.
You get access to high-quality, skills-to-jobs technology curricula, with self-paced, instructor-led, or hybrid course options to support your organization’s needs. Educators get access to pre-built course content, innovative teaching resources, professional development, and a community of peers around the globe. Learners get support through engaging learning experiences, career resources, and job matching services.
And while many organizations are looking to profit by selling their curricula our program packs value without the price tag. Cisco Networking Academy is part of Cisco’s mission to power an inclusive future for all. We aim to positively impact the lives of people, society, and the planet.
Joining Cisco Networking Academy offers an exciting career for your educators and a meaningful future for your students and the communities they live in.
There is no charge to join the Cisco Networking Academy program. Depending on the course(s) you choose, you may need to purchase equipment and you may need the support of an Academy Support Center (ASC) to get up and running. Some ASCs do not charge for their services, while others offer an annual subscription fee for a general list of services.
To join the program, your organization needs to submit an online application to Become an Academy. Here are the steps:
- Start by exploring our Course Catalog to identify the course(s) you want to teach. Check if your desired course has equipment requirements.
- Identify an administrative contact for your organization (a Cisco Networking Academy Administrator Contact) to manage your Academy account.
- Begin building your team of supporters. (A few recommended supporters like a secondary instructor, IT advisor(s), or a workforce development/career specialist can be helpful).
- Familiarize yourself with the Academy Support Centers and Instructor Training Centers in your area using the Academy Support Center Locator or the Instructor Training Center Locator.
- Apply online.
- We’ll ask you to review and sign membership documents for your organization to officially join the program as an Academy.
- Review the Scope & Sequence document for your course(s) for specific equipment requirements and obtain equipment, if needed.
- Train yourself and/or your instructors, then launch your course!
- Your organization will need to apply to Become an Academy and identify a Cisco Networking Academy Administrator Contact to manage your Academy account (such as sign membership documents, manage your instructor list, and complete the Academy Orientation).
- Instructors need to be associated with an Academy and complete the Academy Orientation. Some courses require instructor training or accreditation, and we highly recommend all instructors take advantage of our free Instructor Professional Development offerings.
- Your organization will need to be able to provide an effective learning environment for the courses you plan to teach. Some courses require in-person instruction and dedicated classroom space for hands-on labs with physical equipment. Other courses can be taught online and do not require classroom space or physical equipment. Check the requirements for each course you plan to teach.
- For online instruction, students will need internet access through a computer, tablet, or mobile device. Some courses require students to use a computer for labs with Cisco Packet Tracer or virtual machines.
- Depending on the course(s) you choose to teach, you may need to purchase equipment and you may need the support of an Academy Support Center (ASC) to get up and running. Some ASCs do not charge for their services while other ASCs offer an annual subscription fee for a general list of services.
Cisco Networking Academy offers a breadth of learning offerings to support a learner’s journey from curiosity to careers – in key technology areas like networking, cybersecurity, data science, operating systems & IT, and programming. Our practiced-based curriculum is developed by technology experts and learning scientists to prepare learners with transferable, vendor-neutral, job-ready skills and readiness to earn industry-recognized certifications. To develop learners into well-rounded professional candidates, we also offer courses focused on professional skills, like communication and critical thinking, with interactive online practice based on authentic work scenarios.
For a list of courses that align to all Certifications, please see the Certification page.
A Digital Badge is a verifiable digital credential that validates an individual’s achievement of a learning outcome, experience, or competency. For Cisco Networking Academy courses, most digital badges are earned by achieving a passing score on the course final assessment. Students can display their Digital Badges on any platform – social media, email signature, resume, and website – to enhance their professional brand and show their skills to employers. Earning a Digital Badge is free and issued through Credly. See a list of Digital Badges currently available.
For some courses, physical equipment may be required to support the learning objectives of the curriculum. The types of equipment required could include routers, switches, cables, or other hardware. As a participating academy in the Cisco Networking Academy program, you can purchase physical equipment at a significant discount for use in your classroom.
However, not all of our courses require physical equipment. Some courses take advantage of software tools such as Cisco Packet Tracer, virtual machines, or virtual sandboxes, and may only require a computer and internet connection. Many of our online introductory courses can be taken on any mobile device.
To learn more about equipment requirement details by course, please refer to the course Scope and Sequence document.
Contact a local Cisco Reseller Partner of your choice for equipment pricing and order fulfillment. Use the Partner Finder to find a reseller near you. Additionally, consider working with an Academy Support Center (ASC) who can help you choose the best way to secure equipment needed for your location. They may offer loaner equipment or used equipment options.
Yes, discounts for Cisco equipment needed for Cisco Networking Academy courses and labs are available when purchased through a Cisco Reseller Partner. Use the Partner Finder to find a Cisco Reseller Partner near you.
Cisco Packet Tracer is a powerful networking simulation tool and virtual lab software developed by Cisco for teaching and learning. Cisco Packet Tracer is an interactive way to practice networking, IoT, and cybersecurity skills. Students can practice building simple and complex networks across a variety of devices while they develop discovery and troubleshooting skills by asking “what if” questions. Cisco Packet Tracer is versatile - it can be used for lectures, labs, games, homework, assessments, competitions, and distance learning. Cisco Packet Tracer supplements physical equipment in the classroom. While hands-on experience using physical equipment remains a best practice, supporting distance and hybrid learning has become increasingly necessary. To support distance learning, Cisco Packet Tracer Physical Mode is an option when physical equipment is not available. Lab activities in select courses offer an option to practice skills either by using Cisco Packet Tracer Physical Mode or by using physical lab equipment. Both options support students in developing critical skills. Cisco Packet Tracer software is used in a number of Cisco Networking Academy courses and is available to download free of charge. It is only available for use in a non-commercial, non-production training environment. Cisco Packet Tracer may only be used to educate students enrolled in Cisco Networking Academy courses.
Cisco Networking Academy provides comprehensive support and resources for instructors. Our digital communities facilitate conversations with colleagues, shared ideas, best practices and collaborative problem solving. Academy Support Centers (ASCs) and Instructor Training Centers (ITCs) are also available to assist instructors when needed.
Here's a sampling of what Networking Academy offers, helping instructors deliver an exceptional education to their students:
- Access to pre-built curriculum and global education platform for classes, lab activities, assessments, instructional presentations, and metrics.
- Dynamic assessment technology that delivers reliable, valid, fair assessments, with flexibility to vary the assessments through a pool of potential questions. And yes, it reduces student cheating.
- Discounts to purchase Cisco equipment used within the classroom.
- Access to the latest Cisco Packet Tracer simulation software.
- Instructor accreditation via Instructor Trainer Centers (ITCs), if required for select courses.
- Free quarterly Instructor Professional Development (IPD) virtual training as well as access to previous training recordings.
- Support available from Cisco Networking Academy Global Support Desk.
- Discounted certification exam vouchers for qualified students.
- Instructor recognition programs.
- Marketing tools and resources to help promote your classes.
Teaching qualifications vary depending on the course or courses selected. Some of our more advanced or certification-aligned courses require accreditation or instructor training to ensure quality learning outcomes for your students. Check the Course Catalog to see if Instructor training is required for your desired course(s).
An Academy Support Center (ASC) is a partner that provides valuable services for Cisco Networking Academy institutions. ASCs are leaders within their community, providing guidance, mentoring, and ongoing support. Depending on their expertise, an ASC may help with:
- Onboarding support, such as creating and launching your first course
- Grant assistance to locate funding opportunities
- Locating where to obtain equipment for your region, including leasing or loaner options
- Classroom equipment set up
- Using our online education platform
- Providing instructor training and accreditation
- Providing primary support
- Assisting and mentoring academies to increase academy quality
- Driving student participation and academy growth
- Assistance in localizing critical communications from Cisco
- Marketing assistance in promoting your new course(s)
- Locating services, information, and tools
ASC pricing and services vary. Some ASCs do not charge for their services, while others offer an annual subscription fee for a general list of services.
Even if you choose courses that do not require ASC alignment, it can be extremely valuable having an ASC’s assistance and support for the services listed above. Use the Academy Support Center locator to find an ASC that best meets your needs.
Due to the technical nature of some courses, Cisco Networking Academy may require that your institution receive support from an Academy Support Center, also known as aligning with an ASC. Having the support of an ASC will boost your institution’s success in delivering a quality course and ultimately improve your student learning outcomes. Cisco Networking Academy also offers courses that do not require ASC alignment. However, it is still highly recommended that you choose an ASC that best meets your needs.
Instructor Training Centers (ITCs) provide initial and ongoing training for Cisco Networking Academy Instructors. ITCs offer:
- Instructor training and accreditation classes for select Cisco Networking Academy courses
- Instructor professional development opportunities
- Technical support for a Cisco Networking Academy Instructor for up to a year after successfully completing training
In addition to training and professional development, ITCs may also offer additional training and support for courses with significant updates. You may find that an Academy Support Center also provides services as an ITC. Use the Instructor Training Center locator to find an ITC that best meets your needs.
The Cisco Networking Academy program is designed to provide learning experiences to explore technology topics and to gain the skills needed for entry-level and associate-level job roles.
Most of our courses are designed at a level appropriate for high school / secondary school, college, university, or adult learners looking to re-skill from a different domain.
Introductory level courses are designed for learners interested to explore the field of technology and may be appropriate even for younger audiences.
Cisco Networking Academy operates in accordance with global privacy laws, including laws that impact children's privacy. For more information, review our Terms and Conditions.
Providing a technical curriculum is just the start of what Cisco Networking Academy offers students. The end-goal is to land a meaningful job! We help students launch IT careers, start businesses, and solve problems locally and globally. Our program includes:
- Free access to Cisco Packet Tracer, the robust simulation software used in many Cisco Networking Academy courses
- Discounted certification exam discounts or qualified students – students with a set-level passing grade
- Courses and workshops that develop critical thinking, entrepreneurial, and problem-solving skills
- Professional skill building such as becoming a better communicator, team player, or the importance of workplace etiquette
- Global community support through Facebook
- Digital experiences through programs like Women Rock-IT to motivate students with inspirational role models and the opportunities STEAM skills can bring to their future, including career pathways, career attainment and advancement
- Digital badges to validate learning and preparation for industry-recognized certifications
- Participation in several professional software develop communities-of-practice such as Cisco DevNet, GitHub, and Stack Overflow
- As part of our mission to power an inclusive future for all, Cisco Networking Academy is committed to ensuring that students with disabilities can access our courses and services.
- Access to valuable career resources, including apprenticeship opportunities and the Talent Bridge Matching Engine that pairs qualified students with hiring employers
Cisco Networking Academy Talent Bridge is an employment program that connects hiring employers from around the world with current and former Cisco Networking Academy students.
The Talent Bridge Matching Engine connects recruiters with qualified candidates from our program based on employer-specific skill requirements using data-informed matching.
Students also receive valuable assistance like career advice, virtual events, career networking, experience-building opportunities, and have the opportunity to be matched for employer apprenticeships.