<p>One of the largest online learning portals is the Cisco Networking Academy, a program partnering with schools worldwide to offer high-quality <a href="https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-earn-online-computer-certification-1097935" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="internalLink" data-ordinal="1">information and communications technology education</a>. Spanning 165 countries, the program has over one million students around the world and combines hands-on training with the use of <a href="https://www.thoughtco.com/what-research-says-about-online-learning-1098012" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="internalLink" data-ordinal="2">online learning elements</a>, interactive tools and simulations, and immediate student feedback. The Academy has grown dramatically in recent years as many seeking employment or ways to augment their resume have found success with Cisco courses.</p><h3>A Cloud Solution to a Growing Tech-Industry Problem</h3>Cisco Networking Academy often refers to itself as the facilitator of the world’s largest classroom. It started in the late 1990s as a result of Cisco’s desire to create a standardized method of offering training to those that would work with the networking equipment Cisco was selling in large quantities. Many companies purchased networking hardware but had a difficult time finding qualified and skilled personnel to work on the hardware.<br/><br/>Cisco solved the problem by creating Cisco Networking Academy, a free online method of offering Cisco training to academic institutions. In order to allow the program to grow rapidly, Cisco opted to create a cloud based system of allowing students to access their online curriculum over the internet and save their progress from any computer.<br/><br/>This cloud based system of allowing students to access their curriculum online has become increasingly popular as it allows students to work on their learning at any time of day and make it much easier for educators to administer the classroom environment.<h3>A Model Program</h3>Since being created the Cisco Networking Academy has helped over four million users develop their tech skills. With 15 years of history now, Cisco has become a model program for what distance learning may become in the future.<br/><br/>Students that take Cisco courses find themselves well prepared for a variety of technology jobs, and Cisco’s popularity speaks to the demand employers have for employees with networking skills.<br/><br/>Now considered one of the largest education programs, Cisco often partners with universities, colleges and high schools to teach students about computer networking. The Cisco academy provides unique training that prepares pupils for jobs in computer science, and engineering fields.<br/><br/>After conducting a student survey of 1500 past alumni, Cisco found that 67 percent of its former students had found at least one job position as a result of their Cisco training. Additionally 20 percent reported that they were given a better or higher-level job than they would have otherwise qualified for had they not had the training.<h3>Partnership with Instructure</h3>Recently Cisco announced that they would be partnering with Instructure to make use of their <a href="https://www.thoughtco.com/canvas-instructure-review-1098196" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="internalLink" data-ordinal="3">Canvas LMS</a> product to provide online IT courses on the cloud. Instructure already works with nearly 3 million online students, so this partnership will likely lead to further developments in online learning.<br/><br/>The wide availability of cloud computing education options is driving down the cost of delivering a good education regardless of location. A high speed internet connection and a computer is all that is needed to provide a number of students with a valuable education. The easy accessibility to an array of network training is causing Cisco to see a wide interest in its program from groups that previously had limited education options available to them.<h3>Cisco in Developing Countries</h3>One of the many initiatives taken has been to provide IT training opportunities through the least-developed countries initiative. Cisco has been expanding rapidly into places like Bangladesh, Mongolia, Nepal, Algeria and Morocco with the added goal of encouraging increased participation by women. Cisco has even been offering scholarships in many of these nations in order to meet its goal of encouraging women to enter the tech field.<br/><br/>As Cisco continues to grow its program it’s likely that online learning will play an increasingly important role in its classrooms across the globe.<h3>How to Become a Student</h3>If you think that Cisco training might be a good fit for you, take a look at the <a href="http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/netacad/index.html" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="4">Cisco Networking Academy website</a> to find a participating school in your area.