Employers and Alumni Praise Cisco Networking Academy Program

Monday, June 20, 2016
Employers and alumni alike praise HFC's CISCO Networking Academy Program.

Employers and alumni alike have high praise for the HFC Cisco Networking Academy Program, which provides students with the skills for designing, building and managing computer networks.

In partnership with California-based Cisco Systems, HFC is designated as a Cisco Networking Academy and offers preparation programs for Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNA-Security and CCNP) certifications. Cisco certifications are consistently rated among the most highly valued certifications within the IT industry by both employers and IT professionals.

Cisco training can lead to well-paying positions, including Network Support Specialists, Network Control Technicians, Hardware/Telecom Field Support Technicians, LAN/WAN Technicians, Network Systems Technicians, among others. Considerable growth and demand for these positions have been predicted by the Information Technology Association of America, the American Electronics Association and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to HFC Cisco Instructor Todd Browning, students who complete the program begin entry level jobs at a salary around $40,000 per year.

Ali Yassine, a 2009 HFC Cisco alumnus, is a lead network engineer at KLA Laboratories, Inc. in Dearborn and has three of the aforementioned certifications. Yassine began his career as an intern at KLA and has since worked his way through the ranks. He stated KLA currently employs approximately 30 HFC Cisco alumni, several of whom he supervises and mentors.

“I consider myself extremely fortunate to have attended such a top notch program all within a few minutes of my home and pride myself to be counted among its alumni. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, I was pursuing a field where I could implement my experience in math and interest in computer science. I found networking to be a perfect blend of the two and the Cisco Academy was the conduit I needed to begin a life-changing career that has allowed me to travel the world and broaden my skills. I truly believe the team of instructors at HFC who supported my efforts have been instrumental in my continued pursuit of all things Cisco and networking,” said Yassine.

KLA President/CEO Matthew J. O’Bryan, also an HFC alumnus, has high praise for the HFC Cisco Academy. In fact, O’Bryan started the KLA Laboratories, Inc. Technology Scholarship Award last fall.

“The preparation of the HFC Cisco Academy alumni has given KLA the opportunity to easily elevate them to technical engineers at a world-class level. This qualified talent has been essential to our growth and success in providing unmatched service to our customers,” said O’Bryan.

The HFC Cisco Networking Academy also has a partnership with Secure-24, Inc. in Southfield. Secure-24 also employs approximately 40 HFC Cisco alumni, many of whom have come to work at Secure-24 directly after completion of the program.

“It’s really a tremendous, collaborative relationship. (Browning) has supplemented our needs for securing top talent. They’re all outstanding. I see these highly talented students take on a position at a multimillion dollar managed services provider to start their careers – the platform of a great education going forward – working with and learning from some of the best IT professionals to be found anywhere in this country. When I see them progress through the technical sphere and head into technical management – there’s nothing more satisfying for me. That’s what Secure-24 is all about,” said Paul Bhatti, Senior Vice President of IT Operations at Secure-24.

Sarah Wojcik, who completed the HFC Cisco Networking Academy program in 2011, is currently the Manager of Network Operations at Secure-24. She has high praise for the program.

“After completing the Academy, (Browning) reached out to Secure-24, referencing me, which resulted in an internship… If it wasn’t for the HFC Cisco Networking Academy, I would not have had such a good career so early in my life. It gave me the stepping stone from a job to a career. I would rate the program very highly as it provides well-rounded base knowledge for a student to build on to become the success they want to be. I also manage two alumni from the Academy at HFC; these network engineers are a huge addition to Secure-24 and I am very grateful they are part of our team,” said Wojcik.

Assisting Browning in making the HFC Cisco Networking Academy program a success at the College are fellow full-time instructors Kathryn Fitzner and Taha Adbulkarim.

“We have a great Cisco Networking Program and an AWESOME team at HFC. Our team is made up of some extremely talented students, amazing business partners, the Career Services Office (CSO), supportive administrators, and knowledgeable faculty and support staff to make our program what it is. HFC is a great place to learn, work, and have fun. Cisco is very rewarding and can be financially beneficial. You can start your Cisco Networking path with our first course – CNT:110. I hope to see you in class soon,” said Browning.

For questions or further information about HFC’s Cisco Networking Academy Program, visit https://cisco.hfcc.edu/. You may also contact Cisco Academy Instructor Todd Browning at 313-845-6365 or browning@hfcc.edu.