Build a skilled workforce with a registered apprenticeship program ... more
Meet Sam Burnett, a technical consulting engineer with Cisco Systems Inc., who started his journey with the company as an apprentice. Cisco, an American multinational technology corporation with campuses located in San Jose California and Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, recently launched a pilot apprenticeship program to help the company recruit and develop its talent bank.
Burnett began working at the Credit Union in finance after graduating from college and spent 10 years with the company before learning about the Cisco Talent Incubation Program from a friend.
“The pandemic made customer service and face to face interactions at The Credit Union really challenging for me,” Sam explained during an interview. “I began to feel like it was time for a new challenge and the Cisco Talent Incubation Program sounded like the perfect opportunity for me to shift my career path and advance my earning potential.”
After learning more about the program, Burnett began studying the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification course material while continuing to work at the Credit Union. He was able to use the free Cisco Net Academy resources to prepare for the certification. Sam recalls that it was long days while studying, but well worth his time. Before long, he would become one of five apprentices selected for Cisco’s pilot program that launched in the fall of 2021.
The apprenticeship program is open to anyone from any occupation or background, or someone like Sam Burnett who was looking to switch careers. It’s also ideal for someone exiting the military or working on an associate degree.
Cisco partners with Wake Tech Community College to source candidates who are enrolled in a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification course. Cisco plans to run the apprenticeship program twice per year. Cisco also offers pre-apprenticeships for students and new graduates.
Sam Burnett successfully completed the apprenticeship program and began working full-time as a technical consulting engineer with Cisco in May.
“If someone is looking for a career change, they should consider an apprenticeship,” Burnett said. “It’s an amazing way to explore a career that you’re interested in that also provides a pathway to a full-time job. Apprenticeships are one of the most valuable tools for those of us who may have jumped into a career right out of college. Life changing in my case.”