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In 2012, for the second year in a row young Romanian Computer Science Talents are the winners of the Cisco International NetRiders IT Skills Competition. The prestigious technology competition of the Cisco Networking Academy was organized in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), Russia, Commonwealth Independent States (CIS), Middle East and Africa. This year Alexandru-Cătălin Bujor from Romania collected the overall top male score among Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) NetRiders Winners, while this result was scored a year before by Romanian Liviu-Valentin Bleotu.
Located at the cross point of three large markets – the European Union, the former Soviet states and the Middle East – Romania is becoming the new success story in the development of the IT sector. Quality and creativity are the key words for summing up the professional advantage of the Romanian IT industry, two incomparable assests proven by the constant first-place wins of Romanian brains at most international mathematics and informatics competitions.
Alexandru-Cătălin Bujor, the 2012 EMEA NetRiders winner will graduate this year the Faculty of Automatic Control and Computer Sciences at Politechnica University of Bucharest. He was enrolled in the two-year Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) program of the Telecom Academy. “I’m a cycle racing fan and participating at NetRiders and winning EMEA’s International CCNA contest is like I have taken part in the Tour de France and I entered the Champs-Elysees wearing the yellow jersey” said Alexandru-Cătălin Bujor, cited by Forbes Romania.
CCNA NetRiders Wall of Fame includes as many as eight Romanians: Alexandru-Cătălin Bujor, Alexandru Becher, Andreea-Monica Pirvulescu, Mihai Molodoi, Lucia Rosculete, Liviu‐Valentin Bleotu, Mihnea Spirescu and Radu Ioncu.
According to a press release made public by Cisco, the winners of the 2012 edition of EMEA NetRiders are: Lilia Rosioru, Moldova – overall top female score; Alexandru-Cătălin Bujor, Romania – overall top male score; Tim Heckmann, Germany – Western Europe winner; Mikhail Surikov, Uzbekistan – CEE, Russia / CIS winner; Darvin Moctaram, Mauritius – Middle East and Africa winner.
One hundred forty-seven Networking Academy students from 45 countries participated simultaneously online, across five time zones. The winners of each of the five categories are invited to go on a Cisco sponsored study tour to California’s Silicon Valley in January 2013. They will spend a working week at Cisco headquarters in San Jose, meet with senior executives, systems engineers and experts from Cisco and other information technology companies, and experience the California lifestyle with trips to San Francisco and Stanford University.
The Cisco NetRiders IT Skills Competition is designed to test students’ knowledge of networking technologies and to prepare them for on-the-job challenges as they enter the workforce.
NetRiders is a global networking contest created by the Cisco Networking Academy for students enrolled in the program. It builds on skills that participants acquire as they go through their training. At the competition, contestants use their IT and networking knowledge through simulation activities in which they build, configure and troubleshoot virtual networks.
NetRiders utilizes Cisco Web 2.0 technologies to create an interactive skills contest that motivates students to pursue further technology education and training; at the same time it fosters the sense that participants are part of one online community, collaborating with each other across a range of shared activities using the same tools.
The EMEA CCNA International NetRiders contest took place on July 3, 2012. The finalists were nominated as the top entrants from each participating country.
Identifying top talent remains a priority for the Networking Academy, as research is again pointing to skills gaps within the IT sector that could hamper productivity and competitiveness across the globe – reads in the Cisco Press Release.
“There is strong global demand for ICT solutions across all business segments because innovative use of technology increases productivity, reduces overall costs and helps transform businesses. The Cisco Networking Academy program contributes to fulfilling this global demand by teaching over 1 million students annually, the skills needed to design, build, manage and secure computer networks. NetRiders draws on our student community, providing an exciting and competitive forum that showcases top talent around the world.” – affirms Laura Quintana, senior director, Corporate Affairs and Cisco Networking Academy, Cisco in a press release made public by Cisco.
The Networking Academy began in 1997 with 64 schools and has grown to become one of the “world’s largest classrooms” with 10,000 academies in 165 countries, and more than 4 million students having participated in the program since its inception.
In Romania, the first Cisco Networking Academy was founded in 1998 in the Politechnica University of Bucharest. In the last 12 months there were 14 800 students enrolled in Cisco Networking Academy courses, with 13% more than previous year; 28% of enrolled students are female. Cisco Networking Academy has a total of 388 national trainers; there are 192 Cisco Academies in Romania and 56 460 people graduated from the start of the program