A worldwide leader in networking found it was time to invest in hiring and training a new, highly qualified and certified sales force that could hit the ground running through an associate systems engineers training program. The highly technical nature of the associate systems engineers training required comprehensive delivery in a wide variety of learning methods. Each group of new associate systems engineers is comprised primarily of recent college graduates who have little or no systems engineering experience. To earn the four major certifications necessary to start a career, the company required these future employees to enter a 12-month training regimen.
The managers had to create and implementing the associate systems engineers New Hire Program, which included instructor-led training, hands-on labs, technical self-paced e-Learning content, competitive case studies, program management and tracking, and peer interaction.
The program was comprised of two major components: the certification block and the advanced technology block. The certification block included training for the four core Cisco certifications: Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA), and Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP). The advanced technology block included a separate set of advanced technical courses focused on specialized areas such as voice over Internet (VoIP), security, and wireless technologies.
The first week of each course was led by an instructor. The following week, instructors returned Thursday and Friday for a comprehensive exam review, allowing students several days in between classroom training for hands-on labs, studying, and practicing. The program’s self-paced e-Learning course materials provided students with yet another method for exam preparation, and the students had 24/7 access to the materials and labs and self-test software for all four certifications so students could take practice certification exams prior to the real thing.
The design, plan, and implementation of the associate systems engineers New Hire Program was accomplished in approximately three months. After a unique but rigorous training program, many new associate systems engineers have experienced outstanding pass rates.