AMMAN — After nine months of applying for various jobs and finding no opportunities, Suad Abdul Hafez, a computer engineering graduate, said she almost lost hope in finding employment in her field.
Abdul Hafez, who graduated from Al Balqa Applied University in 2009, said she applied to several companies in the IT sector and other fields upon her graduation, got some phone calls from employers, was promised some jobs, but ended up having no opportunity of employment.
Only in late 2009 did she find a job after receiving training at one of Cisco's networking academies in Jordan.
"It was unfortunate that I could not find a job in my major after trying hard to find one," Abdul Hafez told The Jordan Times in an interview this week.
"Some of my colleagues, who already found jobs after graduation, told me about training they received at some of Cisco's networking academies and that they found jobs easily afterwards. So I applied for training at one of the academies," she said.
After three months of intensive training at the Princess Sumaya University for Technology's (PSUT) Cisco Networking Academy on Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Routing and Switching, Abdul Hafez said she found a job immediately.
"I started applying again after I got the training, and I received phone calls from several companies. I ended up finding a job in a local company's IT department," she said.
"They hired me because they needed someone who has knowledge in the field of networks, routing and switching," Abdel Hafez added.
"The training I got at the academy provided me with skills I did not learn at university," Abdul Hafez, who holds a CCNA industry certificate, said.
She is one of more than 9,700 Jordanians who have been trained at Cisco Networking Academies since 2000, Mohamed Jinini, networking academy area manager for Levant countries at Cisco Systems, told The Jordan Times in an interview this week.
Of the total, around 33 per cent of the trainees since 2000 are women, Janini said.
"There are about 6,000 graduates in IT engineering fields annually in Jordan. Many of whom lack the skills needed in the labour market. Cisco Networking Academies provide training that enables trainees to get internationally recognised certificates and improve their skills," he added.
Cisco Networking Academy is a global education programme that teaches students how to design, build, troubleshoot and secure computer networks for increased access to career and economic opportunities in communities around the world.
Under the academy's training programme, Cisco partners with educational institutions, government administrations and community-based organisations to provide the courses.
"Cisco networking academies provide students with training on much-needed skills in the market. The majority of companies' work, regardless of their sector, is Internet-based, which makes firms in need of experts in networks, routers and switching," Ali Al Hajj, head of the computer and engineering department at PSUT, recently told The Jordan Times.
"The training students receive at the academies is crucial in making it easier for them to find a job. These academies also provide training on network security, which is also in demand," Hajj, who is also director of PSUT's Cisco Networking Academy, said.
Nour Jarrar, a graduate of communications engineering from PSUT, said after she completed the training at the university's Cisco academy she was contacted by an IT company and offered a job.
"Estarta Solutions called me. I did a phone interview, then I went to their offices for a second interview, and they offered me a job," she said.
Jarrar now works as a technical support engineer at the company.
According to Janini, Cisco Systems in Jordan reached deals with several companies in the country under which it provides them with the names and contacts of those who complete training at Cisco networking academies.
"Companies call these graduates whenever they have an opening," said Janini.
There are 20 Cisco academies in Jordan, including ones at PSUT, the University of Jordan, the Public Security Department and the Jordan University of Science and Technology.