This week Cisco added another considerable arrow to its learning quiver, with the introduction of the Cisco Virtual Classroom Instruction Specialist credential. Leveraging the company’s acquisition of well-known and -recognized virtual meeting technology company WebEx nearly four years ago, Learning@Cisco is plunking down a big bet that the virtual classroom is the place for technology education to be, and for them to have a major role in shaping and defining how online training works in that context.
When I quizzed several members of the Learning@Cisco team about this, they agreed that it’s not unreasonable to put this new Cisco credential on a par with the Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) or the CompTIA CTT+ (Certified Technology Trainer Plus). That a very good thing, because both of these are widely-known and highly-regarded “train the trainer” credentials that are required in many IT training programs and organizations before professionals are allowed to get up in front of a classroom full of paying customers.
That said, the VCIS (if you don’t mind me abbreviating that long Cisco cert title “Virtual Classroom Instruction Specialist”) obviously takes a different slant on training, because it’s oriented entirely at a virtual classroom, rather than a real one. But as with so much else in life, training is indeed becoming increasingly more virtual, so I see this as a shrewd and forward-looking move on Cisco’s part. Its WebEx arm also has the chops to stand behind this credential, with over 40,000 virtual classes already delivered to a broad range of audiences, and a pretty serious team of seasoned virtual instructors and curriculum developers on the Cisco WebEx University staff.
The exam for this credential is already available, but candidates will also have to do a live virtual demo for evaluation as part of the qualification process for this cert. That infrastructure is slated for completion some time in March, after which interested virtual trainers can complete and earn this certification.