Networking Course (4 credit hour) vs Cisco Networking Academy Course.


A Computer Science Course should come with theory and practical. However, in some universities only networking theory is taught and there is virtually, no practical at all.

University Networking Course

Worst Case Scenario

a) Lecture 2-3 hours per week for 13 – 16 weeks for long semester

b) Tutorial 1 hours for 12  – 15 weeks for long semester

c) No Lab

d) 1 test (mid-term) 1-2 hour

e) 1 final exam?2-3 hour


Best case Scenario

a) Lecture 2-3 hours per week for 13 – 16 weeks for long semester

b) First 2-4 weeks tutorial

c) 5th -16th weeks Lab practical

d) 1 test (mid-term) 1-2 hour

e) 1-2 assignments

f) 1 final exam. 2-3 hour

Bear in mind that, for lecturer teaching is only part of their evaluation. They are also evaluated on research, grants, publication and postgraduate supervision. If the lecturers do everything to deliver the best case scenario, can they do everything or will they do it if they can? What about their research? In some universities, the lecturer has to teach for 15 hours per week, 3 semesters a year. How is the lecturer going to allocate his time?

CCNA Course

In each CCNA course there are

About 10 modules exam (online)

1 trial exam (online)

1 final exam (online)

1 skill based exam (practical)

lot of laboratory hand on practical.

lab–sheet is 200 page thick for laboratory exercises. How many hours does it take one to finish all that 200 sheet of laboratory exercise?

Lecturer saves a lot of time on material content, assessment and laboratory exercise.


Let look at each of the item one by one so that you can judge it by yourself.


Non-Cisco Academy Cisco Academy
1. Text-book Buy/Borrow Books Online-Material. Free ?online access. Pay internet charges. Free if Internet access is widely available
2. Text-book lab exercise Most text books are separated into theory and practical. If you want both, you have to buy 2 books. Many practical text books are difficult to read and lab exercise are difficult to follow. If lecturer prepares his own lab-sheet, how long does it take him to get a 200 page lab-sheet with answer as well?


Complete lab sheet done by a team of people. Most of the lab exercise can be done.
3. Text book content Only 1-3 expert authors wrote the book on a wide range of topics. The online content is written by a team of people with feedback from thousands of students worldwide and some industrial feedback.
4. Lecture notes content Provided by the text books or lecturer own slides or a combination of both Standard lecture slides are provided. Lecturer can modified and enhance it
1. Marking Whether it is quizzes, test etc, thelecturer has to mark it. Online exam, automated marking
2. No of quizzes and test 2- 10 . How many? 10 modules exams, CNS online practical, online final exam.
3. Practical No of labs. 200 pages of lab sheet. Sufficient lab exercise for the whole semester.
1. Instructors Lecturer with Master Degree and above. Qualification varies from universities to universities Instructors are trained before they can start a class. They have to pass all the online exam, practical etc before they can start a class. Some Instructors took the industry certification and pass.
5 pillars
1. Ability Can talk only. Theory only

Can show (If there is lab exercise)

How many things can you show?

Can talk, can configure, can show.

CCNA2 :- Can configure IP routing + ACL on 5-6 routers



Some universities make the following arguments. You may want to look at the question portion of the argument before making your own judgments.


1. Teaching philosophy We should stress more on Theory. Practical they can learn once student join the industrial.
Questions How do I know the theory taught by the lecturer is correct if he can’t show it to me in real-life?

We don’t expect the lecturer to show 100%, perhaps maybe 50% of what is taught.

In theory, there can be many variations? It depends on how you describe it. How do we know a particular theory is feasible or not from implementation point of view?


2. Vendor specific We must not be biased
Question In order to be vendor independent then you need to have equipment from at least 3-5 different vendors. Do you have the budget to buy? What will be the equipment utilization? Can you find or afford a staff that knows most or some of the things from 3-5 different vendors and if he doesn’t, is he willing to learn? Will he stay after he had learnt?


Please bear in mind, open-source implementation is not so easy to learn.

3. Reputation We can do it on our own. No need to depend on other.
Question Let us look at their university lecturer profile if they said they can be stand-alone

a)       no of working networking implementation in undergraduate and post-graduate program

b)      no of real-life working implementation in undergraduate and post-graduate program

c)      Staff industrial attachment or working experience to networking vendors

d)      No of (ISI-cited) journal publication in networking

e)       Contribution to open source implementation in networking

f)       No of Patent


If you have some of these then you can be on your own, otherwise you may need Cisco Networking Academy Program as a jump start.

4. No problem Our degree program is already popular why change?
Question Subsidize situation.

If the meal is free, even a simple nasi-lemak people will queue for it.

When you start to charge, then only you know how tasty is your nasi-lemak?

During recession, you will be the first to hit.


Private university (popular)

During the years of peak IT course 2001/2002, some universities had 1000 IT students in one year for 3 year program. Once these students leave, there are only 1000 IT student in the whole 3 year program. If you don’t plan or embrace changes, but the time the changes come, it is too late to survive.



Lecturer can learn from the existing material and then re-enforce their learning when they teach.

Cisco Networking Courses + Lecturer Modification and Fine-tuning ?/span> Best Course for students.


If you are getting just a theory class for your networking course, then you should begin to ask your lecturer why other universities student gets to configure router and switches in their classes.




MMU Cisco Networking Academy Instructors use its best effort to make sure information on this article is accurate and up to date. We cannot take any responsibility for any loss and liabilities arising out of use of the information on this article. Some parts of the article are merely instructors’ comments. If there is any mistake, please send us an email. Thank You

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