SWiT Cisco Academy

SWiT Cisco Academy Launch!

We are delighted to announce that we have partnered with global technology giant, Cisco Systems Inc, to become a Cisco Academy. This will enable us to provide our members and the wider community with access to free, online, certificated, technology courses, which can be accessed 24/7 to learn new digital skills!

We will provide access to 5 courses in English to begin with, however, watch out for further announcements on additional and more advanced courses in a wide variety of languages.



What is Cisco Academy?

For 20 years, Cisco Academy has changed the lives of over 10 million students in 180 countries by providing education, technical training, and career mentorship.

The first Cisco Academy was created in 1997 when Cisco realised that access to technology alone is not enough, people need to be trained to use it and to get the best out of it. Cisco discovered this, after donating some networking equipment to a school, which lay unused, as no one knew exactly what to do with it.

There are currently over 12,000 Cisco Academies throughout the world. All of which use free of charge online courses, created by the Cisco Networking Academy Program, to deliver technology education to their members, employees, and students.

In the UK, over 299 thousand students have participated - 12% of these students were women.

Have a look at this link and click on ‘Explore Their Stories’ to read about all of the Cisco Networking Academy locations across the world, and hear from real-life students!

Why did SWiT decide to become a Cisco Academy?

In July this year, Catalyst published a report which stated that, in 2018-2019, over half (57.1%) of students enrolled in higher education were women. The report also stated that, in 2018–2019, women were underrepresented in several subject areas of higher education, including:

  • Computer Science = 18.4%

  • Engineering and Technology = 19.1%


Most concerningly, the report also stated that, in the UK, women were 5% more likely to have lost their jobs due to Covid-19 than men, that 60% of essential workers are women and that women comprise 77% of the labour force at high risk of contracting Covid-19.

The recent Covid-19 pandemic has changed the working World. Many people find themselves facing redundancy or work in industries facing uncertain times. We want to help people access resources that can help them learn new skills and develop their careers.

SWiT are passionate about diversity, inclusion and technology. Partnering with Cisco to become a Networking Academy provides us with the chance to share user friendly online technology courses, which are free, provide certification on completion and can be accessed 24/7 by our members and the wider community.

The ability to access these courses online means that anyone, regardless of technology experience or background, career, or family commitments, can join and participate at a time that suits them.

Whether you are looking to change career, up-skill or want to learn a completely new skill, the course options will provide you with the opportunity to explore a variety of additional skills or career paths.

Championing diversity inclusion and gender equality in technology is at the heart of what we do. Our Partnership with Cisco and the Cisco Academy enables us to provide a tangible benefit to our members and the wider community.

Click on the video above, to watch our SWiT Cisco Academy Launch Meeting.


Panelists include;

  • Facilitated by Marisa Metcalf (SWiT Board Member/ Cisco) Stuart Traylor (Cisco)

  • Ashley Beck (Police Scotland)

  • David Hendry (Glasgow Caledonian University)

  • Armand Leblois (Cisco)


“I’ve always been a person who likes to adjust. 
Whatever the world throws at you, it's up to you how you handle it.
You can handle it that way or you can just whine that you don't have shoes and not go to school.
There’s always a solution, as long as you open your mind to it.”

- Soso Luningo, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Work with us…

be a part of our community!

We see this program as an opportunity to extend our reach with our network and to build a community of support and enablement for women in Scotland. We will be working closely with Glasgow Caledonian University, who have been a Cisco Networking Academy for over 20 years, to ensure that anyone who wishes to broaden their development beyond our online courses, has support and advice available to them to from people who have walked their path or who advise students on a daily basis. We’d love to hear from organisations in our wider community and from members who can offer support to students participating in these courses.


Please email us at;