Cisco Academy at Ffynone House School

Today I became the first student at Ffynone House School to complete a Cisco Academy Training course.  Cisco Academy is an educational company that enables students to do a variety of courses, from ICT to Business-related subjects.    Ffynone has recently become an exam centre for Cisco Academy in September 2019 and all the students were offered the opportunity to enrol. 

This has allowed many students, including me, to gain more excellent knowledge about everyday ICT with courses that include cybersecurity and entrepreneurship. I have chosen to do cybersecurity as my first course. Cisco’s detailed, user-friendly website has been very convenient for me to learn from.  I study during my spare time in school hours and it is a straightforward and visually attractive resource to use. Additionally, Ffynone’s ICT teacher, Mr Jones, is always on hand to assist me and has given me lots of encouragement. 

Why Cybersecurity?  

We live in an era of great informational knowledge all stored on the internet. However, due to this, there has been many malicious and malignant websites, viruses and specialist hackers that have begun to plague the internet.

This made me inclined to learn and understand how to protect your network and information from these types of things. Cybersecurity has also been a top priority for many world Governments with the threat of cyber-warfare even occurring. This has further intrigued me to learn about this topic and how governments or hackers may use techniques (such as DDoS) to disrupt networks or communications. 

In order to prepare for the exam, I used Cisco’s convenient tests and quizzes that they provided in the PowerPoints. This helped me gain an edge when learning about cybersecurity and helped me pass the exam.  The exam is done on a computer and in order to pass you would need to get over 75%. 

Another critical aspect of Cisco is that they provide flexible exam dates. This means that the exam date can be chosen by the students according to their convenience. This has really suited me, as Year 11 can be a hectic year!  Being able to do this exam in February has saved me a little stress from the thought of combining it with my impending GCSE exams in the summer.   

What next? 

Another topic that has interested me is Entrepreneurship. Though I have not started this course, this is the most popular course chosen by students as it goes into the field of Business and Economics which many people are interested in.   I am taking Business Studies GCSE so this would dovetail nicely with my academic portfolio. 

I am aiming to go to Medical School after my A-levels and therefore you may be wondering, what does Cybersecurity have to do with Medicine? In fact, my main reason for taking the course was not to further my studies in this area but out of pure interest for the topic! 

There has been many news articles and debates about cyber-attacks and this made me inclined to learn how attackers perform these attacks and how to defend against them.  Education is not just about achieving one specific academic goal and I am keen to take advantage of all the opportunities offered to me to improve my understanding of the wider world.  If this gets me a further qualification, all the better!   

My advice for my peers 

Do this qualification!  It is interesting and worthwhile and not only gives you some expertise in this field but also demonstrates that you can work independently.  If you do embark on the course, be aware that not all material is covered in the quizzes. Some more insignificant pieces of information, such as a definition of a network, may come up in the exam. Thus, you should read every word carefully on the information slides and make sure you understand each slide before moving on.