Based in Mumbai, ACIT is the brain child of Rohit Pardasani, Penta CCIE # 21282 (SP, R&S, Security, Voice, Collaboration) and CCSI # 34999, who started training students with the sole objective in mind to become the top educationist in the field of international IT certifications. Today, after almost two decades, ACIT's success stories speak for themselves with more than 3100 CCIE's and other certified professionals succeeding in the IT industry after being placed in top companies around the world.
Rohit Pardasani, Chief Consultant Instructor for ACIT Education (www.acit.in), was one of those fortunate kids who had the privilege of using a computer with 64 MB RAM and 64 kbps dial-up connection. Growing up in Mumbai during the 90s, his world was full of cricket and computers. He knows the pain of waiting for the dial-up connection to complete and that screeching-robot noise of a dial-up modem connecting to the internet is still a nostalgic sound for him. "Back in 2000, the software industry world-wide witnessed a slow down. Many IT professionals lost their job, but networking employees survived. I never knew back then, 'Why did the software engineers lose their job and not the networking engineers.' I realised after being in the industry of networking that network engineers won't lose their job as a company's business slows, whereas they may have to fire software developers, but they would not be able to fire network engineers as companies need their offices inter-connected at all times. For example, a bank may stop developing new software, but would never want to lose connectivity with Headquarters. I was very fascinated towards computers back then and my father pushed me to achieve my CCNA certification, though I was in my first year of BS Chemistry at that point of time," recounts Rohit.
"ACIT offers technical in-depth training on Cisco's certification right from Associate level being the most basic, all the way through to expert level, which is the most technically advanced and the most highly considered and sought-after certification in the field of Networking"
Cisco Certified Network Associate or CCNA, a not-so-popular course then in India, opened a door of endless opportunities for Rohit. With an insatiable hunger to learn about networking, Rohit moved further to achieve Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certification and eventually the most coveted, Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) - a high-level certification that demonstrates an extreme-level of network engineering skills. "CCIE is like taking a PhD in the field of computer networking. Over the years, I have taken CCIE certification in five specializations; Collaboration, Routing Switching, Security, Voice and Service Provider," proudly says Rohit.
According to Cisco, less than three percent of all certified Cisco professionals and less than one percent of all networking professionals worldwide hold CCIE certification, making it an exclusive club of networking experts. These small numbers are largely the result of the difficulty of achieving the certification - not an indication of its popularity. "To achieve CCIE certification, candidates must pass a famously demanding day-long lab exam in addition to the more traditional written exam. The lab exam is tough. It includes complex scenarios and requirements that would test a candidate's high-level of technical knowledge," explains Rohit, who has managed to pass four out of five CCIE Certifications in maiden attempts.
Rohit has been in the networking industry for more than 17 years, with a focus on Cisco networking for the past 15 years. Today, he is the go-to man for many multinational organizations, when an unsolvable issue occurs in their networks. He is a regular visitor of Cisco's head office in the US, where he takes seminars on latest networking topics. His corporate clientele includes industry giants like IBM, Infosys, Cisco, Capgemini and many more. "I can proudly say that most of the IT managers in companies like Infosys, IBM, Capgemini and Cisco have trained under me at one point or the other. This level of recognition helps me to find opportunities for the students I train at my institute, ACIT," says Rohit, who is now considered as one of the top 100 Cisco Networking experts globally.
Transferring the Packets of Knowledge
With the kind of recognitions and level of knowledge he holds, Rohit Pardasani is a bigger brand than the training institute that he has been running in Mumbai since 1998. Under the leadership of Rohit, ACIT offers technical in-depth training on Cisco's certification right from Associate level being the most basic, all the way through to Expert level, which is the most technically advanced and the most highly considered and sought-after certification in the field of Networking. "The mission of ACIT is to create delighted customers through rapid development and delivery of innovative, high quality and cost-effective solutions to meet end-to-end training requirements backed with customer care of the highest standard," shares Rohit.
For those who aspire to achieve CCIE certification, ACIT offers an extensive CCIE lab exam preparatory training. The institute guarantees an end-to-end coverage of the entire CCIE exam blueprints, which will enhance the current technical knowledge and prepare the learners for the ultimate challenge, the CCIE Lab Exam. "A well-planned CCIE preparatory training will ensure smart learning and a guaranteed path to succeed in certifying the CCIE Lab Examination," opines Rohit. In fact, ACIT leads over it competitors way ahead in terms of infrastructure. With Asia's one of the biggest Cisco Training labs available for students for hands on lab preparation, ACIT offers unlimited Rack access till the candidates pass the examination. Rohit adds, "If you are planning to appear for CCIE examination, you need to invest eight hours of practical training for at least four months. Though we run classes from 8 AM to 8 PM every day, our labs and office are open 24x7 for learners who are willing to use our facilities."
The trainings at ACIT run for the scheduled tenure with each day intensifying into a 7-10 hours session and is usually followed by practice sessions assigned by the mentors. The lectures and hands-on demonstrations usually run through the Cisco CCIE blueprint requirements. The latter half of the training covers troubleshooting, which is an essential component of the CCIE lab examination. This session also covers the exam preparation tips, which are very useful to CCIE aspirants who are serious in achieving the certification as a stepping-stone in their career growth. In addition to that, Rohit who has written many books on the various topic of networking himself conducts boot camps every month for the aspirants who come to ACIT looking for a better future in this field by achieving the coveted CCIE certification.
Handholding Fresh Grads to the Realm of Networking
ACIT conducts a Job-Oriented NetGrad Routing Switching Program, which is meant to take fresh students, right from college, and get them job ready from day one. This program is comprised of the Basic, Advanced and Expert level courses in the field of networking, this training program begins with CCNA Routing Switching, which is the grassroots level in the field of networking. With the right blend of theory, practical sessions, class works and homework, it takes a beginner from associate level to professional level within a span of 2-3 months. After that, the students are made to go through stringent internal exams, which are twice as difficult as the global exams. "Once they clear all the internal exams, they are moved to the expert level CCIE Routing Switching course, which they are expected to pass before being placed in the Industry. In this program, the student learns CCNA Routing Switching, CCNP Routing Switching and CCIE Routing Switching," explains Rohit. ACIT also runs similar program for those who want to work in the network security domain, where they students can learn CCNA Routing Switching, CCNA Security, CCNP Security and CCIE Security in a span of 6-8 months.
"The industry has changed its pattern of recruiting. Earlier, they were ready to pick fresh graduates from college and invest in their training before they can use them in the real work place. Now, they want job-ready candidates who are not only expert in one-domain, but can handle products of multiple vendors," observes Rohit. To meet the challenges and advance requirements of the ever-evolving IT Industry, ACIT has specially designed a 1-year highly customized program called The BlackHawk. This program would recognize individuals who have the knowledge and skills to implement, maintain and support extensive multi-vendor network security deployments, using the latest industry best practices and technologies. In addition to a thorough practical knowledge of the technology, the candidate would also learn the soft skills that are required of all professionals.
"With hackers evolving, companies are being forced to reckon with the ever-rising risk of doing business in an increasingly digital world. The focus has now shifted from single vendor to multi-vendor network infrastructure in order to ensure a variety of increasingly complex levels of security. Companies have revamped their hiring policies to echo their network defence strategy and are now on the lookout for multi-vendor/multi-technology capable candidates to fill new job roles. These candidates are near impossible to find," elaborates Rohit. ACIT's BlackHawk Program collaborates with colleges in order to train students to fit the above-mentioned roles, while they are still in college and not under any job pressure. "Our aim is to get them ready before placements begin in their respective colleges. In this program, the student learns CCNA Routing Switching, CCNA Security, CCNP Routing Switching, CCNP Security, Palo-Alto Firewalls, Checkpoint Firewalls, and CCIE Routing Switching," states Rohit.
Since its establishment, ACIT has trained more than 25000 students and has a proven track record of the best training methods. The institute has been a leader in the network-training world for a long time. Over the years, they have earned the respect and gratitude of many of the top networking MNC's and firms who currently recruit ACIT trained, job-ready candidates every year. "We will leverage our knowledge of the network job market and our corporate connections to ensure that all the students in our program get placed in job profiles that are the best fit for their expertise. We provide written agreements with a 100 percent Job Placement Guarantee to students passing the CCIE Lab Exam and passing our internal BlackHawk exam. In the coming years, we will also expand our trainings to multiple cities, to include, Bangalore and Delhi. This way, many more prospective network engineers can benefit from the expertise we have gained over the years working in this challenging networking domain," concludes Rohit.