Phillip Watt hard at it in the second round of the Cisco Networking Academy Competition

COMPUTER WHIZZ: Phillip Watt impressed in an online competition co-ordinated by one of the world’s largest networking hardware companies.

COMPUTER WHIZZ: Phillip Watt impressed in an online competition co-ordinated by one of the world’s largest networking hardware companies.

An Albury-based student has made it to round two in an online competition co-ordinated by one of the world’s largest networking hardware companies.

Phillip Watt competed against students from around the Asia-Pacific region in the second round of the Cisco Networking Academy Competition, which looks at the physical hardware of the internet.

Mr Watt said networking hardware consists of the physical devices that allow communication between computers.

“It’s the infrastructure that is the internet,” he told The Border Mail.

“How it’s connected around the globe.”

Mr Watt impressed in round two and will find out how he went this Friday.

The 28-year-old, who is studying an advanced diploma of information technology networking security at TAFE NSW Riverina Institute’s Albury campus, was one of about 70 hopefuls in the competition.

Competitors from 23 other countries, including Fiji, New Zealand, Singapore, India and Japan, also took part.

Mr Watt’s teacher at TAFE Riverina, Daryl Rowe, said the two-hour competition exam assessed his abilities on both a practical and theoretical level.

“The theory side of it is submitting access control lists, and explaining how to secure and build networks,” Mr Rowe said.

“For the interactive part of it, they’ll give Phillip an interactive network online with all of the components and he’s going to have to set it up, fix problems, connect things, and make things work.”

Networking, in layman’s terms, is simply about building the internet, Mr Rowe said.

“Every time you use the internet, networking is the hardware and the backbone that allows you to send your requests, it’s that underlying technology,” he said.

Taking part in the competition would boost Phillip’s career prospects in the information technology industry by having it on his CV, according to Mr Rowe.

“If you’ve got that sort of qualification with the backing of a networking academy - even if just gets you a second look on your resume - it’s of benefit,” he said.

Next year, Mr Watt will be eligible to compete in the competition’s highest’s level, which offers winners an all-expenses paid trip to Cisco headquarters in California.

The advanced diploma also focuses on risk management, ethical hacking and penetration testing.

Mr Watt hoped to land a job somewhere the cyber security industry after his graduation.

For more information about signing up IT students to next year’s Cisco Networking Academy Competition, visit academynetriders.com/file.php/1/netriders_info/region_apac.html.

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