"Being able to work for Cisco and take classes at Stanford was like a dream come true for me."

Amit Aggarwal, Software Engineer, Cisco Systems, says that one of the main reasons he decided to join Cisco was because of their partnership with the Stanford Center for Professional Development, which allowed him to take courses from Stanford while he worked.

Aggarwal recently completed two certificates and plans to continue his studies by taking additional courses that interest him." I like how I am able to take courses without having to commit to a degree program," he says. "A certificate is great for anyone who already has a degree, but wants more information or knowledge in a specific subject."

Aggarwal first earned the graduate certificate in computer architecture, which gave him a better overall understanding of how hardware worked. "At the time I was a system programmer and I wanted to improve the code that I was writing," he says. "The certificate made it possible for me to communicate better with hardware engineers and be more specific in my requirements."

Aggarwal went on to earn the professional certificate in computer security which enabled him to learn the basics of computer security and speak the language of professionals in that field. "I knew computer security was a hot topic, and I wanted to learn more about it," he says.

Aggarwal credits his ability to complete the certificate program to the fact that courses were made available online. "If it wasn't for the convenience and ease of online classes, I probably never would have been able to make time for the extra work," he says. He also cites the outstanding professors as his inspiration. "I was honored and grateful to learn from Stanford professors who are experts in the field of computer science," he says. "The knowledge level of these professors was amazing and unique."