Data Center Career Pathfinder Proposes an Answer to the Skills Crisis

The project is supported by hyperscalers Google, Meta, and Microsoft.

Max Smolaks, Senior Editor

March 10, 2022

2 Min Read
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Industry organization Uptime Institute has launched a free online resource designed to inspire more people to take up a career in data centers, developed in collaboration with major data center employers Google, Meta, and Microsoft.

The Data Center Career Pathfinder lists 232 examples of real-world job roles in data center design, construction and operation, along with their minimum education requirements and key competencies.

The website intends to inform students, job seekers, and job changers about the sheer variety of career opportunities offered by data centers, at a time when the industry is facing an increasingly severe talent shortage; in a survey of more than 400 IT and data center managers by Uptime in 2020, nearly half said they were having difficulties in finding qualified candidates for open jobs, up from 38% in 2018.

At the same time, Uptime reported growth across all data center job domains, with the industry now requiring an equivalent of more than 2,110,000 full-time employees worldwide.

In other words, if the data center industry was a country, it would equal the population of Slovenia or North Macedonia.

“The Career Pathfinder will help job seekers from all parts of the area discover and build data center careers, empowering them to explore new opportunities,” said Bob Reitinger, Microsoft Data Center Community Workforce Development lead.

Related:Podcast: Why Don’t You Get a Job (In a Data Center)

The unseen world of data centers

Uptime is primarily known for administering the Tier I-IV data center certification system, but the organization offers a wide range of research, training, and professional services.

With the Career Pathfinder, Uptime is hoping to increase awareness of the data center industry as a career destination and entice more people to apply for positions in fields as diverse as construction, operations engineering, and business strategy.

The benefits of data center employment mentioned on the Career Pathfinder website include job security, job variety, and both career and personal growth opportunities.

Why are major cloud companies like Google and Microsoft particularly affected by the skills crisis? The answer lies in the following chart:

Global staffing projections by data center type 2021

Global staffing projections by data center type_2021

“The data center industry is one of the fastest growing markets on the planet and offers a wide variety of job roles, yet far too many people are unaware of the career opportunities within it,” said Rhonda Ascierto, vice president of research at Uptime Institute.

“Regardless of your background, there’s very likely a career path in the data center industry that matches your individual goals, and our new resource can help you find it.”

About the Author(s)

Max Smolaks

Senior Editor, Informa

Max Smolaks is senior editor at Data Center Knowledge, a leading online publication dedicated to the data center industry. A passionate technology journalist, Max has been writing about IT for a decade, covering startups, hardware, and regulation – across B2B titles including Silicon, DatacenterDynamics, The Register, and AI Business.

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