Here at CEG we’re celebrating International Data Center Day because we’re passionate about this industry. While we’re incredibly proud to be a part of this industry’s explosive growth, we’re equally concerned about its future.
The industry of data and specifically data centers, has become the “new steel” or “new oil.” Data centers were integral and essential to our daily lives way before the pandemic hit. But now it’s clear to see that the business of data centers is arguably the most critical industry in the world.
Despite its growth, criticality, and job security (less than a ½ percent, the lowest unemployment rate for any industry), data centers are faced with a very real talent crisis. According to Gartner Group, a shortage of talent has become the top emerging risk organizations face globally. The acceleration of privacy regulations, pace of business changes, and digitalization round out the top five risks – all intricately intertwined with the data center.
What can be done to mitigate this talent drought? First, we can make every day an International Data Center Day! By “opening our doors” to create awareness of the data center industry, we can connect with and inspire the next generation of talent. It’s also important for future talent to know that data center jobs don’t require you to have multiple degrees or live in big cities. Far from it!
Living – and Working – on the Edge
Historically, the bulk of data center jobs had been limited to tier-1 cities, such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. But with the explosion of the cloud and internet-based content, the internet’s “edge” has had to move closer to where the users are. This movement has triggered the redistribution of data centers across broad geographies and the advent of “micro data centers.”
Today, secure, and highly gratifying jobs can now be found in the suburbs and smaller cities across the United States.
Thinking – and Working – Outside the Box
The demand for talent extends far beyond employees that literally work inside a data center. From hardware and software manufacturers to construction companies, there’s a huge need across all facets of the industry.
Career paths are equally diverse. Just because you don’t have advanced degrees in computer science or information systems doesn’t mean you’re disqualified from a career in the data center industry. As the talent pool shrinks, companies are broadening their searches to include candidates from related industries with solid core competencies which translate to a quick on-the-job learning curve. For example, data center firms that seek technicians, could consider individuals from the military equipped with technology-related workstream skills.
Next-gen Data Center Talent
CEG fully supports the mission and objectives of International Data Center Day. There’s no question that data centers need a steady flow of skilled labor. But more importantly, we need innovators. Big advancements are on the horizon. People working in the data center field have a chance to make a real impact on the direction of this dynamic industry. If you’re up for the big challenges, I encourage you to pursuing a career as a data center professional!