The Uptime Institute is embarking on a push to shine a light on the wide range of career opportunities that exist in the datacentre market, with the support of tech giants Google, Meta and Microsoft.
The datacentre resiliency think tank has launched its free Career Pathfinder online tool, which allows users to find roles in the industry that match their experiences, skills and interests.
“Based on real-world job roles, the Career Pathfinder resource was designed to inform and raise awareness about career opportunities in the unseen world of datacentres and invite people from all backgrounds to consider entering the industry,” said Uptime Institute, in a statement.
The tool lists nine distinct fields in the datacentre industry that people could pursue careers in, including business support, construction, controls and monitoring, design, IT hardware, network and connectivity, operations, operations engineering, and strategy.
Collectively, across all these fields, are listings for 230 different types of jobs, and users of the tool can sift through these using competency-focused search filters to drill down into roles.
The Uptime Institute said Career Pathfinder is intended for use by people at all stages of their working life, including students looking to explore their career options, as well as people returning to the workforce after some time away or those looking for a complete career change.
“Governments, education institutions and industry groups can also use the Career Pathfinder to support efforts to expand curricula, training and other programs specific to the datacentre industry,” the organisation added.
Skills crisis As previously reported by Computer Weekly, the datacentre industry is in the midst of a prolonged and worsening skills crisis, which market watchers often attribute to the fact that the industry has a relatively low profile. This makes it difficult for outsiders to appreciate the career opportunities that exist in the datacentre industry, which is something the Uptime Institute hopes to address with the tool.
“The datacentre 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 datacentre industry that matches your individual goals, and our new resource can help you find it.”
According to Uptime Institute’s own research, the datacentre industry will need 2.3 million full-time employees by 2025 to keep ticking over, while in 2019 it needed two million. This is, in part, because of the growing demand for datacentre capacity coming from the hyperscale internet and cloud service operators, such as Microsoft, Google and Meta, who have all released statements in support of Career Pathfinder.
On this point, Wendy Peterson, program manager at Google datacentre workforce development, said the internet search giant will be making the tool available to its network of community partners in all of the regions where it operates datacentres.
“We are frequently asked for input on how to direct job seekers in our communities to more information about possible career paths supporting datacentres, so I am pleased that we can share the Uptime Institute Career Pathfinder to continue the mission to demystify datacentre careers and drive more talent into the industry.”
Read more about the datacentre industry’s skills crisis A lack of prominent role models and poor visibility of potential career paths are two reasons for the recruitment challenges the datacentre industry continues to face, experts claim. With new figures suggesting the average datacentre worker is 55 years old and male, the industry opens up about what needs to be done to secure a pipeline of new talent to replace those approaching retirement age. Bob Reitinger, Microsoft datacentre community workforce development lead, added: “The Career Pathfinder will help job seekers from all parts of the area discover and build datacentre careers, empowering them to explore new opportunities.”
Meanwhile, Darcy Nothnagle, director of community and economic development at Facebook owner Meta, talked up the tool’s potential to open up the datacentre industry to a much wider range of recruits.
“The datacentre industry is full of opportunity across a wide range of expertise and skills,” she said. “We hope the Career Pathfinder will help us reach and attract new diverse talent into this growing industry.”