Today is International Data Center Day, an effort to raise awareness of the data center industry and inspire the next generation of talent. Research by the Uptime Institute reports that the number of staff needed to run the world’s data center industry will grow from around two million to nearly 2.3 million by 2025. While CEG is proud to be a part of this industry’s explosive growth, we’re also concerned about its future.
Despite our industry’s 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. Forty-seven percent of data center operators surveyed by the Uptime Institute say it’s difficult to find qualified individuals, with 32% reporting challenges in retaining employees. On top of these challenges, it’s also estimated that 16% of data center professionals globally will be retired by 2025, especially in older data center markets. This percentage represents a staggering loss of experience for our industry.
What can be done to mitigate this talent drought? First, we can make every day an International Data Center Day! By “opening our doors,” we can connect with and inspire the next generation of talent. It’s also important for future talent to know that working in this field isn’t limited to engineers with multiple computer science degrees. Far from it!
Thinking – and Working – Outside the Box
With the recent pandemic, we’ve seen a big change in the visibility of data centers. All of a sudden, these secret hidden-away buildings have become big news. Employers should capitalize on this increased awareness. They should be open to quality technical expertise with transferrable skills from related industries such as manufacturing, production, aviation, construction, and military services.
Likewise, don’t rule out a data center job just
because you don’t have an extensive STEM background. There are many different types of careers in our industry ranging from hands-on to technical, and from engineering to business management to sales and marketing.
Next-gen Data Center Talent
CEG fully supports the mission behind International Data Center Day. There’s no question this industry needs 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 shape how the world connects and communicates. If you’re up for the big challenges, I encourage you to pursue a career as a data center professional!