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Which Data Center Skills Are in Demand Today?

data center skill sets
07.07.20
Sandra Larson

The data center sector sees consistent growth. The future of job availability is bright, but you have to be highly skilled to become a data center operator or technician. The newly required skills are closely related to the implementation of 5G technology, but you need the foundational capacity as well. 

According to the stats available on Glassdoor, the average base pay for a data center technician is $53K. The highest pay reaches $78K on a yearly basis. 

The salaries reflect more than experience. They are mostly dependent on the employee’s skills. If you’re a highly skilled and irreplaceable administrator, your salary can easily reach six figures.   

Let’s see: what are the essential data center skills that you need to succeed in this sector?

Cloud Skills

colocation data center skills

Credit: Netmagic Solutions

The growing 5G practicalities strengthen the cloud computing environment. Organizations that use 5G networks benefit from much faster data transfers. 

The employers from this sector are most likely to require a set of cloud security and cloud architect skills from applicants. Colocation connectivity expertise is high on the list of requirements, too. 

If you’re still learning and building your career, you’ll only benefit from acquiring any type of cloud computing certification.

Data Security Skills

All data centers are focused on becoming more intuitive and agile. But most of all, they focus on increasing the levels of security. As the industry grows, so does the concern for keeping all data safe in the centers. 

Billions of devices are online right now. That makes data centers more complicated to secure and manage, so you should keep in mind that this is not an easy skill to obtain. You’ll need to know how to use network intelligence to enable undisturbed performance, analyze data, and automate functions without any security risks.

An Ability to Make Quick Decisions and Good Judgements

If you plan to reach the level of a data center infrastructure manager, this is an essential skill to have. You’ll need to be informed about all new trends in the data center industry, the challenges in management, and the new software solutions that drive the industry forward. 

Management in this industry is not only about dealing with a team. You’ll be faced with new solutions and opportunities to implement them in your organization’s environment. You’ll have to keep pace with the industry’s growth all the time. 

If you’re convinced that you have what it takes for this position, hiring an expert to write your resume is a good idea. The writer will convey your character and skills through the application. However, you also need an exceptional blog that proves you’re informed about the latest trends, and you can even take the role of an educator.

Data Analysis

Power distribution units and other smart devices with environmental sensors deliver a constant stream of data that’s crucial to the functionality of the data center. This data is massive and too complex to be analyzed by laymen. That’s why these centers hire professional data analysts, who can translate that data into information that the managers can use.  

Almost every challenge that a data center faces can be addressed by analyzing the data that’s available. Let’s say that energy consumption has been reaching levels higher than usual lately. The data related to power usage effectiveness lets the analyst evaluate humidity, temperature, open perforated tiles, and more. When this data is translated into actionable advice, the management can take action to lower the power use without affecting the center’s effectiveness.

Network LAN/WAN Design Skills

data center engineer responsibilities

Credit: Technology Solutions

LAN/WAN engineers are responsible to set up and ensure the functionality of wide-area and local area networks. The data center doesn’t hire them just to set up the network. They are needed to monitor its performance as well. Part of their responsibility is to identify potential issues and make changes that would prevent damage from occurring. 

If you gain these skills, you can work as a full-time engineer in a data center. However, you can also offer your services as a freelancer.

Cabling

A wireless data center? The beginnings of that technology are already here, but we’re far from getting rid of all cables in data centers. There are many cables, so employers still need to hire people capable of handling them.

Basic Knowledge of How Data Centers Work

If you’re still a student and you have your eye on a career in a data center, this is where you start. If your university doesn’t offer a specific program, you can always turn to online learning. A degree is not absolutely necessary, but you’ll have to try harder to work your way in and up without it. 

Schneider Electric is a great source of online courses that can give you the basic knowledge you need.

Do You Need Any Certificates to Work in a Data Center?

The demand in this sector is high, and the competition is fierce. University education is not an absolute necessity, although it’s highly recommended. Certificates, on the other hand, proved that you’re skilled in the position you target. 

These are the certificates to look into:

  • Cisco UCS (Unified Computing System) Certificate
  • DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management) Certificate
  • CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate)
  • CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional)

First, you should figure out what job you want to pursue. Then, do your research to see what type of certificate would help you get it. If you go through job ads, you’ll easily identify the needed certification and skills.

Don’t Forget: You Need Stamina and Dedication, Too

All skills we listed above are professional, and they are needed for different positions in the data center. But we should stress out the importance of personal skills, too. First and foremost, you need stamina. Data centers have to be up and going 24/7. In many situations, critical employees are required to take extra hours. So you need to be dedicated and energized enough to withstand long bouts without burning out. 

For most data center workers, that’s not a big problem. They love their job!

Main Photo Credit: Data Center Knowledge

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