Uptime Institute, with support from Google, Meta, and Microsoft, has launched the Data Center Career Pathfinder, a free online tool that uniquely lists hundreds of career possibilities in the fast-growing global digital infrastructure industry. Based on typical real-world job roles, the Career Pathfinder resource was designed to inform and raise awareness about career opportunities in the unseen world of data centers and invite people from all backgrounds to consider entering the industry.
The Career Pathfinder is not a job site, but an exploratory resource that lists more than 230 different types of job roles that span the design, build and operation of data centers, ranging from sustainability strategy to construction. Each role includes minimum education requirements and key competencies, such as communication, problem solving or critical thinking, for example.
Uptime Institute created the Career Pathfinder to provide concrete information for students, job seekers, job changers, workforce returners and anyone else considering their future career journey. 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 data center industry.
The growth in data centers on a global basis continues as more in the world is digitized. Every time someone uses the internet, they are using the services of data centers. The extraordinary industry expansion requires a growing and diverse workforce. Concerns over the industry’s ability to meet its workforce needs are growing. According to Uptime Institute’s 2021 Global Data Center Survey of IT and data center managers, 47% of respondents reported having difficulty finding qualified candidates for open jobs, up from 38% in 2018.
“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.”
How many people does the data center industry need? In the first-ever forecast of data center workforce needs (reported by region, by data center type, and by education requirements), Uptime Institute estimates staff requirements will grow globally from about 2.0 million full-time employee equivalents in 2019 to nearly 2.3 million in 2025, based on the 230 specialist job roles in the Career Pathfinder (that are needed to design, build, and operate data centers). New staff will be needed in all job roles and across all geographic regions. (Read the report: The people challenge: Global data center staffing forecast 2021-2025.)
The Career Pathfinder links to the job sites of key collaborators, as well as various industry groups and other resources. It is a non-competitive site geared to drive awareness of data center-related job roles and help expand the future data center talent pipeline.
Wendy Peterson, program manager, Google Data Center Workforce Development, is happy to share this resource with the network of community partners in Google's data center regions. “We are frequently asked for input on how to direct job seekers in our communities to more information about possible career paths supporting data centers, so I am pleased that we can share the Uptime Institute Career Pathfinder to continue the mission to demystify data center careers and drive more talent into the industry.”
“At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. The Career Pathfinder will help job seekers from all parts of the area discover and build datacenter careers, empowering them to explore new opportunities,” said Bob Reitinger, Microsoft Datacenter Community Workforce Development lead.
“The data center industry is full of opportunity across a wide range of expertise and skills. We hope the Career Pathfinder will help us reach and attract new diverse talent into this growing industry,” said Darcy Nothnagle, Director of Community and Economic Development at Meta.