Data center operations involve large, complex, and expensive infrastructure equipment and automated processes being carried out on schedule. However, a few components and tasks require a human touch, making data center employees just as important as the technology they oversee. Facility operators can transform their workers from mere personnel to strategic assets by furthering these individuals' knowledge and expertise through continued education, such as the data center engineering degree programs now offered at a number of schools.
Master of Science in Data Center Systems Engineering
One school that recently began offering such a program is Southern Methodist University, which will launch its Master of Science in Data Center Systems Engineering degree in the fall of 2014. Students can choose to attend classes on campus to boost their data center knowledge, or take a distance learning approach through the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering, ZDNet stated.
Students earning this degree can return to their respective data center positions with an increased breadth of expertise, as the program centers around three areas of specialization: Facilities, infrastructure and subsystems; data systems engineering and analytics; or computer networks, virtualization, security and cloud computing. In total, students are required to complete five courses in one of the specialized areas. In this way, employees return with expertise in a certain scope, and can always return to study another specialized area.
As it is a Master's program, students must have completed a Bachelor's degree in computer science, one of the quantitative sciences or mathematics. Individuals applying for studies must also have completed at least two years of college-level math, including at least one year of calculus.
Data Center Technologies Bachelor's Degree
However, if the Master of Science program is not quite the right fit, Marist College in New York now offers a Bachelor's degree in Data Center Technologies. Students at this institution will focus their education on virtualization, server consolidation, security and industry compliance, including classes aimed at further individuals' facility technology skills.
Applicants can elect to attend classes on campus or online, and can choose from courses in Data Communications, Internetworking, Internet Security, Introduction to Facilities and System Administration and Management. Students will also bolster their abilities in hardware, disaster recovery and troubleshooting, remote access and monitoring, as well as building a secure data environment. This program can provide all the tools individuals need to return to their workplace with a wide scope of knowledge that can be applied across the data center.