Interested in a data center career? Learn why now is a great time to explore data center jobs and consider how you could put your skills to use to contribute to a growing need and set out on a promising pathway in this exciting industry.
Growing Demand for Data Center Workers
Data center workers are in high demand because data centers are in high demand. New data centers are being built at a rapid pace, with the data center construction market expected to grow from $20.21 billion in 2022 to $28.56 in 2028. Certain segments of the market, such as modular data centers, are growing especially fast.
Among the many factors contributing to this growth in the demand for data centers are trends like generative AI and cloud computing. As the world embraces digital transformation, more data centers will be needed to support those increasing computing
In addition to providing a significant level of work to data center manufacturers and construction workers, these new facilities will create a wealth of data center job opportunities as they require a variety of professionals to run them. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), “Overall employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 15 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.”
Data Center Jobs to Explore
If you’re interested in working in a data center, here are some of the career paths you may want to explore. (Note that some of these occupations share overlapping responsibilities, and the specific ways data centers choose to divide job functions and label roles may differ from company to company.)
1. IT Professionals
Nearly any business needs IT professionals to manage network hardware and software. In a data center, this need is front and center. IT experts in a data center monitor the health of networks to ensure they’re functioning uninterruptedly and efficiently, and they troubleshoot when issues arise. They may also help fix hardware, though some of these responsibilities may be allocated to dedicated maintenance staff.
2. Network Engineers
Data center network engineers design, build, and administrate IT networks. This also typically involves configuring security systems and troubleshooting performance issues. Network engineers may work closely with other staff members, including project managers and IT staff, to ensure the ongoing health of the network.
3. Electrical Engineers
Data centers may outsource electrical engineering needs or may have electrical engineers on staff. These professionals play a critical role in proper equipment setup and ongoing maintenance. They can also conduct audits of existing systems to check for performance or safety issues (such as arc flashes), all the way from substations through critical loads.
4. Project Managers
Project management is a highly useful skill across a variety of industries. In a data center context, this role can include a range of responsibilities related to planning and executing programs, managing client relationships, allocating resources, controlling costs, and ensuring compliance with policies and protocols. Overall, project managers plan and execute initiatives and projects that support the overall success of the data center.
5. Operations Managers
Similar to a project manager, an operations manager also plays a critical administrative role in the data center. Essentially, operations managers keep things running smoothly so the data center can meet its objectives. They root out problems like process inefficiencies, set goals for success, help different departments coordinate with one another, and generally ensure the ongoing smooth operation of the data center as a business unit.
6. Security Personnel
Both digital and physical security measures are essential to protecting data housed in the data center. Network security may be managed by IT professionals, but many data centers will also employ security officers to actively monitor the area and ensure all security systems on the premises are functioning properly.
7. Facilities Managers
Like any type of facility, data centers benefit from having at least one member of staff dedicated to managing the facility itself, including the building and the infrastructure inside. Facilities managers may manage and oversee areas such as maintenance and security operations.
8. Maintenance Workers
Maintenance personnel may work under the oversight of a facilities manager or may contract with a variety of data centers. These workers may work on maintaining the grounds of the facility, as well as conducting preventive maintenance and repairs on mechanical and electrical systems. (Maintenance of data center servers is typically reserved for IT professionals.)
9. Sales and Marketing Roles
Sales and marketing are important functions for data center firms, such as colocation facilities, that provide data center space and infrastructure to clients. Sales and marketing teams work on bringing in new leads, segmenting those leads, and ultimately earning new business. In addition to sales and marketing expertise, these professionals need to have an understanding of business’s computing needs and the ways their data center firm can serve those needs.
10. Client Success Managers
For existing data center firm customers, it’s crucial that data centers offer excellent customer service. For larger companies, there may be a whole team dedicated to customer service with high-level oversight from a client success manager. Whether working with a team or working with clients directly, client success managers focus on proactively managing client relationships and addressing concerns in order to promote high customer retention.
Learn More About the Data Center Industry from PCX
There are a variety of data center jobs for anyone interested in supporting the world’s growing computing needs. This is an exciting industry that’s constantly evolving. Want to keep up with exciting new developments? Subscribe to the PCX blog for more data center industry news and insights.