The Raritan Blog

SMU’s Data Center Engineering Program Signals the Growing Importance of Data Center Professionals

Paula Alves
March 26, 2014

Data Center Professionals Working on a Server Rack

Southern Methodist University’s upcoming fall 2014 graduate degree program in data center engineering is a clear indication of the need for trained data center professionals in the marketplace.   According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, the data center operations workforce tops 4 million people today and is expected to grow to more than two million by 2018.  But how many of them are formally trained in data center operations best practices?  While traditionally data centers have been run by IT staff, they have now evolved to a point where they require specialization in functional areas such as facilities, infrastructure, and subsystems; data center systems engineering and analytics, and; computer networks, virtualization, security, and cloud computing.

Test. The program also underlies the challenges facing data centers today as organizations demand better performance and faster deployment of new mission critical services with far fewer resources and increased uptime.  In fact, one might argue that of those challenges, managing and maintaining data center infrastructure is of the highest priority.  After all, without the physical resources, there would be no cloud to speak of.
According to Marc Christensen, Dean of the Lyle School at SMU: “Our society has become intimately linked to a variety of digital networks including social media, search engines, e-commerce, gaming, and big data. Data center design is a fascinating challenge due to the millions of dollars lost per second of an outage.  The proper management and design of these data centers require a diverse combination of highly specialized skills, and SMU Lyle is uniquely positioned to offer a degree that will connect all the needed technical disciplines.”