Schneider Electric has announced a series of updates to its vendor-agnostic and CPD-accredited digital education platform, the Schneider Electric University. Available in 14 different languages and accessible globally for free online, the dedicated professional development platform directly addresses the data centre sector skills gap, helping industry stakeholders to upskill and stay up to date with the latest technology, sustainability, and energy efficiency initiatives affecting the sector.
To date, the Schneider Electric University has delivered more than one million courses to over 650,000 data centre users, with more than 180 countries represented by its global user-base. The new updates to the Schneider Electric University Data Centre Certified Associate (DCCA) qualification include fundamentals of power, cooling, racks, physical security, and guidance on how to optimise data centre designs to drive resilience, energy efficiency and sustainability. Its newest courses, for example, include ‘Optimising Cooling Layouts for the Data Centre’, ‘Fundamental Cabling Strategies in the Data Centre’, ‘Examining Fire Protection Methods in the Data Centre’ and ‘Fundamentals of Cooling II – Humidity in the Data Centre’.
Furthermore, its curriculum addresses key focal points for the industry, such as data centre site selection and planning (which offers guidance on how to select brown and greenfield sites for access to renewable energy), alternative power generation technologies (which helps drive the implementation of renewable energy strategies, on-site power generation and use of technologies such as microgrids) and battery technology for data centres (which evaluates the sustainability impact of different types of UPS batteries, the benefits of Lithium-Ion technology, and offers an analysis of the associated lifecycle costs).
Addressing the industry skills gap
Research in the Uptime Institute Annual Data Centre Survey 2021 estimates staff requirements will grow globally to nearly 2.3 million in 2025. Further, 32% of respondents reported difficulty in retaining staff, with 47% having difficulty finding qualified candidates for open jobs. Attracting and retaining talent within the industry, which is the heart of the digital economy, is now reaching a critical mass.
By encouraging individuals to upskill and continue their professional development for free, the Schneider Electric University is directly addressing the data centre industry skills gap, helping businesses to attract and re-train both new and existing talent, providing access to specialised technical education.
“In the last few years data centre capacity demands have grown exponentially, reaching record new highs as digitisation and cloud adoption accelerates. The sector skills shortage, however, remains a significant challenge and has potential implications for other connected industries,” says Rob McKernan, Senior Vice President, Secure Power Division, Schneider Electric Europe. “By providing guidance on the latest technology and sustainability initiatives, we believe the Schneider Electric University offers an invaluable resource to help bridge the skills gap by empowering business ecosystems, reskilling the workforce, and training the next generation of professionals to build the data centres of the future.”
Long-term commitment to education
Prior to its acquisition by Schneider Electric in 2006, members of the Data Centre Science Centre at APC created the ‘Data Centre University’ as a free resource to help train and upskill the next generation of industry professionals. Their vision was to create a CPD-accredited training curriculum that would support the professional development of industry stakeholders and prepare them to build the data centres of the future.
Now branded the ‘Schneider Electric University’, the platform has grown to offer more than 200 data centre, energy efficiency and sustainability courses via two dedicated colleges, the Professional Energy Manager (PEM), and the DCCA qualification. All courses are available as self-paced, one-hour modules, in 14 different languages, offering free access to energy education. Furthermore, the university is recognised by 25 different industry CPD bodies, including BICSI, the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA), Engineers Ireland, and the Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP).
The Schneider Electric University has remained completely impartial, with all courses maintaining 100% vendor-neutrality. To-date it has delivered over 1,000,000 courses to more than 650,000 users globally and offers a crucial lifeline for industry professionals seeking to advance their skillsets.