Demand for data center engineers rises with energy prices
A rapidly developing information technology industry creates demand for electrical and mechanical engineers with data center know-how.
It’s been a long time coming. For 25 years, the data center industry has steadily grown in volume. Data center energy consumption doubled between 2001 and 2006. It is expected to do so again
by 2011, overtaking the airline industry as the primary greenhouse gas polluter. Correspondingly, demand for technicians has almost tripled in the past eight years. Often placed on the backburner of company priorities, the impending energy crisis has driven the need for efficient data centers to critical mass.
According to The New York Times , it is not uncommon to find a capable data manager with a degree from a two-year college with a six-figure salary. Data center employees have started to be recognized as vital ingredients in a recipe for tech-companies to be competitive. Previously regarded as the blue collar workers of the tech industry, data center personnel can now expect to receive stock options and signing and retention bonuses. However, with the increased compensations and benefits come added responsibilities and expectations. Along with being able to cope with the information technology aspects of the job, these workers must possess electrical- or mechanical-engineering prowess to help run data centers more efficiently. One of their key responsibilities is to find a balance between energy consumption and facility performance.
Most data centers are being remodeled with newer technology to compete with such needs. But according to Vernon Turner of IDC , companies are wary to not follow the inefficient trend of big investments without a well developed maintenance and management plan. With the steady availability of electricity becoming a growing concern, managers with the skills to reduce power consumption are highly sought after commodities in the technology sector.
Data center computers typically run at 15% of capacity on average but still consume power while idle. The plan is to improve that statistic by establishing a direct line of communication interconnecting servers, power supplies, and cooling units. Experts believe that this methodology, if applied to both old and new data centers, can provide significant cost reductions without compromising performance.
With all factors considered, it seems that the growth for the industry and the demand for qualified workers will remain for the foreseeable future.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.