Schneider Electric has this month has announced a series of updates to its vendor-agnostic and CPD-accredited digital education platform, Schneider Electric University. Previously known as the APC Data Center University, the company notes the CPD-accredited platform has evolved to deliver more than one million courses to over 650,000 users globally.
Available in 14 languages and accessible globally for free online, the company contends its dedicated professional development platform directly addresses the data center sector skills gap, helping industry stakeholders to advance their skills and stay up to date with the latest technology, as well as sustainability and energy efficiency initiatives affecting the sector.
New updates to the Schneider Electric University Data Center Certified Associate (DCCA) qualification include fundamentals of power, cooling, racks, and physical security, and guidance on how to optimize data center designs to drive resilience, energy efficiency and sustainability.
Some of the program's newest courses, for example, include such titles as:
- Optimizing Cooling Layouts for the Data Center
- Fundamental Cabling Strategies in the Data Center
- Examining Fire Protection Methods in the Data Center
- Fundamentals of Cooling II – Humidity in the Data Center
Further, the program's curriculum now addresses key focal points for the industry, with courses such as:
- Data Center 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
- Battery Technology for Data Centers, 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.
“In the last few years data center capacity demands have grown exponentially, reaching record new highs as digitization and cloud adoption accelerates. The sector skills shortage, however, remains a significant challenge and has potential implications for other connected industries,” says Pankaj Sharma, EVP of Schneider Electric's Secure Power Division. “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 centers of the future.”
Research from the Uptime Institute Annual Data Center Survey 2021 estimates staff requirements will grow globally to nearly 2.3 million in 2025. Further, 32 per cent of respondents reported difficulty in retaining staff, with 47 per cent having difficulty finding qualified candidates for open jobs.
Prior to its acquisition by Schneider Electric in 2006, members of the Data Center Science Center at APC, Schneider Electric’s flagship brand of battery back-up power, surge protection, and IT physical infrastructure for data centers and edge computing environments, created the ‘Data Center 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 centers of the future.
As ‘Schneider Electric University’, the program has grown to offer more than 200 data center, 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, everywhere. Further, the university is recognized by 25 different industry CPD bodies including BICSI, the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA), Engineers Ireland, and the Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP).
As one of the industry’s-first dedicated professional development platforms for data centers and energy management, the company maintains its Schneider Electric University has remained completely impartial, with all courses maintaining 100 per cent vendor-neutrality.