Data centre facilities are a large and fast-expanding part of the Irish economy. The expected investment in Irish data centre facilities in Ireland is significant, with the potential to reach €9bn by 2021. Data centre providers have signalled concern that the supply of data centre operations and management technicians, and allied qualifications is limiting. These qualifications are deemed as key to meeting the skills demand of this nascent sector to gain and enhance competitiveness globally.
A gap exists between separate skillsets in new engineering technicians, who are required to operate in environments that integrate technology from a multitude of different disciplines, for example electrical and electronic technology; mechanical and thermodynamic science and technology; and computer networks and facilities management. New entrants into the industry rarely hold qualifications across this broad range, typically holding either mechanical or electrical qualifications, but rarely both.
The Level-7 BSc in Data Centre Operations and Management Course will accept suitably-qualified entrants from a number of streams.
- Entrants with a Higher Certificate (NFQ level 6) in a cognate discipline, for example Mechatronic Engineering, or Electrical Instrumentation Technology will be eligible to apply. Such applicants may be required to take bridging modules during the programme, and the Higher Certificate discipline will determine the bridging modules (if any, required).
- Applicants who have completed a FETAC Level 6 award (National Craft Certificate) in a craft such as Electrical, Electrical Instrumentation or Fitting, and have 3 years post-qualification experience in an industrial environment may also be considered eligible for admission. However, such applicants will also be required to take bridging modules during the programme and may be required to do a 12 weeks Level 6 Higher Certificate course in Data Centre Operations (also provided online at ITB and part-funded by Skillnets) prior to starting the BSc course.
The integrated, work-based training delivery model will inform learners’ daily work, and complement in-house training courses. The course is designed to help the learner achieve a blend of widely-differing skills and competencies necessary to work in such a highly-automated environment. The blended learning delivery approach directly links what students learn in labs and lectures, to knowledge and skills required for the broad range of careers in data centres and allied service industries.
The course will equip technicians with a unique blend of knowledge, skills and competence in electronics, electrical power systems, heating, cooling, lighting and ventilation, as well as data cable routing design. Data centre operations and management technicians install, commission, monitor and maintain (including preventive maintenance), troubleshoot, and repair complex systems. They are often required to establish engineering specifications for such systems, to negotiate with vendors and assist in installation and setup, to tune control parameters and to monitor the system’s resulting performance, checking it against required. This course aims to equip them with the skills to perform these tasks.
CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS IS 30TH NOVEMBER 2018