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Green Data Center Management: The Hot New College Degree?

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Degrees in environmental studies, environmental science, and environmental engineering are commonplace in most universities throughout the United States, but Metropolitan Community College (MCC) in Omaha, Nebraska is taking degree specificity to new levels with its 2-year associate’s degree in green data center management.

Degree-seekers will use IBM hardware and software (thanks to a partnership with the company) in their quest to become green data center masters. That means plenty of hours logged in riveting classes like Virtualization, Remote Access, and Monitoring; Data Center Racks and Cabling; and Applied Data Center Management. The program culminates with an internship in the on-campus Information Technology Data Center, which is funded by $1.8 million Department of Labor grant.

So why did the Department of Labor and IBM choose to focus their energies on a community college in Nebraska? Omaha is at the intersection of east-west and north-south fiber optic networks, and as a result the city has become something of a hub for communications and information services companies. That, in turn, has led to a demand for data center employees in the area.

And since data centers are responsible for 1.5% of all power use in the United States, any employee who can offer expertise in keeping energy costs down is extremely valuable. With data center energy consumption expected to double in the coming years to 100 billion kilowatt hours–$7.4 billion in energy costs–those students who slave through the dry topics in the green data center management program will probably have better job prospects than most college graduates.

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