NTU, Facebook to launch pilot programme for data centre specialist

SINGAPORE: Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Facebook will launch a nine-month programme to offer new courses aimed at developing local data centre talent.

The programme, which starts in August, will offer four certificates and one graduate certificate, said the university and Facebook in a media release on Monday (Jun 1).

The four specialist certificates are in design engineering, network engineering, site operations and facility operations, while the graduate certificate is in international construction management.

The courses were developed in conjunction with the university’s College of Engineering and are aimed at training local engineering talent to fill the increasing demand in the data centre industry, the media release said.

The courses will be open to the public, and are eligible for funding and mid-career subsidies from SkillsFuture Singapore.

“We are very proud to contribute towards growing local talent in the data centre sector through our collaboration with Facebook,” said NTU deputy president and provost Ling San.

“With NTU’s deep expertise in emerging technologies and Facebook’s data centre expertise, participants of our new certificate programmes will be able to benefit from a world-class education and stand in good stead in the future job market.”

Data centre facilities management provider CBRE Data Centre Solutions will also offer training and career path advice for course participants, said the university and Facebook.

“Graduates from this pilot programme will be able to explore a career in the data centre sector or in other relevant engineering sectors,” they said.

Facebook hopes the programmes will help students “become immersed” in learning how to build and operate efficient data centres, said Mr Gavin Chua, head of infrastructure engagement in Asia.

“When we decided to build a data centre in Singapore, local talent was an important consideration for us,” he added.

Facebook in 2018 announced the construction of its first data centre in Singapore, worth more than S$1.4 billion. The centre is scheduled to start operations in 2022.

After the nine-month pilot, NTU’s Centre for Professional and Continuing Education will progressively introduce more courses in subsequent phases, which “can potentially involve other data centre industry players”.

The centre will also consult the Infocomm Media Development Authority and industry stakeholders “to meet the specific needs of business owners and working professionals in the sector”, said the university.

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