US school offers first-of-a-kind graduate degree in data center engineering

The course was developed with input from HP and other industry players

Plenty of people have engineering degrees but not many have one specific to data centers. A university in Dallas is offering what it says will be a first-of-its-kind graduate degree in data center engineering.

The program at Southern Methodist University includes five core courses covering data centers broadly, then draws on various departments so that students can specialize in areas like facilities and infrastructure, data analytics, virtualization and cloud computing.

SMU developed the program after it was approached by Hewlett-Packard about two years ago, said Edward Forest, program director for SMU's Lyle School of Engineering. It worked with HP, Compass Datacenters and others to put the program together.

Students can attend part time or full time and study on campus or via distance learning. The program is aimed at professionals already in the field as much as graduates getting into data centers for the first time, Forest said.

He doesn't claim all the content is unique. "There are programs out there that emphasize one or more of these specialties," he said. "What you don't get is the broadness of the core classes and the ability to combine that with specialties from other departments."

The design and operation of data centers has grown increasingly complex, as technologies like virtualization and cloud computing become more widespread and as companies employ new types of equipment to reduce energy use. SMU's Masters of Science in Datacenter Systems Engineering addresses "a long unfulfilled need in the data center industry," according to Chris Crosby, CEO of Compass Datacenters.

Citing figures from the U.S. Department of Labor, the school says there are 4 million people working in data center operations today, and the department expects the figure to reach 6 million by 2018.

Classes start this fall and SMU hopes to enroll around 20 students for the first year. Requirements include a bachelor's degree in engineering, computer science, one of the quantitative sciences or mathematics, and at least two years of college-level math, including a year of calculus. More information is on the SMU website.

SMU was founded in 1911 by what's now the United Methodist Church. It says it's nonsectarian and accepts students from all religious backgrounds.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags careersIT managementtrainingbusiness issuesenvironmentpersonnelGreen data centerSouthern Methodist UniversityCompass Datacenters

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?