The people challenge: Global data center staffing forecast 2021-2025

In every geographic region, data center capacity is being dramatically expanded in a buildout of historic proportions. That requires people — to design, build and operate data centers. An increasing concern for all types of data centers, from mega-growth hyperscales to small, private enterprise facilities, is the availability of staff at the levels required with the specific skills needed.

Uptime Institute's Global Data Center Staffing Forecast 2021-2025 quantifies this demand, raising awareness of the strong employment opportunities for job seekers, and giving employers, education institutions, and governments a way to align their investments in workforce recruitment, retention, training and education.

Download the Staffing Forecast report today and learn how data center staff requirements are forecast to grow – by region, by data center type, and by education requirements.

Key Findings:

Historic Growth of Demand:
  • Demand growth will mainly come from cloud and colocation data centers. Cloud data centers – either owned or leased by cloud/internet companies – will require the most staff, by a significant margin.
  • Enterprise data centers are expected to continue to employ many staff, although will eventually be surpassed by cloud after 2025.
Staffing Issues:
  • Most positions will require either a university/college or technical trade school degree or — critically — equivalent experience that can be substituted for a formal education. Employers should reevaluate their current job requirements to attract a wider pool of diverse talent.
  • More education and training, including on-the-job, will be key to meeting future demand.
  • Technical staff are notoriously difficult to recruit for data centers. Mechanical and electrical engineers in strategy and operations roles, and all types of controls and monitoring employees, are among the technical staff that will be increasingly needed through (at least) 2025.
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Watch the Global Staffing Forecast Webinar

Have questions? Want to learn more? Watch the on-demand webinar where we'll discuss the findings and their implications with lead author Rhonda Ascierto, Vice President of Research, as well as special guests Heather Dooley, Head of Data Center Business Operations, Google Data Centers, and Nancy Novak, Chief Innovation Officer at Compass Datacenters. Watch On-Demand Today so you won't miss it.

Meet the speakers:


Rhonda Ascierto

Rhonda Ascierto

Vice President of Research, Uptime Institute
Rhonda Ascierto has spent two decades at the crossroads of IT and business as an analyst, speaker, adviser and editor. Rhonda's focus is on innovation and disruptive technologies in data centers and critical digital infrastructure, including those that enable the efficient use of all resources.
Heather Dooley

Heather Dooley

Head of Data Center Business Operations, Google Data Centers
For over 20 years, Heather has been developing internet infrastructure – from the first days of DSL to today's scaled data center services. Heather coordinates near-term strategic objectives for Google's global data center organization, leading program management for internal tools and systems, learning and development, and executive communications. Prior to Google, Heather was responsible for private cloud product management, data center commercial portfolio management, and business development for companies including Microsoft and Earthlink. She is passionately involved in developing opportunities for women in technology through volunteering, mentoring, and driving corporate diversity and inclusion initiatives. Heather earned both a bachelor's degree and an MBA with honors from Gonzaga University.
Nancy Novak

Nancy Novak

Chief Innovation Officer, Compass Datacenters
With more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry, Nancy Novak brings extensive expertise in oversight and responsibility for Profit and Loss. In her current role as Chief Innovation Officer for Compass Datacenters, her focus is cutting edge technology, lean practices, and innovative culture through diversity of thought to add value, improve return on investment, and disrupt the construction industry. Prior to joining Compass Datacenter’s Novak was National Vice President of Operations for Balfour Beatty Construction an Operations Executive with Hensel Phelps Construction Company. She is also heavily involved in organizations that lead the way for technology advancement in the construction industry, and she is an advocate for women's leadership.
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