Microsoft has launched its first Data Centre Academy (DCA) in Asia in partnership with Singapore’s Institute of Technical Education (ITE).
The DCA is a five-year commitment on the part of Microsoft to empower around 300 ITE students to acquire applied data centre skills.
Microsoft said the DCA was an extension of its commitment to empowering ITE students to “thrive in a growing ICT sector”.
The DCA will offer data centre skills integration into ITE’s existing technical and professional development track, provide a sustainable learning lab for hands-on instructional training, and offer mentorship and professional development resources, Microsoft said.
Through ITE’s Work Study Diploma program, Microsoft will offer scholarships to cover tuition costs for up to 20 ITE students who are keen on a future in the data centre industry.
Upon completion of their academic program, selected students will get an opportunity to interview for open data centre positions at Microsoft in Singapore.
Starting January 2023, ITE will offer the DCA curriculum to students across all three ITE colleges in data centre infrastructure and operations, mechanical and electrical services supervision and logistics and supply chain management.
With 12 data centre academy locations operating globally, Microsoft works with select education partners to provide guidance on curriculum; donations of servers, laptops, and data centre equipment for labs; and opportunities for mentorship and work experience in Microsoft data centres.
To better prepare ITE students, Microsoft employees will also provide support and mentorship guidance through regular engagement with DCA participants and graduates.
This will give students workplace and career coaching from industry experts and provide them with an opportunity to strengthen interview and resume-building skills, Microsoft said.
At the data centre lab situated in ITE College East, students will be able to practice and apply their technical knowledge through hands-on learning experiences in a real-world setting.
They will be able to practice skills such as cable installations, data centre physical infrastructure management, parts replacement, physical hardware troubleshooting, and hardware and network diagnostics.
ITE students will also be one of the first in Singapore to use servers at their data centre lab on campus, which were donated by the Microsoft Circular Centre in Singapore.
The Microsoft Circular Centre enables the reuse and repurposing of decommissioned cloud computing hardware from Microsoft’s existing data centres. The global program aims to reuse 90 percent of cloud computing hardware assets by 2025.
ITE’s CEO, Low Khah Gek, said: “We are happy to partner Microsoft in equipping our Work-Study Diploma trainees with the skills needed for the data centre industry… With Microsoft, we can nurture talents for the industry and prepare them for exciting careers in this increasingly digital environment."