Andrew Stevens, CEO at CNet Training, discusses The Global Digital Infrastructure Education Framework and the importance of creating educational programs that support real career progression.
Being the largest and longest-running training and education provider in the world dedicated to the digital infrastructure industry (comprising the data centre and network infrastructure sectors) brings with it a lot of responsibly and exciting opportunities. COVID-19 is highlighting just how vital the digital infrastructure industry is across the globe and how reliant we all are when it comes to being able to continue working and staying connected with friends, colleagues and families.
A data centre is only as good as the infrastructure around it and the teams within it, so it’s absolutely vital that the infrastructure is installed correctly in the initial phase, and that the employees’ knowledge, skills and competency levels are sufficient. It is also important that the teams feel confident they can keep up with the increasing needs and demands on the business.
At CNet Training, we take education seriously and remain the only sector-dedicated technical education provider in the world to award both internationally recognised qualifications and professional certifications, many of which are must-haves within job specifications and tender documentation.
Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, CNet has still been able to continue to deliver programs across the globe that are Guaranteed to Run (#GTR) due to its Remote Attendance capability. CNet has been offering Remote Attendance programs since 2017, the move towards more remote-based learning was driven by the need to operate in a more sustainable and environmentally sensitive way – we obviously did not anticipate COVID-19. We now have a full schedule of program dates in time zones across the world that are Guaranteed to Run (#GTR) and we are able to deliver 15 live classes simultaneously.
The CNet team created the highly acclaimed Global Digital Infrastructure Education Framework to showcase the full suite of technical education programs we offer throughout the data centre and network infrastructure sectors. The world-renowned Education Framework has been created to offer sector professionals, at any point in their career, programs that provide knowledge, skills, certifications and qualifications to aid personal development and, with each program mapped to actual career progression routes, learners gain the right knowledge and skills at the right time within their careers.
We wanted to design an easy to understand Framework that could give sector professionals a pathway for them to further develop their knowledge and skills, move into specialist areas and gain the knowledge and confidence for future job roles and career progression. We are pleased to have educated over 65,000 individuals in 42 different countries and to 133+ different nationalities.
CNet’s programs aid the opportunity for real career progression and development. The Global Digital Infrastructure Education Framework offers a future education path of progression for industry professionals who can work through the Framework from copper and fibre optic cable installation, all the way through to the world’s first Master’s degree in Data Centre Leadership and Management, with graduates joining an elite global group of data centre professionals. Every program has been designed to address the skills and knowledge requirements of those working in different areas of these vibrant and fast-moving sectors. While the programs flow perfectly from one to another, they are of equal value as standalone programs, plus learners can enter the framework at any level depending on their experience.
It’s important that education programs are not just about ticking attendance boxes. Our programs have been carefully and meticulously designed, with the support of the industry, to create technical educational programs that match the true requirements of the industry now and consider the predicted trends and ever-evolving needs of the future. From the Certified Data Centre Management Professional (CDCMP) program which is designed for individuals wishing to enhance their ability to effectively manage, control and improve the operational effectiveness of a data centre environment, to the more specialised Certified Data Centre Energy Professional (CDCEP) which teaches learners how to create an energy efficiency plan for a data centre and ways of reducing energy use and carbon emissions. Everything the CNet team designs has been carefully considered to ensure the outcomes and additional knowledge gained can be used and implemented to make a real difference within a working environment. We have also recently reviewed and updated the content of our Certified Data Centre Sustainability Professional (CDCSP) program to reflect the latest sector needs and innovations. The Certified Data Centre Sustainability Professional (CDCSP) program teaches how to create and implement a sustainability strategy for mission-critical facilities. The comprehensive program provides in-depth knowledge into the steps required to evaluate, analyse, plan, implement and monitor a sustainability strategy, balanced with operational capability for data centre facilities.
On completion of each program, learners gain both a qualification and an official certification. Qualifications are for life – once you have them they are yours to keep forever. Certifications are a commitment to life-long learning and need to be re-certified every three years. Re-certification is a simple process that brings knowledge up to date with the latest technical advances in the industry, ensuring individuals can continue to demonstrate that their knowledge and skills reflect the very latest technical needs of the industry.
All CNet programs are designed by our technical team and involved contribution from global industry experts and influencers. This ensures that the content is current and reflects the needs of the industry across the world.
We are pleased that The Education Framework has genuinely helped move industry professionals up the career ladder or into more specialist areas. Each program can flow into each other and the learner continues to grow and learn vital new up-to-date knowledge and techniques.
You only have to look at industry-specific job specifications to see that CNet certifications and qualifications are desirable or even required to apply for certain network cable or data centre related jobs. It is without doubt that achieving official certifications provides additional knowledge, skills, confident and competent which helps to boost quality and, of course, works towards mitigating the risk and astronomical costs associated with human error. This supports CNet’s values.