Andrew Stevens, President and CEO, CNet Training, discusses the leading education provider’s prestigious Masters Degree program in Data Centre Leadership and Management, informing us of its benefits, who it’s suitable for and how to apply.
Data centres are complex facilities that are expected to deliver faultless service and financial results in a world of rapidly changing technologies, business pressures and environmental expectations.
In order to achieve this, data centres need highly capable leaders and managers – individuals who are capable of dealing with business complexities and technological change with the knowledge and skills to ensure their teams deliver against consistently challenging objectives.
In addition to being the global leader in technical education for the data centre sector, CNet is an Associate College of Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK, and is therefore approved to design and deliver the content of the prestigious Level 7 Masters Degree in Data Centre Leadership and Management.
The Masters Degree program launched in 2015 and the first graduation took place in October 2018. The three-year Masters Degree has proven very popular and gone from strength to strength among senior managers working in data centre facilities wishing to form the elite group of worldwide data centre professionals.
Previous graduates come from companies including Unilever, Microsoft, IBM, Capital One, Newmark Knight Frank, Schneider Electric, Time Warner Cable, Sudlows Limited, University of Melbourne, Commscope, Digital Realty Trust and Wirewerks, to name a few.
Here, Andrew Stevens, President and CEO, CNet Training, discusses the program’s benefits, who it’s suitable for and how to apply.
Can you give us an overview of the Masters Degree in Data Centre Management and Leadership?
The degree was created out of the need to expand existing skills and knowledge of talented technical managers to business leadership. The program arms learners with the contemporary knowledge and capability to manage business imperatives and therefore have a more significant impact on the business itself to contribute to growth, innovation and insight.
The Masters Degree never stands still. The CNet team is continually enhancing and developing the program to match the fast-paced nature of the data centre environment to ensure that the program continues to accurately reflect the needs of the data centre and business leadership. The CNet team writes the program content in consultation with industry leaders from all over the world. The content of the Masters is rewritten every year to ensure it reflects the constant evolving nature of the sector.
Learners are supported by the CNet team, specialist academic staff and industry specialists, all with the aim of creating an enriched shared learning experience. During the Masters Degree program, we also hold an optional bootcamp in Cambridge, UK, for those that can attend.
Year 1 of the program enables the learner to develop their expertise in three key themes that are at the heart of any business: leadership, sustainability and financial management.
Year 2 takes the learner’s experience and expertise to the next level. The key topics include data centre issues of infrastructure management, security and Disaster Recovery, human resource management, organisational behaviour and strategies for maximising performance and decision-making in critical services.
Year 3 of the Masters Degree goes into further depth, giving the learner the chance to develop their thought leadership and address specific business issues. Firstly, in the ‘Contemporary Issues in Leadership and Management’ module, learners will explore themes in the data centre sector and gain an in-depth understanding of issues that are important to them. Finally, learners will put together all of their learning over the three years into practice by developing and delivering a major project – a dissertation or thesis.
What are the program objectives?
The main objectives from the Masters Degree program are to combine the existing skills and knowledge the learners have already gained from their career within the data centre sector with the new academic learning surrounding business leadership and management within a data centre environment.
On completion of the program, learners will gain a Masters Degree in Data Centre Leadership and Management (MA) – a Level 7 qualification. They will also be able to use the MA post-nominal letters after their name as well as have access to their unique Masters Degree in Data Centre Leadership and Management (MA) Digital Badge.
Additionally, all graduates will be invited to the graduation ceremony held in Cambridge, UK (COVID-19 dependent).
View photos from previous Masters Degree Graduation Ceremonies here.
Who is the Masters Degree aimed at?
The Masters Degree provides a unique education and personal development opportunity for leaders and senior managers working in data centre facilities wishing to advance their knowledge to master degree level and join the ultimate elite group of highly qualified data centre professionals.
How long is the Masters Degree program?
The degree is a three-year supported online distance learning program via a learning management system providing support, flexibility and guidance to learners every step of the year.
On average, learners are expected to commit seven to 10 hours of study to the program per week during the trimesters. However, due to the online learning aspect of the program, there is the flexibility to work at times most suitable to the learner and to fit around work/family life. It is essential to note the deadlines that are given by the university are strict and must be met in order to complete the Masters Degree.
How does distance learning work?
The online distance learning via CNet’s Learning Management System, Moodle, provides flexibility and complete interaction every step of the way. All of the online discussions (video, skype, etc.) are recorded, and there are bulletin board style bases for live messages and support.
Online learning is mostly asynchronous and therefore, learners must make time to interact with the online materials and activities. It is expected that learners will actively engage with discussions and online activities.
From time to time, guest lectures and live sessions will be available and learners are expected to attend. Every effort is made to schedule the times of live sessions to accommodate global time zones.
Individuals will need a suitable computer with an Internet connection and sufficient IT competence to make effective use of word processing, Internet and email.
What is the association between Anglia Ruskin and CNet Training?
CNet Training has been awarded Associate College status by Anglia Ruskin University. This means that the Masters Degree qualification will still be awarded and overseen by the university and continues to be recognised with the same academic integrity as all other Anglia Ruskin University qualifications. The status confirms a long-term working relationship with ARU and provides CNet with responsibility for full delivery of the Masters Degree program. It also carries with it robust quality and academic standards, which CNet is proud to uphold.
How are learners supported?
There is always an opportunity to interact with the module tutor. All learners on the program are supported by the CNet team, the specialist academic staff and industry specialists. All are on hand to offer guidance, support and mentoring throughout the program to enrich the learning experience.
Are there any exams?
There are no exams. All the assessments have been carefully designed to provide value beyond the program and will usually be based on the learner’s place of work, previous industry experiences or on a business that the learner may already be aware of.
“The data centre manager version of me that started out on the Masters Degree three years ago is virtually unrecognisable to the one that exists today. It’s fair to say that my company has already gained back its investment in the Masters Degree in leaps and bounds and I can honestly say the entire experience has set me up in a really good way for the rest of my career.”
“I’ve been thoroughly impressed with the amount of resources made available to distance learners. It’s the first course of this kind where I didn’t FEEL like a distance learner. The team does an incredible job of bridging the gap that typically exists in this type of relationship. The effort and passion of the Anglia Ruskin team shines through, giving the experience of a joint endeavour.”
How to apply
The deadline for 2021 applications is Friday August 13.
CNet considers all applications individually, taking into account each applicant’s experience and qualifications. We encourage individuals to apply if they have experience working in a data centre facility and have ideally at least two years at middle or senior management level in a data centre context. It is advantageous if individuals have a first- or second-class degree from a UK university, or the equivalent from an overseas university.
Those applicants for whom English is not a first language will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.
How long does the application process take?
Once the application has been submitted, it will be reviewed by the Higher and Further Education Principal; this can take three to five days. If successful, individuals will be notified by email and sent an acceptance form.
Talk to a tutor or graduate
CNet has introduced an option for prospective learners to have the opportunity to ‘Talk to a Tutor’ and ‘Talk to a Graduate’. This provides those interested in the program with the chance to speak directly to graduates who have completed the program, to learn more about their personal experiences or to talk directly to a tutor from the Masters Degree who can answer any specific queries relating to the program content and eligibility.
To find out more, email [email protected] to arrange a suitable date and time to speak with a graduate/tutor.
For more information on the Masters Degree Program, please visit – https://www.cnet-training.com/programs/masters-degree/masters-degree-in-data-centre-leadership-and-management-videos/Click below to share this article