Microsoft has opened its first Asian Datacenter Academy (DCA) in Singapore, along with partnering the local Institute of Technical Education (ITE) in a five-year commitment to empower some 300 ITE students, focusing on applied data centre skills.
Aimed at up-skilling students for technical jobs and preparing them for careers in the digital economy, the DCA is an extension of Microsoft’s pledge to equip ITE students to thrive in a growing ICT sector.
By some IDC estimates, Microsoft, its ecosystem of partners, and customers will create over 86,000 new jobs in Singapore by 2026, of which over 50,000 will be skilled IT jobs.
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.
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 scholars will receive an opportunity to interview for open data centre positions at Microsoft in Singapore.
“As we build a resilient, digitally inclusive future for Singapore, we must close the gap between skilling and employability while ensuring that our people have relevant skills and opportunities for success,” said Lee Hui Li, managing director of Singapore at Microsoft.
“As we embrace digital perseverance across business, government and our local communities, we remain focused on making intentional investments in Singapore as we deepen our ecosystem of partnerships. This will strengthen our capabilities at all levels of society and deliver broad, inclusive economic growth for our shared future.”
Starting January 2023, ITE will offer DCA curriculum to students across all three ITE Colleges from the Work-Study Diploma programs in Data Centre Infrastructure and Operation, Mechanical & Electrical Services Supervision, and Logistics & Supply Chain Management.
The curriculum aligns closely to the core competencies required for data centre roles across the tech sector, incorporating data centre infrastructure management, IT support, troubleshooting and mechanical services. It also includes experiential training across areas including artificial intelligence, data analytics, automation and cyber security.
Via the specialised curriculum, students can acquire knowledge and earn a Certificate of Completion or a Diploma, thus securing industry-relevant accreditations for a career in technology.
Furthermore, Microsoft employees will provide support and mentorship guidance through regular engagement with DCA participants and graduates. Students can expect workplace and career coaching from industry experts and have the chance to strengthen their interview and resume building skills.
These students will also be one of the first in Singapore to use servers at the Datacenter Lab on campus, donated by the Microsoft Circular Center in Singapore, which enables the reuse and repurpose of decommissioned cloud computing hardware from Microsoft data centres. The global program aims to reuse 90 percent of cloud computing hardware assets by 2025.
At the Datacenter 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.
“We are happy to partner Microsoft in equipping our Work-Study Diploma trainees with the skills needed for the data centre industry," added Low Khah Gek, CEO of ITE.
"This is a fast-growing industry and our collaboration with a strong market leader will position our trainees at the forefront of industry trends. With Microsoft, we can nurture talents for the industry and prepare them for exciting careers in this increasingly digital environment."
With 12 Datacenter Academy locations operating globally, Microsoft partners 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.