Microsoft opens Asia’s first Datacenter Academy in Singapore with ITE

Partnership to close the gap between skilling and employability in Singapore and build skills for a resilient digital future

Singapore – Microsoft today announced the launch of its first Datacenter Academy (DCA) in Asia. Located in Singapore and created in partnership with ITE, the DCA is a five-year commitment to empower some 300 ITE students with a focus on building applied datacenter skills.

Through a shared commitment to upskill students for technical jobs and prepare them for careers in the digital economy, the DCA is an extension of Microsoft’s commitment to empower ITE students to thrive in a growing ICT sector. According to IDC*, 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 datacenter 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 datacenter industry. Upon completion of their academic program, selected scholars will receive an opportunity to interview for open datacenter 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, Singapore Managing Director, 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.”

“We are happy to partner Microsoft in equipping our Work-Study Diploma trainees with the skills needed for the datacenter industry. 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,” said Low Khah Gek, Chief Executive Officer of ITE.

The DCA draws on resources from Microsoft and ITE to bring students an applied program that connects education to a career in datacenters, a growing ICT sector.

With 12 Datacenter Academy locations operating globally, Microsoft partners with select education partners to provide guidance on curriculum; donations of servers, laptops, and datacenter equipment for labs; and opportunities for mentorship and work experience in Microsoft datacenters.

Building hands-on skills for a datacenter career

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 & Operation, Mechanical & Electrical Services Supervision, and Logistics & Supply Chain Management.

The curriculum aligns closely to the core competencies required for datacenter roles across the tech sector focused on datacenter infrastructure management, IT support, troubleshooting and mechanical services. It also includes experiential training across areas including artificial intelligence, data analytics, automation and cybersecurity.

Through this datacenter-focused curriculum, students can acquire knowledge and earn a Certificate of Completion or a Diploma. This gives students industry-relevant accreditations for a career in technology.

Creating real-world experiences and readiness

To better prepare ITE students for a career in the datacenter industry, 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.

As students hone their datacenter skills in ITE, they will also be one of the first in Singapore to use servers at their Datacenter lab on campus, which were donated by the Microsoft Circular Center in Singapore. The first of its kind in Asia, the Microsoft Circular Center enables the reuse and repurpose of decommissioned cloud computing hardware from our datacenters. The global program aims to reuse 90 percent of cloud computing hardware assets by 2025.

Microsoft’s first Circular Center in Asia will bring us closer in eliminating electronic waste and responding to the needs of our planet

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, datacenter physical infrastructure management, parts replacement, physical hardware troubleshooting, and hardware and network diagnostics.

Building a resilient, digitally inclusive Singapore

Beyond helping customers to do more with less, the DCA joins a wider range of initiatives from Microsoft that have been implemented locally to build a resilient, digitally inclusive Singapore and support broad economic growth.

These initiatives include public-private partnerships to positively impact the local community on areas including cybersecurity and accessibility, as well as national skilling initiatives like #GetReadySG and Let’s Skill Up which close the gap between skilling and employability. Microsoft also continues to build deep partnerships across the public and private sectors to create sustainable solutions, steer the adoption of responsible artificial intelligence and strengthen critical infrastructure for a digital future.

Details on the ITE Singapore Data Center Academy program will be posted on Singapore – Microsoft Local when available.