How to become a Data Centre Project Manager
Project Manager jobs are in high demand, growing faster than any other role in the market right now, and across a multitude of industries. A Project Manager’s job is diverse with the potential to lead to a very lucrative career – especially in the data centres market, which continues to receive significant investment. With an increasing pipeline of projects planned in order to keep the digital world connected, we expect to see many Project Manager jobs flood the market over the next several years. So, here we look at what it takes to land yourself a job as a Data Centre Project Manager.
Data Centre Projects
A data centre project is no small feat. On average, a commercial data centre costs between $10 million - $12 million per megawatt to construct. They are incredibly valuable in the modern economy, housing vital IT infrastructure and billions of gigabytes of data. In 2020 - 2021, investment in the data centre real estate market doubled, reaching $53.8 billion. Every year, new projects are being planned to keep up with the ever-growing creation of data and reliance on internet access – and it is for this very reason that the job of data centre project manager is high demand.
Project Managers are responsible for overseeing all phases of a project’s lifecycle, including budgets, schedules, teams and resources. A Data Centre project manager will not only be responsible for the construction of the facility, but the installation of the specialist IT infrastructure that makes data centre operation possible. Data Centre and other mission critical capex projects can take a significant amount of time, and project managers will find themselves on long-term contracts.
What do you need to become a project manager?
There is no one ‘right’ way to embark on a project management career, with several routes that you can take.
A degree in a design, mechanical or electrical engineering discipline is good start to get your foot in the door for a data centre project manager job. These engineering disciplines have a huge part to play in the design and build of data centre facilities, and first-hand understanding of these principles will go a long way.
Some opt to undergo a specific project management qualification, although this isn’t always required. The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is renowned and widely adopted across the world, so if you are contemplating a project management career, this could be something to consider.
To be a data centre project manager, specific industry experience isn’t always necessary. Any proven project management experience in any industry that deals with complex infrastructure, such as renewable energy or pharmaceuticals, will transfer well into a data centre environment.
Project Manager Skills
Your soft skills are just as important as your formal qualifications when becoming a project manager. Here are the three most sought after:
Being able to lead your team of contractors and manage their activities is vital to the success of any project. You will need the ability to motivate and inspire your team and effectively demonstrate the overarching project vision.
You will be in charge of multiple teams at once, so being able to effectively communicate is necessary. In addition, you will be main port of call for the end client, so will need to be able to negotiate stakeholder relationships. Your written communication skills will be honed for report writing and you will have to be able to convey technical evidence accurately.
Organisation and time management is a key requirement to being a successful Project Manager. You are given a high level of responsibility and a huge task load to oversee, including managing meetings, writing reports, setting goals and creating timelines. Proving your ability to prioritise and delegate to other team members is crucial.
Become a Project Manager with Quanta
Quanta are experts at supporting CapEx and other large scale construction projects. We are always on the lookout for talented project managers for opportunities across all three of our industries: Data Centres & IT, Life Sciences and Renewable Energy. If you have got what it takes to kickstart a successful Project Manager career in Data Centres - we want to hear from you. Explore all of our data centres jobs, or get in touch with our team today. Also, check out the top data centres in the USA and how data centres are combatting skill shortages.