As storing information becomes an increasingly daunting task, the
industry is looking for workers who can design and implement
From the banking industry to MySpace, unstructured digital
information is growing at an astronomical pace.
study projected a sixfold
growth in worldwide information between 2006 and 2010, from 161 exabytes in
2006 to more than 988 exabytes in 2010.
All of this data requires storage, and enterprises are
struggling to find ways to keep their data organized, well-managed and
"You're talking about anything and everything that resides
electronically. In the past, companies tracked purchases by pen and paper and
stored it in a file cabinet. But now everything from debit card transactions to
customer data is stored infinitely. It proliferates every year, the files are
getting more and more complex," and it is important that they
remain accessible, Technology Business Research Group analyst Allan France
Storage infrastructure giant
anticipates that 1 million storage professionals will be needed by 2012, right
about the time when a generation gap is expected to rear its head across the
U.S. workforce. According to Forrester Research, 76 million baby boomers will
be exiting the
workforce by 2017, with only 46 million younger workers in line to replace
In an effort to take the matter into its own hands,
has created a vendor-neutral technology curriculum that teaches computer
science students how to design and manage IT infrastructures.
announced Feb. 14 that more than 4,000 students in 170 schools in nine
countries have already enrolled in the class, a 150 percent increase from 2006,
the first year the class was available.
"The idea is that storage is growing and the number of people who have
expertise in designing, implementing and organizing information is
insufficient. That this is a lapse in education systems. Information storage is
considered an advanced topic,"
director of education services, Alok Shrivatava, told eWEEK.
's approach is not unlike that of
another technology giant,
, which has
worked with high
all over the world in an effort to ensure that there will be a population of IT
professionals able to program and maintain their legacy systems.
feels that workers will be needed who
know how to keep data running smoothly, from allocating resources to different
groups, to troubleshooting, to even disaster recovery, which is largely about
However, not all are convinced that IT jobs in the storage infrastructure
area will grow in pace with digital information.
"Clearly the job demand isn't going to follow the same curve, but it
will grow," said
Instead, the work will be on the planning and organizing side, such as
designing systems that allow businesses to lower their storage costs, by
prioritizing data and using less or more expensive systems accordingly.
Software developments, however, not people, are expected to be the biggest
innovator of storage solutions in the coming years.
"You're going to be able to do more management with less people. The
software will lay out rules-such as documents on a certain topic being
automatically allocated to a certain compartment-and putting more automation in
place," said France.