StorageTek has expanded its focus on services, co-operating with North Sydney TAFE to develop what is claimed to be Australia's first vendor-independent storage engineering certification.
"One of the things we uncovered is that there's a lack of education in the storage market to help people be data storage professionals," said StorageTek corporate vice president for worldwide marketing and strategy Jill Kenney. "Businesses can't find enough storage professionals to do the work that's needed.
StorageTek's own local investigations had uncovered a similar problem. "There wasn't any certified training in storage," said StorageTek ANZ managing director Philip Belcher. "This gives people the opportunity to specialise."
The Diploma of Data Storage Engineering is comprised of a mixture of existing TAFE units in business subjects and specific training on managing data storage. A more basic certificate course is also offered.
Belcher was keen to emphasise that, in line with StorageTek's own service offerings, the course was not product or vendor specific. "The training is not vendor-related -- it's generic," he said. To underline the point, the company's own storage engineers are currently enrolled in the first course.
The training course, which has been in the planning stages for two years, has been certified by the Australian National Training Authority (ANTA). StorageTek is already in discussions to offer it via a Melbourne institution, and eventually hopes to offer it nationwide.
Company officials conceded that many people might find the notion of deliberately pursuing a career in storage off-putting, but pointed to the eternal appeal of filthy lucre as a key element.
"We can demonstrate that there's jobs out there, and they're well-paying jobs," said Belcher.
"Storage is sexier than it used to be because it's still a growth area," added Kenney.