Aruba Academy: a bridge between training and the data centre industry to upskill future professionals

Italian data centre company continues efforts to close the IT skills gap with the further development of its training school, designed to educate and prepare young IT talent for technical roles.

Aruba S.p.A, the leading Italian cloud provider in data centre services, web hosting, e-mail, PEC and domain registration, are continuing efforts towards bridging the skills gap through the further addition of specialised training courses at their training school, Aruba Academy. The school was designed and launched to help combat the growing problem of the IT skills gap in the data centre industry and aims to educate and prepare young future IT professionals for technical roles in the sector. In total, the courses Aruba Academy offers amount to around 30,000 hours of training per year, dedicated to coaching the data centre professionals of the future. In addition to IT training, Aruba Academy will also offer staff certification and produce digital e-learning content.

One of the key challenges of digitalisation is the surge in demand for workers with technical education and skills such as programming and data centre operations, among other specialised qualifications. Yet only 26% of UK graduates come from STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) courses, whilst similarly, only 16% of the Italian population aged 20-29 has a degree in a STEM subject. From this, we can gauge a picture of the current scenario in Europe, with this lack of technical higher education a driving force behind the growing difficulty organisations are having in finding suitable professionals with the required technical expertise.

The Aruba Group’s school was borne from the evolution of the company’s internal employee training programme. Under its new Academy banner, the company is now setting the ambitious new goal of developing and certifying several specialised training courses – not just for those within Aruba – on the main roles for which companies are struggling to find skilled candidates.

These roles include:

· Professional System Administrator – In partnership with Randstad Technologies. The course aims to provide students with the technical knowledge necessary to deal with the phenomenon of cyber-attacks that can affect IT infrastructures and data centre management centres. Fundamental to the course will be practical exercises that will lead candidates to propose updates and changes to hardware and software components and to ensure compliance with regulatory provisions on privacy and personal data protection.

· Faculty Operations Centre (FOC) - 72% of Italian companies report difficulties in finding talent with the right skills to suit their needs. Responding to this market need, in partnership with Manpower Academy, Aruba Academy provides a training course on the Faculty Operations Centre (FOC), to give young professionals the skills to perform all the operations necessary for the proper functioning of the infrastructures and systems within the largest Italian Data Centre Campus, learning the management monitoring and maintenance. The trainees can acquire skills related to electrical, electronic, thermal, special systems, acquiring important and valuable knowledge on technological systems, building the foundations of a professionalism among the most sought-after in the sector.

· Full-Stack JAVA Programming - The Java programming language is among the most widespread and widely used in the world for building websites, software, apps and video games, and for this reason, knowledge of it can guarantee solid job opportunities and foster professional growth and continuity. Yet, it seems increasingly difficult for companies to find skilled resources in this field: in fact, developers remain among the talents that companies find hardest to attract. For this reason, in partnership with employment agency Umana, Aruba has introduced a specialisation course which aims to train candidates interested in programming sites, applications and databases using the Java development platform, while participating in software creation, test conduction and debugging activities with an advanced analytical approach.

· Cyber Security - The Security Intelligence Specialist is a profile capable of performing threat hunting operations and equipped with all the skills necessary to operate in a SOC (Security Operation Centre). This course provides training around the analysis of intelligent data, as well as the implementation and management of an organisation’s security systems. With security risks only continuing to rise in this digital age, this role is a particularly critical one for businesses today.

· Technical Operation - Technical operations are ultimately responsible for the success of a company through the implementation of technology. In order to benefit organisations, technical operations must be equipped to employ advanced technology and anticipate future business needs. This course aims to train experienced professionals in the management and maintenance of services, including the monitoring of systems, software and hardware infrastructures.

· Cloud Engineering – Given the global shift we’ve seen to cloud computing, adopting the skills to manage these technological duties is becoming increasingly important. This course is the latest addition to the Aruba Academy (starting on 6th November) and is open to STEM graduates with at least 2 years’ experience as Linux system engineers who wish to acquire increasingly specific technological and management skills, to allow them to follow a career path in this field. In co-operation with Experis Academy, Desotech and Extraordy, the aim of the course is to expand one’s skills in the cloud native environment; this consists of 304 hours of virtual classroom training, which will then result in all participants being awarded a CKA (Certified Kubernetes Administrator) certification, which guarantees the candidate's skills, knowledge and competences to work as a Kubernetes professional.

For those who successfully complete their training course, there will be an opportunity to obtain a longer-term employment contract at the company, to continue to progress their professional training and learn alongside experienced Aruba data centre professionals. With the chance to directly work on Aruba data centre projects, these trainees will be able to utilise the robust set of skills and learnings they gained from their training and consolidate this with on-the-job experience in the data centre industry itself.

“The Aruba Academy represents a bridge between two worlds, that of training and that of business, which must necessarily work together to bring out the best talents to enter the labour market. In order to achieve this objective, we use a didactic/methodological approach based on the P.E.C model – digital propaedeutics, experience with mentors and consolidation in the field – and on learner centricity, an immersive training process focused on the person” commented Italo Piroddi, Head of Aruba Academy. “These training courses therefore represent a starting point from which we can train well-rounded, future data centre professionals. Thanks to the Aruba Academy, we offer the opportunity to obtain an employment contract that will allow candidates to become part of our team and to be able to put into practice in the field what they have learnt during the training phase.”

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