Masters Degree in Data Center Leadership and Management

Next Application Deadline

August 9th, 2024

Join the World's Elite Group of Data Center Leaders from IBM, Commscope, Schneider Electric, Time Warner Cable, Sudlows Limited, Unilever, Capital One, University of Melbourne, Microsoft, and More.

Program Overview

Data centers are complex facilities that are expected to deliver faultless service and
financial results in a world of rapidly changing technologies, business pressures
and environmental expectations.

In order to achieve this, data centers need highly capable leaders and managers - individuals
who are capable of dealing with business complexity and technological change with the
knowledge and skills to ensure their teams deliver against consistently challenging objectives.

The Masters Degree in Data Center Leadership and Management is a unique program, which
has been designed in collaboration with the industry to advance data center professionals
worldwide. No other university program offers data center professionals this high level
leadership and management education tailored to the data center sector.

The program harnesses CNet’s unique insight into data center operations and expertise in
business leadership and management. Topics have been selected on the basis of feedback
from the industry and data center professionals who are themselves involved with delivering
the program alongside other hand-picked specialists. The content of the Masters Degree is
reviewed and refreshed each year to ensure it reflects the constantly evolving nature of the

Delivery of the program is through distance learning, meaning that learners can study at times
that are convenient to them. They can also easily communicate with their tutors and each
other wherever they are in the world.


Primarily this three year program is based around supported online distance learning via a
learning management system, providing flexibility and complete interaction every step of
the way. Learners will be supported by the CNet team, specialist academic staff and industry
specialists, all with the aim of creating an enriched shared learning experience. There is an
optional bootcamp held every two years in Cambridge, UK for those who wish to attend.

On average, learners commit the equivalent of approximately 10 hours of study per week to
the program during trimester time, which can be taken at your own pace and at a convenient
time for you. However, the deadlines that are given for your assessed work are strict and must
be met.

The program is run across two learning periods per year consisting of 12 weeks of teaching.
This will include online learning content, regular virtual tutorials (usually an hour in duration
at dates and times published at the start of the program), and online discussion forums with
peers and the academic tutor. There is one point of entry per year in September. Each module
is formally assessed.

Masters Degree Application Process

View a brief step-by-step guide to the application process here.
If you have any questions or require assistance at any point during the application process, please contact the CNet team.

The first year of the program enables you to develop your expertise in three key themes that are at the heart of any business: leadership, sustainability and financial management. The program starts with an introduction to leadership in the data center sector, exploring different approaches to leading in a complex and dynamic business. You will then go on to look at issues of sustainability and design, from the business management perspective. Leaders also need a sound understanding of money issues, so financial management is also included coupled with how financial considerations influence you as a leader.

Data Center Leadership

  • Evolution of leadership
  • Complexity theory, dynamic organizational environments, strategic alignment in organizations, systems theory
  • Emergent leadership theory in dynamic environments
  • Internal business environment analysis and organizational dynamics
  • Models of strategic analysis
  • The role of leaders in fostering cultures of innovation, creativity and change capability in dynamic environments
  • Change management

Sustainable Design for High Capacity Data Centers

  • Modular data center design for reliability, scalability, efficiency, and sustainability.
  • Management of “utility” operations like electricity, heating and cooling from a usage, efficiency and cost savings perspectives
  • Environmental monitoring technologies
  • Maximizing system utilization for best efficiency
  • Continuous commissioning
  • Use of cloud technology to minimize the impact of data centers on the environment

Finance for Decision Making

  • Overview of the financial system
  • Decision making and problem solving in theory and practice
  • Financial objectives and strategies linked to general strategies and environmental circumstances
  • Corporate governance issues
  • Efficient/inefficient markets and behavioral finance
  • Financial risk - types and coping mechanisms
  • Relationship between financial risk and expected return
  • Cost of capital: WACC and CAPM; Gearing
  • Treasury management and control of working capital
  • Investment appraisal

The second year takes your expertise to the next level. You will start off by exploring key data center issues of infrastructure management, security and disaster recovery, in particular looking from the perspective of the business. To be successful, a data center business is dependent upon its people, so you will explore human resource management, organisational behaviour and strategies for maximising performance in teams. You will also develop your understanding of decision making, which is particularly important in critical services

Data Center Infrastructure Management, Security and Disaster Recovery

  • Asset tracking (“Cradle to Grave”)
  • Change management
  • Analysis of virtual/logical systems and how they interact with physical hardware
  • Management & resilience high capacity storage in complex data centers (especially related to disaster recovery scenarios)
  • Consolidation of resources/locations
  • Optimising physical infrastructure (including space management) to enable higher capacity
  • Multi-layered monitoring
  • Future strategic planning via modelling scenarios
  • Physical security & data security
  • Virtual digital security (especially in co-location environments)
  • Identification of data center infrastructure risks and vulnerabilities, mitigation techniques and recovery policies
  • Governance relating to data protection, safe harbour and other compliance regimes.
  • Evaluation metrics

HRM and Organisational Capability Development

  • Managing human resources for optimal performance
  • Organisational behaviour
  • Developing and managing structures for continued capability growth
  • Managing contractor arrangements and a contingent workforce
  • Knowledge management

Decision Making in Critical Services

  • Risk identification and mitigation
  • Sense-making and management behaviour during critical incidents
  • Response to critical incidents and first response management
  • Managing consequence
  • Managing human responses during times of crisis
  • Managing and evaluating service level agreements (or similar)
  • critical infrastructure asset management

The final year expands your horizons even further, giving you the chance to develop your thought leadership and address specific business issues. First, in the “Contemporary Issues in Leadership and Management” module, you will explore themes in the data center sector and gain an in depth understanding of issues that are important to you. Next, you will develop your research skills, giving you the expertise to frame, plan and deliver research - this will provide a platform for your academic studies and will also enable you to develop new, credible and robust knowledge in your business. Finally, you will put all of your learning into practice by developing and delivering a major project (“dissertation” or “thesis”). You can look at this as a piece of work which could address a live issue in your workplace, or be based on a theme in the data center sector as a whole. Your major project will be one of the defining moments of your Masters Degree program and could open the door to further study or career development.

Contemporary Issues in Leadership and Management

  • Leadership and CSR
  • Technology advancements and implications
  • Sustainability and environmental issues
  • Globalisation and offshoring
  • Standards and quality management
  • Other topics as identified by industry partners

Research Methods & Post Graduate Major Project

  • Intellectual and practical skills to frame, plan and deliver research
  • Analysis and interpretation of data generated
  • Bringing this into action through a major research project, based on your own interests and providing a culmination of your work on the Masters program.

This Masters Degree is suited to leaders and senior managers working at a data center facility
or those in a position of strategic level influence, wishing to join the elite group of worldwide data center professionals.

This program has been designed for people in leadership and management positions within data center facilities. CNet Training will consider all applications individually, taking into account each applicant’s experience and qualifications. We encourage you to apply if you:

  • Work in a data center facility
  • have at least two years at middle or senior management level in a data center context

It would be advantageous if you have a first or second class degree from a UK university, or equivalent from an overseas university.

Those applicants for whom English is not a first language will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

Learners are required to have:

  • A webcam and microphone enabled laptop with unrestricted wireless internet connectivity and a pre-installed web browser
  • A suitable application for reading/annotating PDFs and a suitable application for editing standard office documents such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel

The aim of this Degree is to unite the existing knowledge and skills of data center professionals with essential new learning centered around leadership and management within a data center environment and award a top level degree qualification.

  • Masters Degree in Data Center Leadership & Management (MA) – a Level 7 qualification
  • Use of the MA post nominal title, e.g. Louise Clark MA
  • Use of the official Masters Degree in Data Center Leadership and Management (MA) digital badge
  • Graduates will be invited to a graduation ceremony in Cambridge, UK

What is an Associate College?

An Associate College status confirms a long-term working relationship with the University with the intention of providing quality education opportunities with a commitment to lifelong learning. CNet Training has worked closely with Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in Cambridge, UK, for a number of years and this status confirmed the company’s full responsibility for the design and delivery of the world’s only Masters Degree in Data Center Leadership and Management. The Masters Degree qualification is awarded by ARU with a full graduation ceremony, and this high level qualification continues to be recognized with the same integrity of all the other ARU qualifications.

The Associate College status carries with it robust quality and academic standards, which CNet is proud to uphold. ARU undertake ongoing inspections to ensure the Masters Degree program continues to reach desired quality standards, and, being a CNet program, it also conforms to the ISO standard that CNet Training adheres to. This quality focus ensures learners can be confident that they are receiving the best education possible.

What are the Benefits of the Associate College Status for CNet's Learners?

  • Learners can be reassured of the quality of the degree program, knowing the ongoing rigorous assessments CNet have to pass in order to maintain the 'Associate College' status
  • Being an Associate College bestows CNet with full responsibility for the design and delivery of the Masters Degree, ensuring content can evolve and be updated in line with sector requirements and reflect the latest trends and sector focuses
  • CNet ensures the content of the Masters Degree program is in line with the technical education programs from The Global Digital Infrastructure Education Framework, whereby the content is regularly reviewed, refreshed and scoped in collaboration with global influencers and leaders from the industry itself
  • Anglia Ruskin University was named University of the Year 2023 by the prestigious Times Higher Education awards, giving learners reassurance of the high quality of education that the Masters Degree provides

Anglia Ruskin University is an officially recognized University see –

All courses are accredited to meet the standards expected of Bachelors and Masters Degrees in the UK and Internationally. Plus, the Masters Degree in Data Center Leadership and Management has been approved by an expert panel including specialists from the industry and UK universities.

Anglia Ruskin University was named University of the Year 2023 by the prestigious Times Higher Education awards, giving learners reassurance of the high quality of education that the Masters Degree provides.

If you have any specific queries about the Master Degree program you can now speak with one of the Tutors – simply email us to arrange a suitable date and time.

If you have any specific queries about the Master Degree program you can now speak with one of the previous Graduates – simply email us to arrange a suitable date and time.

Andrew Stevens, CEO/Managing Director at CNet Training
“This global leading opportunity is a result of the combination of CNet Training, recognized as the global leader in data center training and education, and Anglia Ruskin University’s award-winning high-quality work-based learning. CNet Training is an Associate College of Anglia Ruskin University providing responsibility for full design and delivery of the program. The degree provides a unique education and personal development opportunity for those working within a data center to advance their knowledge to master degree level. Individuals can become part of the ultimate elite group of highly qualified data center professionals and the industry can benefit from the enhanced knowledge and expertise that will be channeled into it.”
Data Center Manager, Irish Life and Permanent Plc – Graduate
“The DC manager version of me that started out on the Masters Degree three 3 years ago is virtually unrecognizable to the one that exists today. It’s fair to say that my company has already gained back its investment in the Masters Degree in leaps and bounds, and I can honestly say the entire experience has set me up in a really good way for the rest of my career. ”
Data Center Operations Manager, IBM – Graduate
“The Masters Degree in Data Center Leadership and Management distance course is well organized and thoughtfully prepared. The course is demanding and requires high level of self-discipline and persistence. In return, it offers deep insights in leadership, and inspires students to develop their leadership capabilities. It has been designed for the data center industry and is great value for emerging leaders and their organizations. After 3 years of hard work and dedication I finally got confirmed my Masters Degree qualification. It was a great experience and I’m proud to be one of the very first Masters in Data Center Leadership and Management worldwide.”
VP Field Application Engineering EMEA, CommScope
“As I finish this part of my continual learning process I just wanted to thank you all for your help and support with what has been a fantastic journey. Your passion, coaching and mentoring throughout the program kept me going and encouraged me to develop and strive to succeed – it was tough at times but you were always there to help. I look back on what was an unbelievable learning experience and one that has had a big impact on my life, both professionally and personally.”
Infrastructure and Operations Team Lead
“I’ve been thoroughly impressed with the amount of resources made available to distance learners. It’s the first course of this kind where I didn’t FEEL like a distance learner. The team do an incredible job of bridging the gap that typically exists in this type of relationship. The effort and passion of the Anglia Ruskin team shine through, giving the experience of a joint endeavor.”