If you want to work inside the $1.2 billion Data Center the National Security Agency (NSA) is planning to open later this year, it would have helped if you’d already enrolled in a specially-tailored training program at the University of Utah.
But, if being part of one of the largest digital spying schemes ever undertaken by a government (not to mention the Federal employee perks and security clearance) still thrills you, send in your admissions application.
The NSA approached the university two years ago, asking Richard Brown, dean of the College of Engineering, to come up with an academic program that, according to Wired, “could teach computer science students all of the networking, electrical engineering, and server cooling skills that they’d need to run one of the world’s largest data centers.”
So Brown did, concocting the Data Center Engineering program, which is set to offer its first courses this fall on separate tracks toward Bachelor’s and Master’s-level certifications.
The NSA’s director of installations and logistics, Harvey Davis, told the Salt Lake City Tribune Thursday the agency is seeking both graduates and interns to work at the center, which is expected to consume 1,210 gallons of water per minute and will employ 150 people.
A recent, two-year bipartisan investigation by the U. S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations demonstrates concern – even among some members of Congress – that data centers (also known as “fusion centers”) represent a major source of government waste.
That report found the Nation’s more than 70 extant fusion centers actually do very little to provide Americans meaningful protection from terrorism, despite supporters’ arguments that data centers are intended to do just that.