Organizations with effective physical and virtual storage strategies tend to operate more efficiently than those without it. Storage engineers are the professionals tasked with managing and monitoring the use of space in an organization. Because space planning and management is important across all types of organizations, storage engineers can find employment opportunities in diverse industries, ranging from financial and educational services to health care and manufacturing.
The duties of storage engineers vary by the area of specialization. Physical storage engineers focus on making the most efficient use of physical space to store items such as raw materials, finished products and machinery and equipment. They recommend appropriate storage solutions for physical items. For example, when a manufacturing plant runs out of space to store finished goods, the storage engineer might recommend that the plant build or lease a warehouse to avoid interrupting the production process.
Virtual storage engineers ensure organizations have sufficient digital space to store electronic information ranging from trade secrets and businesses contracts to employee records and financial documents. They often work with database administrators, network engineers and computer system managers to identify efficient, cost-effective and secure virtual storage solutions. For example, when a company wants to migrate from physical to virtual recordkeeping, the storage engineer may recommend a cloud-based storage solution and oversee its installation.
Aspiring physical storage engineers typically need to earn a bachelor’s degree in a field such as civil engineering, while aspiring virtual storage engineers need a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering or a closely related field. Both types of storage engineers need strong technical, computer, analytical and problem-solving skills to be effective on the job. You can enhance your job prospects by securing professional certifications such as the Storage Networking Industry Association’s Certified Storage Engineer.
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