Data engineers are responsible for managing data reservoirs and the data generated by digital activities. They design, build, test, maintain, and upgrade data storage architectures, such as databases and large-scale data processing and reporting systems. A big data engineer creates continuous pipelines to carry data scientists relevant information. This is similar to building a physical structure.
Data engineers usually have an undergraduate degree either in math, science or another business-related field. This degree gives them the ability to query and mine data using programming languages, as well as use big data SQL engines in certain cases. Most data engineers find their first job as an entry-level position after completing their bachelor’s degree. This depends on the industry or job they are working in. These are the five things you should remember if your goal is to become a data engineer.
- Get a bachelor’s degree to start working on projects.
- Enhance your computer engineering, analysis and big data skills.
- Start your first entry-level position.
- You might consider pursuing other professional engineering or big-data certifications.
- Obtain higher education in engineering, computer science, and physics.
According to the BLS, people with information technology and computer skills are highly in demand due to the importance of big data and data engineering across all sectors. Data engineers can become leaders by gaining more experience, certifications and degrees.
What is Data Engineering? Who are Data Engineers?
Data engineering is a complex field that can be very variable. It focuses on the development of reliable infrastructure or mechanisms for data collection.
What is a data engineer? Data engineers are basically anyone who acts as a facilitator and gatekeeper for data movement and storage. Many data engineers are charged with the transformation of big data into useful forms for analysis. They design, build, install, test and maintain highly scalable data management software — basically, the software required to store and use this data.
Steps to become a data engineer
There are many career opportunities in data engineering. Data engineers can help businesses scale their data resources, from large tech companies in Silicon Valley to smaller startups to healthcare systems.
However, you must be aware of the requirements to get your foot in front as a data engineer. This will allow you to remain relevant in the field.
David Bianco is a veteran data engineer who has built geospatial data networks. Bianco encourages potential data engineers to be fluent in the programming languages and tools that will help them get hired. He also explains how these tools can help them achieve their goals.
He says that languages change and it is better to have a solid understanding of the concepts behind building an efficient pipeline.
If you are looking to make a career out of your data engineering career, Bianco has some key points.
- Get a bachelor’s degree to start working on projects
A bachelor’s degree is required for anyone who wants to enter this field. This includes a bachelor’s in computer science, computer engineering, software, physics, statistics or another related field. To be eligible for most entry-level jobs, you will need to have real-world experience such as internships. If you choose to major in a different field, make sure that you take courses in data structures, algorithms and database management. It is important to learn as much as possible.
You can join a study group, go to a hackathon with your friends, or work on personal projects with classmates. This will help you build a portfolio that you can show potential employers.
- You can fine tune your computer engineering, analysis and big data skills
You will need to improve your SQL knowledge, which is one of the most important programming languages that data engineers use. Because most data is stored in relational databases systems, this is essential. Engineers use SQL to query the data and SQL engines such as Apache Hive to analyze it.
Data engineers must also be familiar with other programming languages that aid in statistical analysis and modeling such as Python, R. It will also be helpful to have a good understanding of Spark, Hadoop.
Other than a command of the language, skills include understanding machine learning, using database architectures, machine learning, finding data warehouse solutions, building data pipelines, data mining and utilizing cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services.
Data management technology is always changing so data engineers need to keep up with what’s going on in their field.
- Get your first entry-level engineering job
Although your first job might not be in engineering, it could provide valuable insights into how to tackle data organization problems. Your first job will test your creativity and require you to find creative solutions to problems. This is why it’s important. Data engineers are not experts at this. They listen to data scientists, managers, and data architects. It’s a team effort. This experience will allow you to gain insight into the industry and the ways data can be collected, used, and analyzed.
- You might consider pursuing additional certifications in engineering or big data.
It is necessary to obtain certifications in order to advance your career as a data engineer. You can find many vendor-specific certifications, including Oracle and Microsoft. There are many certification options, so make sure you speak with mentors and look at the job descriptions to find out what certifications may be required. The Certified Data Management Professional, or CDMP, is one certification you can get. The Data Management Association International (DAMA) developed the CDMP, which is a solid credential for all database professionals. Employers will recognize the acronym in your resume.
- You can pursue higher education in engineering, computer science, applied mathematics, physics or another related field.
While many engineers are successful without higher education, you might also consider a master’s degree in computer engineering, or computer science degree, to sharpen your skills and expand your knowledge or to start working as a data scientist.
Some jobs do not require a master’s degree in data engineering. Employers are more willing to accept work experience and evidence of technical proficiency in lieu of a master’s degree.
Data Engineer Responsibilities
Data engineering is a strategic job that involves many responsibilities. These include the development of data sets and processes necessary for data mining and modeling, as well as proof of concept and construction of high-performance algorithms.
This is a list of data engineers responsibilities.
- Ensure that data storage systems and collection systems are in compliance with industry standards and business requirements.
- Integration of new data management software in a company’s existing systems or the exploration of new opportunities for data acquisition. This could be a way for a company to find a better way to bring in data from a new client.
- You can create custom software components by using a variety of languages and tools, such as scripting languages. This allows you to combine different systems or build an analytics infrastructure that measures the data stored by your business.
- Securely storing and processing data at all times. Data engineers are at the forefront of companies’ cyber defenses. They install and update disaster recovery protocols and recommend ways to improve data reliability.
Data engineers can have the opportunity to work closely with modelers, data architects, and IT professionals to accomplish different project goals.
Data Engineer vs Data Scientist
A data engineer is responsible for building, testing, and maintaining big data architectures. However, a data scientist is responsible for organizing and performing deep analyses of big data to provide insights and solve business problems.
These two professionals often work together. Without a data engineer, a data scientist cannot interpret data.
Data Engineer Jobs
Data engineering is a constantly changing field that can make life harder for data engineers. It also offers more job opportunities.
There are many roles you can play, including data engineer or senior cloud engineer, big data engineer, or both.
It’s an exciting time for data “builders.”
Data Engineer Salary 2021: What Does a Data Engineer Make in 2021?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the projected 22 percent increase in employment opportunities within the computer and information science fields between 2020 and 2030. Below is a list of the average annual salaries for certain positions:
Database Administrator – According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, the median salary for database administrators was $98,860 in May 2020.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Computer and Information Research Scientists- Computer and Information Research Scientists make an average annual salary of $126.830.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Computer Network Architects– Computer Network Architects make an average annual salary of $116.780.
Summarizing Data Engineer Checklist
Here are some steps to help you become a data engineer.
- Earning a bachelor’s degree – A bachelor’s in programming or computer science is a great way to get familiar with data engineering. You might even find a specialization area you want to work in through your studies.
- You can improve your big data skills. Employers in this field are looking for people with unique skills and an understanding of programming languages and software. You can improve your skills by practicing, working on personal projects, and continuing education.
- Gain experience by obtaining a job as an entry-level position, even in IT. Continue to learn from your previous experience and gain knowledge about big data trends, and solutions that are not available elsewhere.
- You can get certifications that will allow you to specialize, make you more competitive and enable you to apply for new positions and advance your career.
- A master’s degree in data engineering is a must. You can stand out in the job market by earning a graduate degree. It shows that you have taken further steps to improve your knowledge.