on 08 Feb, 2019 by Bobby Vohra, Author for Datafloq

How to Become a Data Engineer: A Guide

One of the most exciting job and in-demand job role around the globe today: Big Data Engineer

At present, the analysis of data has become one of the vital aspects of most companies. It is not something new and has been here for a while now; it is just sprung into the limelight. With the rapid pace of internet users, it has become vital for companies to analyse data of their consumers to win the competitive race.

A report by Fior Markets says that the global big data and data engineering services market is expected to grow from USD 9.6 billion in 2017 and USD 44.1 billion by 2025 — at a CAGR of 21.0% during the forecast period 2018-2025.

Who are Big Data Engineers?

Big Data engineers are the present day superheroes. They are good at programming with a great emphasis on specialisation in distributed systems and big data.  Big data engineers are professionals who process massive data sets to provide their organisation analysis, which can further be used to make future decisions to avoid mistakes in the future.

These professionals are indispensable to modern organisations, as they make use of their technical expertise to provide actionable insights to organisations.

The demand for Data Engineers

Rapid advancement in the digital space has a led to a surge in demand for professionals skilled in big data, data science and machine learning. In addition to the technical skills, business leaders and organisations are in looking for professionals having strong analytical skills, good problem-solving skills and leadership skills.

  • Professionals looking to move towards this domain can expect a 20-25% increase on their current compensation.
  • According to Gartner, 91% of organisations have yet to reach a “transformational” level of maturity in data and analytics which means that professionals having this skill-set have an edge over others and also have better job opportunities.
  • A survey by New Vantage Partners found that almost 85% of businesses want to be data driven, but sadly only 37% have been successful.

The skills required to become a Data Engineer

To become a data engineer, you will need to have a background in computer science, engineering, mathematics or have a degree in any IT related field. Since the job field requires good grasp in technical knowledge, just by taking up a certification will not cut up the competition. However, having strong credentials that will be able to showcase your skills to the right employer can be an added advantage.

The key skills of a data engineer:

  • Apache Hadoop-based analytics – it is an open source platform for distributed storage and distributed processing of data sets. These services provide data storage, processing, data access, security, governance, and operations. You need to have a good grasp on tools like MapReduce, Hadoop and HBase etc. 
  • Knowledge of SQL – you need to have strong knowledge in relational database management system such as SQL to manage data.
  • Data Warehousing – learning how to construct and use a data warehouse is a must. Data warehousing helps you aggregate unstructured data from one or more sources to compare and analyse for better business.
  • Data Architecture – having knowledge of building complex database systems for companies. This term also refers to processes that address the data at rest, data at motion, data sets, and how they relate to data dependent applications and processes.
  • Coding skills – you need to have good coding skills in Python, Java, Perl etc.
  • Machine Learning – Although, it is said that machine learning is an integral part of data science but having some level of understanding of how to put the data into use using statistical analysis and data modelling is a huge advantage. Therefore, knowing is machine learning can be like cherry to the cake.
  • Operating system – extensive knowledge in operating systems such as Linux, UNIX and Solaris etc. can be very helpful since most of the tools will be based on these systems.

In today’s era, data is the key to a competitive world and its high time that one grasp these skills and put this knowledge into implementation.

How can one become a Big Data Engineer today?

Having said, big data engineers are the superheroes of today’s tech world, and many professionals are already running towards their dream career by upskilling. Many colleges and institutions do not provide the new-age technologies making it difficult for one to advance in their career. Hence, many fresher graduates and professionals are looking to take up big data engineer certification courses to build up their credibility in getting hired.

There are countless lists of big data engineer certifications lined up online-

  • Cloudera, for instance, provides Cloudera Certified Associate (CCA) certification courses where you get to learn the basic foundational big data skills. The candidate undergoes an evaluation program through exams for Hadoop and Spark knowledge. You can choose based on your interest and knowledge in this field.
  • You also have the Data Science Council of America (DASCA) which is an international certified big data certification. You can obtain certification in Associate Big Data Engineer (ABDE) or Senior Big Data Engineer (SBDE) based on your learning proficiency. You also earn a CredBadge which provides the credentials. Most organisations require their candidate to have the requisite skill-set and having something that will put weight to your portfolio is all that these employers seek.
  • The other certification courses include Hortonworks, DataCamp and Coursera etc.
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10 thoughts on “How to Become a Data Engineer: A Guide”

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