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A Guide on How to Become a Data Engineer

by James Musoba
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As big data is now coming into play for companies, people’s interest in data engineering is growing. And the scope for this profession has never been as high as it is today. In the USA, companies search for competent engineers to collect, sort, and manage their unlimited data for them and are willing to pay handsome salaries.

Suppose this field excites you and you love playing with data. In that case, you must read this article to determine how to become a data engineer.

Let’s start with understanding:

What Is Data Engineering?

Data engineering is the practical application of data science where engineers collect, store and analyze big data. 

Data engineers built a reliable infrastructure so that the functions mentioned above can be well-performed. It has applications in almost every industry. Organizations need collection and management of data for various purposes like market research, new trends, employees record, etc., and only the professional can handle it.

Difference between Data Engineer and Data Scientist

While both of them work in the same niche, Data scientists perform experiments to find solutions, and data engineers develop infrastructure to implement these solutions in real life.

When we see the value, both are equally important. If there were no engineers, no one could practically apply the findings of the scientists. Similarly, engineers would not be able to work on discoveries if there were no scientists. Suppose you have an MS degree and look for master of data science jobs; these two professions are not the only option. Instead, this growing field offers plenty of other professions, such as data analyst, financial analyst, management analyst, etc. 

Data Engineering Salaries

According to a survey conducted by Glassdoor on 6975 individuals, the average salary per year of a data engineer is $111,161. The more skills and certifications you have, the more your salary is. Moreover, the engineers with more extraordinary experience got paid more than others.

Now, without further ado, let’s find out how you can become a data engineer.

Earn Your Degree

The first step to pursue any profession is to get a bachelor’s degree in it. The subjects you must choose as majors include computer science, software engineering, computer engineering, or other information technology topics.

Additionally, to strengthen your resume, you must get organizational experience through internships and volunteer ships. When you get a degree and have internships on your resume, you have the edge over others. Getting an entry-level position becomes a lot easier for you.

Get Certification

Certificates are crucial in any profession. They provide more knowledge, enhance skills and add a competitive edge. If you are not pursuing a professional degree, then you must earn certifications. 

It will help if you learn programming languages like SQL, Python, or R, etc. Other options are data management professional, certified professional data engineer, cloud computing, etc. There are multiple vendors, such as Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, Google, Cloudera, etc., that offer various courses. 

Before choosing courses for yourself, speak to a professional person to know which certificate is worth time and effort. Another way to see the worth of a course is by observing job ads. The requirement section of an ad tells it all. See the skills companies are looking for in an employee and try to earn those skills.

Create A Portfolio

A portfolio displays your experience and skills. It is the compilation of your work as a data engineer to show to the recruiters and employers. You can add all the academic projects, freelance work, and data engineering projects that you carried out during internships in a portfolio.

Apart from technical skills, it also built your impression as a serious, passionate, and hardworking person. You are a dedicated individual who will be an addition to the business if you work even without a job, whether to make money or refine your skills.

Time To Get A Job

Now that you have established your skills as a data engineer, it’s time to start your professional career. While there is unemployment in the country, the data engineering field has excellent scope. You can find a job in almost every industry. According to the Dice 2020 tech job, the fastest-growing job in the US is data engineer, which shows an increase of 50% every coming year.

The ideal companies for data engineers are software houses, BI solution providers, Computer manufacturers, etc.

Although beginning with any firm will help you grow in the future, these niches are specifically related to technology and data science, which is the dream for every data engineer.

Final Verdict

Although every field has its advantages, data engineering is attractive for tech-savvy people who want to learn new things. If you have got your first job, it does not mean you will continue to work with your current knowledge forever. Data engineering is dynamic, and research studies reveal new facts now and then. Keep yourself updated with all the recent studies to remain successful throughout your career.

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