With the number of trained data engineers across the country dwindling, demand keeps growing.

This is great if you’re thinking about getting into data engineering. It means that there are plenty of strong positions that pay competitively while also providing a work environment you can thrive in.

Here is everything you need to know about becoming a data engineering professional!

You Need To Know The Components

Data architecture is the realm of all data engineers. It’s essential to know the main tools and components required to work in data architectures. Data engineers will concern themselves with analytics infrastructure, so all their knowledge should be centered around architecture.

It takes years to get a handle on how data architecture works but it’s the job of a great analytics specialist to understand them. If you’re overwhelmed with the idea of learning database management, this might not be the field for you.

Data engineers spend a lot of time working to gain knowledge of tools like SQL. Understanding SQL is important because it’s the basic database structure of most operations, big and small.

Showing experience with SQL databases can help you to gain a lot of job offers as a data engineer. Other database tools are good to know if you’re planning on going a freelance or independent route. However, if you’re going to be working with long-standing, publicly-traded enterprises, SQL is a must.

If you have additional experience with data warehousing or ETL, you could excel at a data engineer position. Data storage and retrieval is a vital component of dealing with larger databases.

Beyond the Database

If you’re able to understand a wide variety of coding languages, it’s a major selling point.

While you’ll likely be dealing with just one or two as you work on a database, you’ll need some experience beyond your database to stay competitive. If you want to be able to communicate clearly with your entire team, knowing how your work will be compatible with their language is helpful.

Some data engineering specialists get some familiarity with C++ or Python so they can work better with the rest of the team. Some knowledge of Java, Perl, or AngularJS can serve to make you a stronger candidate and a more reliable member of any team you join.

You also need to be prepared for the future. As machine learning and AI are sure to dominate the future, you need to know how to act upon this data.

Data scientists, rather than engineers, are often brought in to work on statistical analysis. However, some familiarity is helpful.

Machine learning could provide lots of important benefits to your team and more likely, your company’s clients. You can construct solutions and have them play out with the help of machine learning. As this becomes a tool used by companies around the world, having a little bit of fluency ensures that your team is on the cutting edge.

You should have an adequate knowledge about operating systems as well. Beyond just Windows and Mac OS, you should get to know UNIX, Solaris, or Linux. Many companies are expanding to these operating systems, which can influence workflow.

Becoming a Data Engineer

While most careers in tech can withstand a direct and traditional approach, being a data engineer requires broader thinking. Rather than having degrees in teaching, the people they’re likely to learn from will be other engineers. With the help of a Computer Science or Information Science degree, they’ll have the knowledge to explain complicated concepts to young engineers.

Start by completing basic academic training and getting a degree in IT or Comp Sci. Then look into other certifications and training to complete. With these certifications, you’re qualified to work on large government projects.

Certifications allow you to work on projects with sensitive data as well.

Data engineers need to also think beyond facts and figures, to make data meaningful to the rest of the world. With the help of some visual aids, you can communicate concepts beyond just a specialized group.

Which Certification is Best

If you’re searching through the many certifications available, you should take your time to compare them.

The one offered by Google is a strong certification that shows your familiarity with basic principles. While it might not be the ideal position for everyone, this certification can set you up handily as an associate in the field.

The IBM certification course specializes in understanding the use and role of big data in the modern era. With the help of this certification, engineers can focus on any big data issues that relate to data engineering. This is one of the hardest courses to pass but can be very rewarding to engineers.

Secondary certifications are a smart way to show potential employers or clients that you know what you’re talking about. Things like the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert will allow you to dive deeply into a wide range of topics. On top of just being certified, you can have the certification focused on an analytics issue you think is most relevant to what kind of work you’re doing.

Becoming a Data Engineer Is a Smart Bet

If you’re trying to figure out which career in the tech world is right for you, becoming a data engineer is a smart choice. You’ll get a great salary and lots of opportunities for growth. As the tools and components for the job continue to grow and change, so will you.

If you’re wondering whether a masters degree in computer science is right for you, check out our latest guide.

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