How to become a Data Engineer

  1. Get your education. Many data engineers have a Ph.D. in computer sciences or information technology, but it is not required.
  2. Get certified. Certification, while not vital, is extremely useful. You can become a certified data engineer by taking courses through Google, IBM, Microsoft and many other companies.
  3. Choose a specialty. Data engineers typically fall into one of three categories: generalist, pipeline-centric, database-centric.
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What skills help Data Engineers find jobs?

  • Spark
  • Apache Hive
  • Scala
  • Hadoop
  • Big Data
  • Kafka
  • Redshift
  • Apache Pig
  • S3
  • NoSQL
  • Data Warehouse
  • AWS
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Career progression for Data Engineer

Education levels for Data Engineers

Based on the requirements of Data Engineer job openings on Indeed in the United States within the last three years.
required level of educationpercent of job openings
Bachelor's Degree68.1%
Master's Degree25.2%
Doctoral Degree4.3%
High School Diploma or GED1.3%
Associate's Degree1.0%
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Expected salary by experience

Based on resume data from Indeed users who reported working as a Data Engineer in the United States within the last three years.
Years of experienceAnnual salary in USD
0-4$78,600
4-8$94,800
8-12$111,000
12-16$108,000
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Common qualifications for Data Engineers

  • MCSD
  • IAM Level II
  • MCSE
  • IAT Level III
  • IAT
  • CompTIA Security+
  • CCNA
  • CISSP
  • CCNP
  • CCIE
  • MCSA
  • GSEC
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Frequently asked questions

Common questions about career advices for a Data Engineer

What skills do I need to become a data engineer?

You need an excellent command of scripting languages and common scripting tools such as SQL, Cassandra, or Bigtable. You will need to know how to build infrastructure and architecture for data generation. You will also need to have experience working ETL and other data warehouse architecture. Hadoop-based analytic knowledge is helpful, and coding knowledge will give you an advantage. Finally, knowledge of various systems such as UNIX and Linux is vital.

If you want to try data engineering, several websites such as Udemy and EdX offer data engineer courses. While you usually cannot get certified via this route, it is a good way to test your skills and learn if you have what it takes to be a certified data engineer.

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