Data Science
What is a Data Engineer? And What Exactly Do They Do?

What is a Data Engineer? And What Exactly Do They Do?

With the exponential growth and development of the IT industry worldwide, the need for qualified individuals capable of handling tasks and responsibilities related to the complex technology world has also increased. There are not many people who are familiar with the role of these frontline warriors belonging to the world of analytics.

Even though a data engineer is known by several different sets of names, such as technical architects or data science software engineers, these experts are the first ones to process a huge amount of structured as well as unorganized data, which are accessed regularly by the government officials, businesses and researchers. Data science is not really an easy term to define as it envelopes a lot of tasks. In a basic sense, the functions of a data engineer are not very simple.

So read ahead to learn about what a data engineer typically does and also to understand the complex yet vital work which these professionals deal with on a daily basis.

What is a Data Engineer?

Data engineers are significant members of the analytics world who handle the whole structure of a company and design the data interfaces by collecting data from various sources. Their work ranges from managing the storage to retrieving, optimizing, and monitoring the distribution of the data throughout an organization; all of it is dealt with by these data engineer professionals.

These IT individuals are a major part of an organization or company which handles large and complicated databases and datasheets. They need to understand the client’s needs and frame to develop the raw data into useful resources that can be further utilized to fulfil several demands.

A data engineer needs to have a thorough knowledge of SQL database design and also needs to have extensive knowledge of several programming languages. While large companies have several groups of data engineers and data scientists working together as a team, small or medium-sized companies often depend on a single individual who can take care of both roles responsibly and efficiently.

What are the Key Roles and Responsibilities of a Data Engineer?

In simple terms, it can be said that a data engineer manages everything related to data. While the organization collects huge chunks of data from possible sources, it is the task of the data engineer to break down that data into simpler and more understandable terms by using technical skills. Also, a Data Engineer changes the basic algorithm so that it can be used easily by the other employees of an organization who aren’t capable of understanding it in raw form. A data engineer takes care of the complete architecture of a database and designs it so that a data scientist can interpret its meaning to produce important information that can be used for reaching the business goals of an organization.

What certifications do Data Engineers usually need to have?

The people who are intense tech geeks often end up joining this field of work even before they complete their bachelor’s degree program. In other cases, most of the candidates opt for an engineering course on information technology, data analytics, data science, or anything similar for getting their bachelor’s degree. The main thing is that data engineers need to be in touch with studies and certification courses continuously all throughout their careers. They need to sharpen their skills and enrich their knowledge from time to time in order to stay updated with the recent technological trends and practices of the IT firms.

There are several online courses these days that offer a thorough understanding of technical and engineering tools. Besides being aware of the tasks they need to handle and monitor regularly, a data engineer keeps a tab on their skills and keeps brushing his knowledge regularly, which further helps them give their best performances in their field of work.

What is the average pay scale of a data engineer?

In the technology domain, the job of data engineers is the fastest growing one, according to a Dice 2020 Tech Job Report. The compensation does only depend on the experience of the professionals. Moreover, there are a number of factors which are taken into account while choosing a salary package. From considering the city where the company or organization is located to the higher education degrees or extra certifications which the professionals have earned, all of them are regarded equally. Besides, the prior experience of the individual is also assessed. The average salary packages range between $89,000 to $124,000, and that states that this job comes with a lucrative pay scale with a huge number of responsibilities.

What are the key skills which a data engineer needs to flourish?

There are several sets of technical skills which a data engineer must possess. It ranges from solid coding knowledge to utilizing ETYL tools; a data engineer uses a broad spectrum of skills on a regular basis. Apart from that, it is also important for these individuals to have strong communication skills as they need to interact with professionals of an organization to understand the goal of a task and to proceed further accordingly. Once their role is fulfilled, they need to sort out the data and divide the work among the other team members. Hence, they need to have a stronghold on both technical skills as well as communication and interactive skills.

What kind of people succeeds the most in this career choice?

In order to give their best efforts to their professional career, Data Engineers need to have a fine and crisp understanding of the database design and configuration of the complete architectural framings of the systems with which they are dealing. It is not only the technical skills but in certain instances, it is also found that people who score amazingly well while pursuing their studies cannot manage and handle all the key responsibilities that an organization needs them to manage. Therefore, sheer determination, sturdy patience, and courage to explore and build new things are fundamental qualities that Data Engineers need to have.

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