data engineer

What Is a Data Engineer? A Guide to This In-Demand Career

Aditi Gupta
Aditi Gupta
Posted on 27 Sep 2022
17:29 PM
The world of engineering has evolved radically.

The world of engineering has evolved radically. Source: Shutterstock

Data engineers play a crucial role in bridging the gap between software and application developers and data science professionals
The data engineers analyse, visualise and develop machine learning models that can be used optimally

A tech career always sounds lucrative, now more than ever. This is mainly because it comes with its own set of perks, alongside an attractive pay package. The ever-changing dynamic of engineering and technology makes it a much-demanded job sector, especially for youngsters.

The world of engineering has evolved radically. Gone are the days when it was only limited to mechanical, civil, and software engineering. The advancement of technology and the introduction of new segments such as Big data and analytics in the IT sector have changed the way we look at engineering as a whole.

There are now dedicated data engineers and data scientists who exclusively work on the management, maintenance, design and creation of database architecture as well as data processing systems.


If you have been curious about the role of a data engineer and don't know what their job role exactly entails, don't worry. This article will break it down for you.

Who Is a Data Engineer?

The job profile of a data engineer is highly technical, where data in all aspects surround them. They put down the foundations for the acquisition, transformation, and management of data in the company.

Data engineers analyse, visualise and develop machine learning models that can be used to optimally manage data. They have a crucial role in bridging the gap between software and application developers as well as data science professionals.

They also ensure that the process of data collection and data storage is carried out successfully, which accounts for the initial stage of the data workflow. These engineers have to carefully curate large amounts of data collected from several sources and make it accessible in a raw material format so that data science specialists—data scientists and data analysts–can further work on it.

This helps in manipulating large amounts of data to arrive at key insights such as availability and performance. They also observe the movement and status of the data running in the systems.

Data engineering in 2022

The digitisation and post-pandemic dependency on cloud solutions has transformed this job role into one of the most wanted careers of the year. Lately, data engineers are being hired by companies, on an urgent basis, to support them. According to research, the big data and data engineering services industry is estimated to grow from 18% per annum in 2017 to 31% per annum in the year 2025.

How to become a data engineer: Education and skills required

Data engineering is still a relatively new job, and there are very few colleges and universities which provide courses exclusively for data engineering. However, a person who is keen on learning this should typically come from an academic background in data science, engineering, math, or business-oriented sectors. Additionally, pursuing a degree programme which offers you system architecture, programming, and database configuration would also pave the way toward a successful career in data engineering.

To be successful, a data engineer should have sound knowledge of the following:

  • Database management
  • Programming languages
  • Distributed computing frameworks
  • Cloud technology
  • ETL frameworks
  • Stream Processing frameworks

Data Engineers also need to have excellent communication skills as they often act as the ‘translators’ who explain the raw data to various stakeholders who have limited or no knowledge of computer science.

This lucrative and appealing career option has been attracting several data enthusiasts and engineers to specialise in this domain. For students and professionals who have been looking for a career transition or browsing career options – data engineering is something which is highly sought out and in demand and it also offers a high scope for career growth.

Last updated on 27 Sep 2022
17:29 PM
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