What does a Big Data Engineer do?

Median Pay $151,307
Growth Rate N/A%
Citation Retrieved from Glassdoor.com

These engineers are the masterminds that design and develop the data pipelines that essentially collect data from a variety of sources. This large set of data is then organized in a way that data scientists and analysts find useful. Big data engineers are in high demand.

How to Become a Big Data Engineer

Big data engineers have years of experience and a vast technical knowledge. To start your journey as a big data engineer, you would gain a bachelor’s degree in computer science or software engineering. Next, there are master’s degree programs that focus on data engineering so you can continue onto your specialization. No matter your formal education, you’ll need to become a lifelong learner to keep your technical skills current in order to be a big data engineer.

Job Description of a Big Data Engineer

Big data engineers use a variety of highly technical skills to accomplish their job. They would be a skilled software developer (meaning they must be a proficient coder), data scientist, and engineer – all in one. This means they could find themselves doing a variety of tasks on any given day. They must use all of these skillsets in order to identify and extract data from a variety of sources and then deliver that data in a usable format for others to evaluate.

Big data engineers must also ensure they have collected valid data, so they would also test their data and identify any issues that must be fixed. Mark van Rijmenam is the founder and CEO of Datafloq and a Big Data and Blockchain Strategist. In his post titled, Big Data Engineer Profile, he mentions a few of these qualifications that big data engineers should possess:

  • proficiency to design efficient and robust ETL workflows
  • work with cloud computing environments
  • assist in documenting requirements as well as resolve conflicts or ambiguities
  • tune Hadoop solutions to improve performance and end-user experience

So far, this job description seems very technical. However, big data engineers must also possess excellent communication skills as they routinely report out to all levels of an organization.

Free Teacher and Student Resources

Microsoft offers a free Introduction to Big Data course on edX.org (opens in a new tab). This course offers an introduction to data formats, technologies and techniques, the fundamentals of databases, and basic principles for working with Big Data. There is a cost option if you wish to earn a verified certification after taking the course.

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Article Citations

For Salary Information: Glassdoor Big Data Engineer Salaries.