With the increasing amount of data being created, stored, and shared every year, “big data” jobs are fast-growing occupations in the tech industry. The increased demand for big data engineers has made it a competitive field with competitive salaries.
If you are someone with a knack for numbers, math, graphs, charts, and data and you’re curious about analytics, IT, and problem-solving, then becoming a big data engineer could be for you.
What is “Big Data”?
With the advent of social media platforms, the amount of data generated has increased by leaps and bounds. The modern economy frequently gathers massive amounts of data from companies conducting business operations.
The International Data Corporation predicts that the volume of global data will reach 175 zettabytes by 2025, which is overwhelming. The velocity of data generation has also been at an all-time high.
Who are Big Data Engineers?
Big data is incredibly overwhelming, making it impossible for humans to comprehend it in its raw form. This is what makes big data engineers critical to business success.
The focus of big data engineers is on infrastructure that allows companies to build data pipelines, design and manage data infrastructures, handle data storage, and focus on the Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) process.
Data infrastructures include databases, data warehouses, and data pipelines. Data pipelines are systems responsible for capturing, cleaning, transforming, and routing the data to their destination systems.
What is the work done by Big Data Engineers?
Big data engineering is a relatively new field that is still evolving. Data is mostly generated from relatively new technologies and sources such as e-commerce, smartphones, and social media.
Data engineers can analyze the gathered data and produce actionable insights to predict market fluctuations, industry shifts, and other trends.
If you wish to work as a big data engineer, your expected day-to-day responsibilities are likely to include:
• Formulating project goals by collaborating with data architects and IT teams.
• Creating a highly scalable data management system starting right from the design phase to the completion phase.
• Designing top-tier algorithms, prototypes, and predictive models.
• Building data set processes that facilitate data modeling, mining, and production.
• Developing software such as custom analytics apps.
• Ensuring data systems are designed to fulfill the company's specific requirements.
• Overseeing disaster recovery preparations.
• Researching to enhance the quality, reliability, and efficiency of data.
• Finding new uses for existing data and tools and opportunities for data acquisition.
How much do big data engineers earn?
According to the average estimates from various salary comparison websites, including Glassdoor Payscale, salary.com and Salary Expert, data engineers earn an average of about $180K per year in the United States. This amount will likely vary based on various factors such as your work experience, the specialized skills you possess, the location where you work, and the company you join.
What are the benefits of becoming a big data engineer?
Becoming a big data engineer is more than just challenging. It is also highly rewarding. It can benefit you in the following ways:
• Provide an opportunity to perfect your programming skills
Building and maintaining data pipelines/data security systems, creating scalable databases, and auditing data will require you to have outstanding programming skills. It might even motivate and inspire you to learn a new programing language. This may be particularly appealing to you if you have a software engineering background.
• Developing a broader business and analytical focus
If you have experience with software development, you are likely familiar with resolving software issues and bug reports when you develop an app or another product for customers or internal users.
However, when you combine the data skills, you can create new products and analyze their performance in real-time. You can also get involved in making business decisions as you move away from hardware support and towards strategic input.
• Remote work opportunities
If you prefer to work remotely, then you’ll be happy to know that the role of a data engineer can be carried out with total efficiency as long as you have the appropriate hardware, security, and stable internet connection. Since data engineering is a role that is in high demand, you can negotiate with your organization, and they could be willing to accommodate your needs.
• Contributing to open-source projects
Many software developers use open-source tools. Open-source implies that the codes written are available freely to develop and share. Contributing to open-source projects creates a sense of community as you can learn from them and help other community members solve challenges.
As a data engineer, your skills can add even greater value to open-source projects and has the potential to bring real-world change to the community. Thus, your contribution would expand beyond the company where you work and can feel highly rewarding.