Must Have Data engineer Skills to Get a Job [entry-level, medium, senior]

More and more young people dream of becoming a data engineer. This is an interesting profession that can bring you a decent income and profound satisfaction. From professional resume writers, you will get to know how to get a data engineer degree and why you should do it. After reading this text, you will understand how to craft a winning resume and which accomplishments to mention to land your dream job.

What Is Data Engineer?

A data engineer is a professional who gathers and analyzes large bulks of data. This data can be either structured or unstructured. Data engineer technical skills engage considerable expertise in mathematics, statistics and computer science.

Specialists in this sphere help companies and industries analyze business trends and make accurate forecasts. Constantly expand your knowledge accumulate more experiences, get more interviews — and top employers will be lining up for you.

Hard Skills

The set of essential skills for data engineer involves the following:

  • Programming languages (your reason to learn Python, Scala and Java)
  • Knowledge of algorithms and data structures
  • Database systems (SQL and NoSQL)
  • Data warehousing solutions
  • Data APIs
  • ETL tools — this acronym stands for Extract, Transfer, Load
  • The basics of distributed systems
  • Machine learning (its significance will only increase in the future)

This type of work largely relies on automation.

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Soft Skills

Data engineer non technical skills include three abilities.

  • Communication. When the data analysis reveals trends and dependencies, you need to explain to your colleagues, clients and supervisors what this information means.
  • Collaboration. You will need to coordinate your work with other departments of the company.
  • Presentation. Be ready to make a self-presentation in front of a hiring manager.

These key soft skills are vital both for an office and online job.

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Top Skills to Be Best for the Position

Company recruiters and recruiting firms look for the following top data engineer skills in applicants.

  • An ability to automate processes to accelerate the workflow and minimize the impact of the human factor.
  • Readiness to adopt new efficient instruments and adjust them to the needs of the company.
  • A competency of “translating” from the technical language to casual.

Below, you will find detailed characteristics of the skills of a data engineer.

Programming Languages

As it was said above, the specialist needs three languages. For carrying out statistical analysis and modeling, one should learn Python. To work with data architecture frameworks, one should be fluent in Java. Usually, the APIs of such frameworks are built on Java. Scala is an extension of Java and is interoperable with it. It runs on a JVM, a virtual machine that allows a computer to run Java programs.

Data Warehousing Solutions 

The ability to handle such solutions is the basis of data engineer skills. Data warehouses are large and complex. They contain information from hundreds of sources, and they constantly expand. They are connected to ERP software, accounting software, and CRM systems to receive new data. At any moment, an employee might request a piece of information. The engineer makes sure that the warehouse gives a correct answer to the query.

Data APIs

Knowledge of data APIs is among essential Data engineer skills. An API is an interface that a software application uses to access data. Thanks to it, two applications or computers can “talk” to each other to solve a particular task. In data engineering, APIs enable business intelligence analysts and data scientists to query the data. They make a request in the interface, the API enables the application to read the database, processes the response and returns it to the interface.

ETL Tools

After you get certain data, you need to convert it into such a format that you can work with. First, you should extract this information from its original source. Then, you modify it and load it into your data warehouse or business intelligence program. The data should be stored in such a format that anyone from your company can extract and use it. The process should be quick and seamless.

Knowledge of Data Structures and Algorithms

This might not be the most important data engineer skill set. In your workflow, you will need to concentrate predominantly on data filtering and optimization. Yet algorithms will help you to get a notion of the company’s overall data function. Relying on them, you can define checkpoints and end goals for any task that you need to complete. This skill will give you an additional competitive benefit over other candidates.

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How to Improve Data Engineer Skills

Online courses are the quickest way to get the skills required for data engineer. The training lasts several months. One does not need a high school diploma to land a job with a handsome salary. But becoming a data engineer of the highest rank requires honing one’s skills for years.

Reasons to Choose an Online Degree Program and Not an Offline One 

If one opts for online education, they will get all the necessary knowledge in a very condensed format. They will receive the skills needed for data engineer. But they will not need to waste their time on subjects that are not directly related to their everyday duties.

To get an offline degree in data analysis, you might need an IT-related bachelor’s degree. For online courses, this requirement is not relevant.

Follow Influencers in the Field

A trustworthy data engineer blog can serve as a precious source of information for a novice specialist. These are just a few examples of the most credible and popular blogs.

  • LinkedIn Engineering. It features very comprehensive content that will come in handy for professionals of any level.
  • Uber Engineering. This blog approaches very diverse topics.
  • Netflix Tech. This blog is not 100% dedicated to data engineering. It makes sense to filter only those posts that are tagged as Big Data.
  • Databricks Engineering. Here, one can find plenty of helpful hands-on lessons.
  • Jesse Anderson. A highly informative blog from an excellent professional.

Plus, one might want to follow Ben Lorica, Reynold Xin, Holden Karau, Paco Nathan and Chris Riccomini on Twitter.

The Importance of Networking

To succeed in their profession, a data engineer should build a network of like-minded colleagues. This will enable them to benefit from the “cross-pollination” of ideas. They will be able to ask for advice and discuss their achievements. To get started, a novice engineer can join a popular online community.

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Data Engineer in the Workplace

Today, more and more data engineer job requirements allow remote work from home. This expands the job search opportunities of a specialist. One might be required to work in a conventional brick-and-mortar office for two reasons. First, this might be the corporate culture. Second, it might be privacy and confidentiality.

How to Showcase Your Skills

When listing your data engineer skills in a resume, stick to these rules.

  • Avoid vague and abstract phrases
  • Mention the exact names of tools and programs
  • Use as many numbers as possible
  • Do not praise yourself or overestimate your achievements

These tips will increase your chances to land an interview.

Skills for Resume [Example]

CORRECT: A professional and experienced data engineer would write, “I have a good command of Apache Spark and Apache Kafka. I have been using these tools since 2020, and I relied on them to complete this and that project for the HHH customer in 2021”.

WRONG: Less savvy individuals would say, “I have all the relevant skills for a data engineer, and I can use a vast range of programs.”

Skills for the Job Interview

One needs to develop soft skills to impress the recruiter. 

  • Be articulate.
  • List one’s skills needed to be a data engineer calmly and logically.
  • Back up one’s statements with facts. If the interviewer asks the specialist, “Can you use Hadoop?” they should say, “Yes, I completed such and such tasks with it.”

If a specialist sticks to these recommendations during an interview, the company will be likely to employ them.

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Sample for Data Engineer Resume Skills Section

In the skills section, one should:

  • Use keywords
  • Stick to bullet points
  • Avoid graphs 

It helps them meet the data engineer requirements of the applicant tracking system and ATS bots.

Data engineer skills in a resume skills section

Data engineer skills

  • Programming skills: Python, Java, Scala
  • Cloud: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure
  • Database skills: MongoDB, Oracle
  • Big data: Hive, Pig, Spark, Hadoop, MapReduce, and so on
  • ETL Pipelines
  • Data pipelines
  • Data analysis
  • Machine learning

Soft skills

  • Work ethic
  • Time management
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Problem-solving
  • Adaptability
  • Creativity

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Data engineer skills in a resume work experience section

Data engineer

HHH company

2020 to present

  • Built streaming services for processing of 50,000 users using Java
  • Improved the performance of ETL processes 

Young specialists with no work experience should list the top skills for data engineer that they have. There are many novice resume examples on career resources.

To Sum Up

An ambitious professional would probably prefer to focus on data engineer skills and not job application writing. Yet a convincing resume is a vital prerequisite for an impressive career start. Let us do this task for you! We know everything about data engineer qualifications. We will compile a top-notch bot-beating resume for you. It will successfully pass the ATS system and help you to secure an invitation to an interview.

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