What is a Data Engineer? A Highly Sought-After Career in the AI Era

3 min readFeb 21, 2024

A highly sought-after career in the data field that should not be overlooked is a data engineer.

Therefore, it is one of the most well-paid and promising careers. Join Sertis to explore the data engineering career. Discover what data engineers do, their tasks, and the required skills.

What is a Data Engineer?

In the data field, diverse roles exist, from data analysts analyzing data to data scientists building models, while data engineers focus on preparing data for others to utilize.

Data engineers are primarily responsible for tasks related to data preparation, with a key focus on building data pipelines that move data from its sources to desired destinations. These pipelines deliver ready-to-use data to the destinations for analysis purposes, maximizing its utility.

A typical data pipeline comprises four steps:

  1. Data ingestion
  2. Data transformation, including data cleansing to ensure that data is organized and transformed consistently
  3. Data storage
  4. Data consumption such as utilizing data for analysis purposes.

Data engineers’ responsibilities include designing, building, and maintaining these processes. They ensure the efficiency of the pipeline architecture, facilitating stakeholders’ easy access to and utilization of the required data. Therefore, data engineers play an indispensable role in the data field.

Data Engineer’s Tasks:

  1. Collect data from various sources.
  2. Build a data pipeline to move data to the destinations and ensure that the pipeline functions properly.
  3. Utilize tools to clean and organize data, ensuring consistent transformation.
  4. Build and maintain databases and data warehouses for storing data.
  5. Maintain these architectures, handle issues, and ensure they align with data governance and security standards.
  6. Collaborate with data analysts and data scientists to plan effective data strategies.

How to Become a Data Engineer?

  1. Develop the following data engineering skills:
  • Proficiency in programming languages such as SQL, NoSQL, Python, Java, and R
  • Understanding of different types of databases, including relational and non-relational databases
  • Familiarity with ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) pipelines and related tools
  • Knowledge of data storage solutions such as data lakes and data warehouses
  • Ability to create automation scripts to streamline tasks
  • Understanding of machine learning concepts to collaborate effectively with data scientists
  • Familiarity with big data tools like Hadoop, MongoDB, and Kafka to handle large datasets
  • Knowledge of cloud computing, particularly with platforms like AWS and Google Cloud, as many companies are adopting cloud-based solutions
  • Awareness of data security measures to ensure the highest level of security

2. Acquire relevant certifications

In today’s tech landscape, many companies prioritize certifications that demonstrate specific skills over traditional degrees. While pursuing relevant certificates, you also gain practical knowledge essential for your future careers.

Worth-having certifications for aspiring data engineers include the Associate Big Data Engineer, Cloudera Certified Professional Data Engineer, IBM Certified Data Engineer, and Google Cloud Certified Professional Data Engineer.

3. Create your portfolio

Begin by working on data engineering projects that demonstrate your abilities and skills. Showcase these projects in your portfolio to provide evidence of your capabilities to tech recruiters. Ensure that you upload your projects on platforms like LinkedIn or GitHub to showcase them to your connections, potentially opening up opportunities for job offers.

At Sertis, we are currently seeking a talented data engineer to join our team. As a leading provider of AI and data solutions, we specialize in customizing solutions for clients across various industries, including retail, manufacturing, energy, and finance.

At Sertis, we offer a safe and inclusive environment for everyone to learn and grow within a multicultural setting, united by our shared passion for the technology of the future.

Learn more about Sertis and explore our data engineer job opportunity, visit: https://www.careers.sertiscorp.com/data-engineer

For a senior data engineer position, visit: https://www.careers.sertiscorp.com/senior-data-engineer