So you’ve been a successful Database Administrator to date. You’ve handled, stored, and managed numerous databases throughout your career, and you feel it’s time to step up your game.
Your next aim: To become a data engineer. You are heading in the right direction because as data becomes more prolific, organizations depend on it to make informed decisions. Hence, the demand for data engineers is growing rapidly.
But the transition may seem daunting. Let me take you through the process of transitioning from DBA to data engineer. But first, let’s sort out the basics.
DBA Vs. Data Engineer: What’s the Difference?
The job role of a DBA is to manage an information database, while a data engineer’s job is to design and implement digital databases. As far as their expertise is concerned, DBAs are adept at creating data queries or stored procedures. A data engineer’s expertise, on the other hand, is to improve the query to reduce issues with the data that it returns.
So, from a job analysis, remuneration and expertise perspective, transitioning from DBA to data engineer is very viable and worth the effort. Having experience managing and organizing data in a database already gives you an advantage. However, there are more reasons that justify this transition.
Top 5 Reasons to Evolve From a DBA to A Data Engineer
1. Rising demand for data engineers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate for data engineers is predicted to increase by 36% by 2031. For the foreseeable future, data engineers will be in greater demand as data becomes a priceless asset and a key component of all major organizational decisions.
2. Better career growth.
There are better opportunities for career advancement and a broader scope of responsibilities with data engineering. Your job role will include:
- Designing and implementing complex data pipelines.
- Utilization of data storage and processing technologies.
- Creation of data-driven applications.
As a result, you may be able to obtain higher-paying positions and have a greater sense of satisfaction in your career.
3. Better mastery of data.
Generally, data engineers have a more comprehensive understanding of data than DBAs, thanks to their various responsibilities. Data engineers are entrusted with organizing and structuring massive amounts of data and making it accessible when needed. This practical knowledge makes you a much more valuable asset to your organization.
4. Diverse technical expertise.
As a data engineer, you have the opportunity to work with multiple technologies, such as:
- Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) processes
- Data integration of disparately sourced data
- Data warehousing
- Cloud Computing
5. Diverse opportunities
Data engineering skills are in demand in any industry that generates data. So, the opportunities are virtually limitless. You can work in any industry or organization, from startups to large enterprises. This versatility allows you the choice to explore other domains of interest.
Consequently, data engineers have become valuable assets for every organization, and the demand for these skills has grown significantly. Talking about skills, your experience as a DBA is a big advantage because many of your current skills can be handy when you transition to a data engineer’s job.
What it Takes to Be a Data Engineer: 5 Transferable DBA Skills
1. Data modeling involves the creation of data structures that support business requirements. As one of the most fundamental DBA skills, data modeling will serve you well when designing pipelines and data architectures as a data engineer.
2. SQL Querying is a must-have skill for data extraction, manipulation, and analysis. SQL querying and optimization is yet another basic DBA skill that you will need to enhance database system performance in your role as a data engineer.
3. Programming and scripting skills are necessary for both DBAs and data engineers. Knowledge of programming languages is vital to automate processes and building data pipelines.
4. Relational database knowledge, an essential DBA skill, allows you to build large-scale data architectures and pipelines when transitioning to data engineering.
5. Database design and management experience as a DBA can be precious in your data engineering job. Once you scale up as a data engineer, your expertise in designing and managing databases will allow you to build scalable data systems.
The skills listed above can help you transition from a DBA role to a Data Engineer role by providing you with relevant knowledge and experience. However, these skills alone will not suffice for your new part. You will need more technical skills in your arsenal to succeed as a data engineer.
Data Engineer Skillsets to Transition From Database Administrator
1. Programming languages
Python, Scala, and JAVA are just some of the primary languages you need to know to build compelling data pipelines, analyze data, and work with databases.
2. Cloud computing
In the era of cloud computing, your knowledge of Amazon Web Services, Azure, or Google Cloud is mandatory. You must also know how to design and deploy data processing pipelines on the cloud.
3. ETL & Integration
Design and implementation of ETL processes, knowledge of data integration tools, and data pipeline designing: Your skills in these fields will enable you to manage data from multiple sources, create data visualizations and develop new data models.
4. Data Warehousing
From processing to storage, you will be responsible for the entire process. To fulfill these responsibilities, your knowledge of Hadoop, SQL, and Spark will be advantageous.
5. Data Architecture
As a data engineer, you will be responsible for designing, building, and maintaining data infrastructure. This means you need to have a strong understanding of data architecture and be able to design and implement solutions that suit your organization.
6. Analytical Skills
- Your analytical skillset should include:
- Data analysis
- Pattern identification
- Statistical analysis
- Machine learning
7. Data Modeling & Designing
Having scalable and efficient data models is some of the top requisites of every organization dependent on data. As a data engineer, this responsibility is solely yours.
To make yourself indispensable in data modeling, you should familiarize yourself with different modeling techniques.
So there you have it! But before signing off, let me leave you with some valuable tips to make your transition worthwhile.
Taking The Leap From DBA to Data Engineer: 4 Steps to Success
Identify the skill gaps
Identify your existing skills and skills you will need as a data engineer. Review the job descriptions in-depth to understand what your new role requires. Next, assess your current skills and identify the skill gaps.
Upskill and upgrade
Never stop learning and upgrading your skills. The more skills you have, the better you get at your new job.
Get relevant certifications
Acquire relevant certifications in programming languages, cloud computing, data warehousing, and processing technologies. These certificates will serve as stepping stones to advance your career and outshine your peers.
Develop a strong portfolio
Create a good portfolio demonstrating your experience and skills gained from your current projects. It will help employers understand your work passion and ability and open doors for better opportunities.
Transitioning from DBA to data engineering is a giant leap indeed! This is your chance to work with the latest data technologies and take on more challenging responsibilities. Use our blog to ensure a smooth and thriving IT career transition. Good luck to you!