How to Become a Data Engineer without a Degree (6 skills needed)

How to Become a Data Engineer without a Degree

How to Become a Data Engineer without a Degree: It is booming right now with lots of cool jobs. But here’s the thing, you don’t always need a college degree for these jobs. Take data engineering, for example. People often wonder if you can do it without a degree.

Good news – you can totally be a self-taught data engineer. You don’t need a college degree. It’s more about learning the skills on your own, like playing with data and making it do awesome things. Plenty of people have shown you can be a great data engineer without a degree.

Can You Become A Data Engineer Without Degree

So, when you hear “data engineering,” you might think only techy people with degrees like and can do it. But guess what? You can be a great data engineer even if you’re not an engineer from the start. If you’re into data stuff, you’re ready to jump into this field.

After finishing high school (12th grade), you can get training in data engineering and jump into a data job without having a college degree. It’s about your interest and skills more than having a degree. So, don’t worry you can become a data engineer without a degree.

Start with the basics. Get a handle on computer stuff to smoothly dive into data engineering. Begin with the language of computer programming, it’s like learning the basics of tech. [How to Become a Data Engineer without a Degree]

To become an expert data engineer, you must first master two programming languages: SQL and Python.

Important skills are needed to be a data engineer?

If you’re a hands-on person, you might like a job in data engineering. To be good at it, you need these skills:

  1. Coding
  2. Computer Systems Knowledge
  3. Critical Thinking
  4. Communication Skills

Coding: This is a big one. Being good at coding helps a lot in data engineering. You should know different computer languages like Golang, Python, Java, and more.

Computer Systems Knowledge: You should understand computers well, including different systems like Windows and macOS. It’s like knowing your way around the tools you’re working with.

Critical Thinking: In data engineering, it’s important to think for yourself. Being creative with your thoughts helps find smart solutions to problems that others might not think about.

Communication Skills: When you work in data engineering, you’ll talk to lots of different people. Sometimes, you’ll need to explain technical things to folks who aren’t as tech-savvy as you. So, you’ve got to be good at expressing your thoughts clearly and simply.

Also read: How to Become a Blockchain Developer Without a Degree(7 Steps)

Basic Criteria to Become a Data Engineer

Here’s a quick list to help you learn how to be a data engineer without a degree:

  1. Know programming languages like SQL and Python.
  2. Understand scripting and automation.
  3. Be familiar with structured and relational databases.
  4. Learn how data processing works.
  5. Get to know cloud computing tech like Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure.
  6. Build a portfolio and create a strong resume.

Once you’ve got these basics, you can start your professional journey. Remember, getting a job without a degree might take some time, but in the meantime, you can intern to make connections, build a portfolio, or complete online courses and get certifications.

Steps- How to become a data engineer without a degree?

How to become a data engineer without a degree

It’s not necessary to spend years pursuing a degree at university to become a data engineer. If you’ve always attended college and are searching for a quick way to pick up new skills and change careers, this is quite helpful. To get started in a career in data engineering, follow these steps.

  1. Join an Online Course
  2. Learn Programming Languages
  3. Learn Automation
  4. Gain knowledge about databases and data processing.
  5. Prepare your resume.
  6. Secure an internship
  7. Apply for entry level jobs

1. Join an Online Course

Online learning is awesome, thanks to the internet! If you have internet access, you can join courses from anywhere in the world. Many of these let you learn at your own speed, and some are even free.

After finishing these courses, you can often get a data engineer certification by paying a small fee. Having these qualifications makes it easier to find a job and earn a good salary as a data engineer – something that might be tough without them.

I will suggest you two decent course you can take it will help you to learn:

Data Engineering Essentials Using SQL, Python, and PySpark

This Udemy course covers all the basics you need. It uses hands-on exercises and problems to get you ready to work as a data engineer right away.

It’s priced at $12.99, and you get a 30-day money-back guarantee. So, even after buying it, you can feel sure about your choice. More than 38,000 students have taken this course in English, and it has a great rating of 4.2 stars. [How to Become a Data Engineer without a Degree]

Data Engineering Basics of Everyone

This program, from IBM on edX, teaches you all the important stuff you need to be a pro in this field, just like the name suggests. You only need to know a bit about computers and IT systems to get started. The cool thing is, that it’s free and made by IBM.

But, if you go for the $99 Verified Track, you get some extra perks like full access to course materials, assignments checked by pros to boost your skills, and a certificate you can show off to a potential boss. You can go at your own pace, and it usually takes about 4 weeks to finish.

2. Acquire skills in programming languages

Alright, if you want to work in this cool industry, you need to know the right computer languages. Think of a data engineer like a software engineer who’s also good at working with data.

Back to data engineering, you must get the hang of computer languages like Python and SQL. It’s like learning a special code to make computers do awesome data stuff. Once you get the basics, it’s not just about knowing the language, but understanding how to use them to solve real world problems.

3. Learn Automation

If you have a task that keeps happening over and over again, you can make it easier by using automation in data analysis. To do this, you need to be good at scripting, which is like giving instructions to the computer to do things faster. Knowing about how products are set up, like actions, workflows, and escalations, helps you get the job done quicker. [How to Become a Data Engineer without a Degree]

4. Gain knowledge about databases and data processing.

As a data engineer, your job is to deal with really big databases that have all sorts of neatly arranged and not-so-neatly arranged information. You’ll need to know how to change and move this data around. It’s also important to learn how to work with and understand this information. Once you get the basics down, you’ll become really good at managing databases and handling the data inside them.

5. Prepare your resume

Your job resume is super important, no matter if you have a degree or not. If you don’t have a degree, you might need to work a bit harder on your resume, but that’s okay. You can even get help from professional resume writers if you want.

One smart move is to create a portfolio. It’s like a collection of tasks you did during online courses. This shows employers that you know your stuff and have some real-world experience.

6. Look for an Internship

Try interning at a well-known company. If you’re a self-taught data engineer, spending several months to a year as an intern can be really beneficial.

During the internship, you’ll get to work on real tasks, and you can later talk about these on your resume. You’ll learn new skills and gain important knowledge for the job. Even if you don’t have a degree, having this hands-on experience will make your future boss feel more confident that you can handle the job. [How to Become a Data Engineer without a Degree]

Whether you’re curious about becoming a research and development manager or any other job, starting with an internship is a really smart move.

7. Apply for entry level jobs

More beginner jobs are popping up as the field grows. You can get help from a career advisor or look online for jobs. Plus, internships can sometimes turn into full-time jobs, so it’s a good idea to talk to your boss before finishing an internship.

Also read: How to Become a Stockbroker Without a Degree (7 Steps)

Qualifications Needed to Become a Data Engineer

If you’re thinking about becoming a data engineer without a degree, you can begin with some basic things that will help you. Here are the important skills and knowledge you need:

  1. Learn programming languages like Java, Scala, and Python.
  2. Understand databases using NoSQL and SQL.
  3. Get to know APIs for handling data.
  4. Gain expertise in distributed systems.
  5. Learn about ETL tools (they help move and transform data).
  6. Understand tools for data warehousing.

Companies give chances for data engineers without a degree

How to Become a Data Engineer without a Degree

Does being a data engineer need a degree? Do businesses usually ask for a degree for data engineering jobs?

Because being a data engineer is a really important and trustworthy job, most good companies won’t hire a data engineer without a degree. Especially for top companies, they usually want you to have at least a degree in a related field. [How to Become a Data Engineer without a Degree]

But don’t stress if you don’t have a degree in computer science or something similar. You can still get involved by volunteering for open-source projects or diving into data engineering. Many well-known places offer opportunities and projects in data engineering, whether they’re short or long-term, to help people build their skills.

There are some groups like DataKind in the U.S. and Data for Good in Canada that offer chances for volunteers globally. They need help with project management, data science and analytics.

  • DataKind (U.S.) and Data for Good (Canada): They link volunteer data engineers with projects that aim to do good things for society.
  • Catch fire: It’s a place where NGOs share opportunities for volunteers with specific skills, like data analytics projects.
  • Statistics Without Borders: is a spot where data engineers come together to use their skills for global issues.
  • United Nations Volunteers: They ask people from different backgrounds to help with projects that make the world better, like ones focusing on showing information with pictures (data visualization) and maps (spatial/GIS technologies).

Benefits of working as a data engineer?

Being a data engineer comes with lots of good stuff. If you like hands-on work and paying close attention to details, it’s a great job. Being a data engineer has the following benefits.

  • A fulfilling job with an excellent pay
  • In-demand job
  • Continuously growing
  • Skills that you can use in different areas or jobs
  • Continuous learning

Skills that you can use in different areas or jobs

People really value data engineers at work because they help organizations grow. According to Payscale, the average yearly salary for data engineers in the USA is around $127,692. [How to Become a Data Engineer without a Degree]

In-demand job

Lots of companies need data engineers to help them make the most out of their data. In a time where everything is happening online, having a data engineer is like having a super important resource for a business.

Continuously growing

The things you do in your job will keep getting bigger and different as technology gets better. That means you might work on more projects for a company, and eventually, you could become the leader of a team and take charge.

Skills that you can use in different areas or jobs

As you get better at using computers and coding, you can always try something different, like designing websites or working in information technology.

Continuous learning

This is the perfect job if you like learning and always have lots of ideas. As a data engineer, you’ll keep learning new stuff, like computer programs and different coding languages

Conclusion– How to Become a Data Engineer without a Degree

Don’t worry if you’re not sure whether you need a degree to be a data engineer.

To get a job at a good company, a degree is usually needed, but it’s not a must if you want to be a data engineer. Don’t feel sad. Just start learning a bit about data engineering and join open competitions. Once you have some skills and experience from these competitions, you can work on open projects and grow your career in different areas.

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