Why should or shouldn’t you become a Data Engineer?

Blog Summary: (AI Summaries by Summarizes)
  • Becoming a Data Engineer can have significant financial benefits, with potential increases of $20,000 to $60,000 per year compared to other data-related positions.
  • There is currently a high demand and low supply of qualified Data Engineers, making it a lucrative field to pursue.
  • Data is changing the way businesses operate, making Data Engineers an integral part of the organization.
  • A Data Engineer interacts with all parts of the company through data products, requiring cross-training on skills beyond just programming.
  • If you have a background in data and distributed systems, enjoy working with cutting-edge technologies, and are a good programmer (particularly in Java), becoming a Data Engineer may be a good fit for you.

You’re considering a change to become a Data Engineer. Why should you do it? Why shouldn’t you do it? Let’s consider some reasons.


  • There is a major shortage of qualified Data Engineers. There is a high demand and low supply of qualified Data Engineers.
  • You can make an extra $20,000 to $60,000 per year as a Data Engineer
  • Data is changing the way businesses operate
  • You become the hub in the wheel where you interact with all parts of the company through your data products
  • You can really cross-train on skills that aren’t just programming or put your cross-training to better use. You’ll need to use your analytics, visualization, and verbal communication skills.
  • You want to be part of a new field that is growing dramatically
  • You have a background in data and distributed systems
  • You enjoy working with cutting-edge technologies
  • You are a good programmer and program with Java in particular. Other languages like Scala and Python are used, but not as prevalent.


  • You lack programming skills. Data Engineers are programmers. Other non-programming people like DBAs and analysts are part of a data engineering team, but aren’t Data Engineers.
  • You don’t like keeping up on changes. Data engineering is changing and you will need to maintain those skills.
  • You don’t want to spend the time to learn the necessary skills. A Data Engineer doesn’t just learn or know one technology; they need 10-30 different ones.
  • You don’t find data or creating data products interesting
  • Dealing with large-scale systems isn’t interesting or your strong suit
  • Big Data is very complex
  • Your current company doesn’t have Big Data problems and you don’t want to switch companies

If you’re agreeing with the should section, I encourage you to join my email list to learn more about becoming a Data Engineer. If you’re discouraged by the shouldn’t section, becoming a Data Engineer may not be the best use of your time. Your skills may still translate as part of the data engineering team.

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