Data Science

A-Z Guide on Becoming a Successful Big Data Engineer

A Big Data Engineer job is one of the most sought-after positions in the industry today. With the world becoming increasingly online, it has become imperative for every company to build up its database. Consequently, a Big Data engineer is critical in the office today.

Remember, the famous quote by Geoffrey Moore,

Without Big Data Analytics, companies are blind and deaf, as they are wandering out onto the web like a deer on a freeway. 

Let us now see the significance of Big Data engineering and understand why this stream has become the favorite of students all over the world. We shall also look at the Big Data engineer skill sets one should possess today. Finally, we will go through the Big Data engineer job description and look at the Big Data engineer salary structure in some of the top countries in the world.


What is Big Data Engineering?

Table of Contents

Before we look at what Big Data engineering is, let us clear the concept of what Big Data is. Big Data is nothing but dynamic, unstructured data that is available in large quantities. The data is so large that it becomes a challenge to process it using conventional database and software techniques. An example of Big Data is the excess metadata that has been ignored for a long time but could prove extremely useful for recognizing patterns and analyzing them.

Moreover, Big Data has tremendous scope in social networking, Ad recommendations, financial industry, healthcare industry, and practically every industry today.

In short, Big Data Engineering is the process of creating and managing a company’s Big Data infrastructure and tools. Thus, a Big Data engineer is an individual who knows how to extract the perfect results from vast quantities of data quickly.

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Scope in the Industry

If you look at the definition of a Big Data engineer, you will find that the Big Data engineer job description looks similar to that of a data scientist. However, they are different because the Big Data engineer concentrates on the engineering aspects, whereas the data scientist deals with statistics more than acquiring machine learning skills.

Subsequently, a Big Data engineer has tremendous opportunities waiting for him/her on completion of the Big Data engineering course. With almost all companies embracing modern technologies, it has become critical for them to manage vast quantities of data. Therefore, data is the focal point of all industries today. Hence, one can say that there is tremendous scope for a Big Data engineer in today’s scenario. Let us now analyze the Big Data engineer skill sets that one should expect from a qualified engineer.

Big Data Engineer Skill Sets

What skills should a big data engineer skill setBig data engineer skill set source – datanami

1. Apache Hadoop

One can say that Apache Hadoop is in existence for more than a decade now. However, it still retains its significance as one of the crucial Big Data engineer skillsets today. It has seen tremendous development over the years with components like MapReduce, HDFS, Pig, Hive, and HBase being in high demand with recruiters all over the world.

2. NoSQL

The days of traditional SQL databases like DB2 and Oracle are gradually going into oblivion. NoSQL databases like Couchbase and MongoDB have replaced them. The advantage of NoSQL databases is that they are better equipped to handle Big Data access and storage requirements. The excellent data crunching ability complements Hadoop’s expertise in a big way. Hence, a Big Data engineer should be well versed with NoSQL.

3. Setting up Cloud Clusters

As you know, Big Data engineering constitutes handling vast quantities of data. Hence, it has become essential for outsourcing the storage requirements to the cloud to avoid unnecessary hassles. Setting up substantial cloud clusters is critical to accommodate the vast volumes of Big Data. The cloud offers a high level of elasticity and also helps Big Data engineers to crunch massive quantities of data to discern patterns. Big Data engineers must acquire this skill set, as well.

4. Machine Learning

We are living in a world of AI and ML today. Though Big Data engineering has tremendous scope, data mining and 5. Apache Spark

We have discussed the significance of knowing Hadoop. Similarly, big data engineer job descriptionBig data engineer source – kdnuggets

Countries Where You Can Study

We have discussed the Big Data engineer skill sets in an earlier paragraph. It should help students to choose their elective subject with care. Here are some of the top courses in the universities worldwide that offer the maximum scope for becoming Big Data engineers.

Before looking at some of the top countries that offer master’s degree courses in Big Data engineering, here is the eligibility criteria that you must meet.

1. A Bachelor’s degree

It is advisable to have a degree in a related field such as IT or Computer systems. However, engineering graduates in any stream can apply for the master’s degree courses. Statistics and Mathematics should be some of the key subjects in your undergraduate studies. It would be helpful if you have a basic working knowledge of Python and R in addition to some coding experience.

2. Entrance Exam

GRE and GMAT – Most of the universities demand GRE scores. Some of the universities accept GMAT scores, as well. Hence, it is better if you have either of these scores ready with you before applying for the degree program.

3. English Proficiency

Studying abroad requires the student to be proficient in English. The appropriate exams in India are TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE. A score of more than 90 in TOEFL or a 6-score in IELTS should be enough to get you admission to the best colleges abroad.

4. Other documents

Letters of recommendation from your university professors, a brief resume or CV and a Statement of Purpose.

big data engineer job descriptionBig data careers source – whizlabs

Here are the best countries where you can pursue these Big Data engineering courses.

The United States of America

Some of the best universities that offer master’s programs are Columbia University, University of Washington, and New York University.


Australia has recently become the go-to country as far as Indian students are concerned. Some of the top universities in Australia for Big Data engineers are RMIT University and the University of Technology, Sydney.


Canada is a hot destination today because of the ease with which people get PR today. The best universities offering the Big Data courses are the University of Western Toronto and the University of British Columbia.


Germany is the best place for pursuing higher education in automobile engineering. At the same time, universities like Technische Universität Dortmund and the Hochschule Darmstadt University of Applied Science offer some of the Big Data engineering courses.

United Kingdom

The UK provides excellent opportunities for Big Data engineers to pursue their higher education in universities like Imperial College, London, University College London, and the University of Warwick.


Ireland has recently become a top education destination, especially for fields like Data Science, and Big Data. Some of the top universities in Ireland are Trinity College Dublin, the National University of Ireland Galway, and Maynooth University are some of the best places to pursue Big Data.

Big Data Engineer: Industries In-Demand

– Almost all industries right from aviation to the healthcare industry and the financial to the automobile industry have a high demand for Big Data engineers.

– Data Science has tremendous scope in the agricultural sector, as well with ML and AI being used for improving farm output, forecasting, and pricing.

– Cybersecurity is another field that has a high demand for Big Data engineers.

– Another industry holding tremendous scope for Big Data engineers is Genomics.

– ML, AI, IoT, and other fields combined with Big Data analytics to aid in the manufacture of driverless cars. This industry is also one that can provide the highest scope for Big Data engineers.

– Some of the top multinational companies like Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, PLC, and GlaxoSmithKline have a high demand for Big Data engineers.

big data engineer job descriptionBig data engineer job description source – elevano

Big Data Engineer Job Description

The Big Data Engineer job description requires the Big Data engineer to shoulder the following responsibilities.

– Selecting and integrating Big Data tools/frameworks necessary for providing requested capabilities

– Defining various data retention policies

– Implementing ETL processes

– Monitoring the performance and advising essential infrastructure changes

Other Big Data engineer job descriptions need the candidate to possess the following data engineer skill sets and qualifications.

– Management of Hadoop Cluster

– Proficiency in HDFS, MapReduce, and Hadoop v2

– Knowledge of Big Data Querying tools such as Pig, Hive, and Impala

– Understanding of distributed computing

– Experience with building stream-processing solutions using solutions like Spark-Streaming and Storm

big data engineer salaryBig data engineer salary source – india today

Big Data Engineer Salary

Here are the Big Data engineer salary figures in various countries in the world. 

India – Big Data engineers have a high demand in India with companies like IBM, Lookout, and Autodesk hiring them with exciting pay packages in the range of Rs 8.40 lakhs per annum.

The United Kingdom – The UK offers excellent scope for Big Data engineers with companies like Tessian and Shop Direct actively looking out for them in cities like London and Liverpool. The average Big Data engineer salary in the UK is around £43,725 annually.

Canada – Companies like StackAdapt and Index Exchange, have job opportunities for Big Data engineers in cities like Toronto. The average annual salary for a Big Data engineer in Canada is around CA$ 80K.

The United States – The United States market is a lucrative one for data scientists and Big Data engineers because of the extreme scarcity of well-qualified personnel. The salary structure can differ from one state to another.

  • In New York, the average salary could be around $ 124K per annum with companies like Capital One looking out for Big Data experts.
  • Los Angeles has companies like NEXT, Spokeo, and CyberCoders, where Big Data engineers can earn handsome salaries in the range of $115K to $118K annually.
  • Seattle – Companies like Red Ventures and Revel Consulting hire Big Data engineers on their payroll by offering attractive remuneration in the range of $ 118K per annum.

Final Thoughts

Data Science has become a hot topic for students all over the world. Every industry in the world is facing an acute shortage of Big Data engineers. Hence, the Big Data job description has widened to include various aspects, and the Big Data engineer salary structure is highly attractive. A course in Big Data engineering can open the doors of a secure future for the students of today.

Courses you can take,

Digital Vidya Courses for Data Science:

1) : Again, the base language ‘python’, this course covers everything from the introduction to the capstone project.

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