Back to articles list November 11, 2020 - 8 minutes read Top 7 Online Courses for Data Engineers Zahin Rahman Nuclear Engineer by day and Data Scientist by night, Zahin is passionate about driving business with data. He has 5+ years of industry experience in energy and power generation and has a master’s degree in Engineering with a focus in Data Science. He loves learning, whether from an industry veteran or a high school science enthusiast. Tags: sql learn sql Data Engineering online practice This article summarizes the top online courses available for data engineers. We have picks suitable for beginners as well as intermediate learners. If you’re interested in database design and management, check these courses out! Most individuals who aspire to enter the realm of data aim for data scientist or data analyst roles. While these roles are indeed very rewarding because of their tangible links to customers and business direction, the role of data engineers is equally vital for businesses that operate in a data-rich environment. Of course, data engineering requires some specialized knowledge. There are many online database management courses and other options for beginning data engineers, but not all of them offer the right kind of knowledge. We have reviewed multiple online learning platforms and summarized the information here to help set you up for success in the competitive and rewarding world of data engineering. But before we get into the best online data engineering courses, let’s ask and answer a basic question: Who Is a Data Engineer? A data engineer’s role comes into the fore before data scientists or analysts begin – before a machine learning model is built and before the data is analyzed. A data engineer is responsible for building and maintaining the architecture of a database. They build data warehouses where all the raw data is collected, stored, and retrieved by various applications. Without well-designed data warehouses, all the downstream tasks that data scientists execute will either become too computationally expensive or overly bulky to scale up. On the maintenance end, data engineers ensure an uninterrupted flow of data between servers and their end uses. Some of their responsibilities include enhancing data foundational procedures, upgrading systems with new data management technologies, and building data collection pipelines. Simply put, a data engineer designs databases, manages big datasets, and enables the efficient and accurate extraction of information for end-use applications. For more details, see our previous article, Who Is a Data Engineer? Data engineers are also among the best-compensated professionals, with an average base pay of almost $103k. They need to master a wide range of technologies and concepts, such as cloud computing, ETL (Extract, Transform, Load), and data warehousing. The skill repertoire required for data engineering is constantly expanding; a passion for continuous learning and development is key to staying up to date with technological advancement. Top 7 Online Data Engineering Courses Below are our top online courses that will teach you how data engineering works. In the list below, we’ll focus mainly on database architecture. 1. Creating Database Structure (LearnSQL.com) The Creating Database Structure learning track by LearnSQL includes five interactive courses that cover key data engineering concepts. Everything is based on standard SQL, meaning that learners will be able to translate the skills and knowledge acquired here to the most relational DBMS, including Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, and PostgreSQL. Topics Covered: Creating Tables in SQL: Primary keys, foreign keys, and SQL commands that create and modify tables and create relationships among the tables for downstream analysis and/or visualization. Data Types in SQL: Common data types in different DMBSs, how to differentiate between them, and how to choose the optimal type of data for specific use cases. SQL Constraints: Implementing and altering constraints to ensure data correctness. SQL Views: An efficient method of data querying and analysis. Database Structure: Using indexing and performance optimization to make queries faster. This learning track covers the most useful concepts of data engineering, from setting up the data infrastructure to setting you up to analyze data with SQL. The courses are based on practical problems and feature interactive exercises. Learners write real SQL commands directly in the browser, which verifies your solutions and provides real-time feedback. On a side note, LearnSQL.com also offers a PostgreSQL course called Writing User-Defined Functions in PostgreSQL; it’s designed to elevate your PostgreSQL skills to the next level. The course can add another (valuable) dimension to your data engineering repertoire by enabling you to build custom PostgreSQL functions. These functions perform operations that would normally require multiple queries and subqueries, dramatically improving the performance of your SQL queries. 2. Database Design – DataCamp DataCamp’s Database Design course teaches the foundations of efficient database design. It covers considerations related to the processing, storage, and organization of data. The main focus in this course is SQL; you’ll learn how to structure data with normalization and summarize data from different perspectives. Topics Covered: Processing, Storing, and Organizing Data: Discover database design, data forms and types, and the basics of data modeling. Database Schemas and Normalization: Learn about star and snowflake schemas and how to normalize data to different extents. Database Views: See how to transform your analysis into actionable business insights. Database Management: Maintain and administer a database management system (DBMS) in a business context. DataCamp’s interactive learning environment is indeed visually engaging. All the analyses, practice problems, and exercises are done on a variety of real-world datasets (such as book sales, car rentals, and music reviews). That being said, the exercises are mostly fill-in-the-blank; according to most learners, this style isn’t great for embedding new concepts. So, from a knowledge retention perspective, this course’s learning environment is not designed optimally. But the information is good. 3. Data Engineer (Dataquest) The Data Engineer learning path from Dataquest provides quite a comprehensive rundown on data engineering. It consists of 14 modules covering database design, data structures, data pipelines, and data analysis using PostgreSQL and Python libraries. Topics Covered: Data Analysis using Python: Introduction to Python and its data analysis libraries, such as NumPy and p Data Analysis using SQL: Using SQL and PostgreSQL databases for data analysis. Data Structures: Algorithms, data structures, building production data pipelines, and optimizing code performance on large datasets. While the content covered in Dataquest’s Data Engineering learning path is indeed very diverse, the depth of knowledge provided in the course isn’t very extensive. You will likely have to take additional courses to truly be able to apply either Python or PostgreSQL in even a small-scale real-world business setting. 4. Design Databases with PostgreSQL (Codecademy) Codecademy’s Design Databases with PostgreSQL skill path is a beginner-friendly course that covers concepts like developing relational databases from scratch and optimizing their design. It also shows learners how to set up a database server on their own computers with PostgreSQL. Topics Covered: Introduction to Databases: Database capabilities and applications. Database Design: Building databases using database schemas, relationships, and keys. Database Performance: Applying constraints to databases, formatting databases, and optimizing database performance using indexes and normalization. The course has three very pertinent practical projects – building a menu (database) for a restaurant, building an inventory database using PostgreSQL, and optimizing and normalizing a database for a furniture store. These hands-on projects let you apply your knowledge – and build your confidence. 5. SQL Certification Training (Simplilearn) Simplilearn’s SQL Certification Training Course course gives you the foundational information you need to start working on relational database applications with SQL. Topics Covered: Database Foundations: Introduction to relational databases’ structures and applications. Data Query: Detailed database querying tools and processes. Data Analysis: Techniques to manipulate and analyze data using SQL’s built-in clauses and functions. This course is quite highly revered in the data engineering community because of the depth of content it covers. There are no prerequisites for this training course; it can be taken by anyone who wants to learn about data engineering and relational databases. It is ideal for data engineering beginners and for business and marketing professionals who want to gain further insights into their company’s data. The one aspect where this course falls short is the absence of any content on the development and design of databases. This is a crucial skill for data engineers, who have to set up and maintain businesses’ data infrastructures. 6. Creating Database Tables with SQL (Coursera) This project-based course will introduce you to defining, creating, and managing relational database management systems with SQL. The content of the Creating Database Tables with SQL course is very condensed. It covers the guidelines and rules that database designers use to ensure data integrity and accuracy. You’ll learn to implement SQL commands and tools to create tables and incorporate constraints. As you complete hands-on projects, you will be exposed to SQLite Studio, a widely used DBMS. However, the course does not cover optimizing database performance, a critical skill for data engineers working with large databases. It's also recommended that users have a prior background in programming, web development, or data analysis. 7. PostgreSQL Bootcamp: SQL and PostgreSQL Database Masterclass (Udemy) This PostgreSQL Bootcamp in Udemy is designed specifically for learners who are interested in relational database management systems and PostgreSQL. Specifically, it’s for those who are looking to use them in practical settings like their daily work. In this course, you will learn different techniques for constructing SQL queries and performing different types of data manipulation. Topics Covered: Database Management: Inserting, updating, and deleting data from tables. Data Analysis: Using SQL functions and tools to retrieve data and perform data analysis and manipulations across multiple tables. This course is very similar to Simplilearn’s SQL Training Course; however, this PostgreSQL bootcamp lacks content on database design and creation, the importance of which cannot be stressed enough. Choose Your Data Engineering Course and Start Learning! If you are eager to break into one of today’s most popular technical fields, it’s imperative to build a strong foundation; a strong foundation in data engineering involves knowing database design, performance optimization, and data analysis. LearnSQL.com’s Creating Database Structures learning track provides comprehensive coverage of all these domains in an interactive environment. If you’re looking for a quicker overview of smaller chunks of database management or data engineering, then Simplilearn’s SQL Training or Coursera’s Creating Database Tables with SQL are good options. The online courses listed above are seven of the most popular data engineering courses. They’ll help you get started with relational database design and management. So, have a look, make your choice, and begin your journey into the world of data engineering. Happy learning! Tags: sql learn sql Data Engineering online practice You may also like 5 Best Online SQL Courses for Business Analysts Start drawing better conclusions from your data to make better business decisions. Choose the best SQL course and start learning SQL. Read more Our Picks for 2020’s 7 Best Online SQL Schools Looking for the best online SQL courses but aren’t sure where to start? I evaluated the top 7 ranked online SQL schools to help you find your match. Read more How Much Do Data Engineers Earn in 2020? Are you thinking of becoming a data engineer? Find out if it pays off and why it is one of the fastest growing branches of the IT industry. Read more What Is Data Engineering? What’s data engineering and how does it fit in with data science and Big Data? Read this article to find out. Read more Who Is a Data Engineer? Do you know what Data Engineers do? Do you know what skills they need? Read our article to find out more about this relatively new IT position. 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