I’ve been working in the realm of data for a long time. During that time, companies have evolved titles and job descriptions. Sometimes those titles can be confusing, however. For the longest time, I was called a Data Warehouse Analyst, but I was actually doing more hands-on development than analyzing. That sometimes became problematic when interviewing for new jobs because people didn’t always look at the activities associated with my work and only focused on the title. I had to maintain my confidence to ensure that I didn’t take a role that I wasn’t as interested in because that was the role for which potential employers wanted to hire me.
I have seen this practice continue to a certain extent, where employers don’t always give you the appropriate title. At times, this is due to available headcount and a manager will hire you under the available title rather than the perfect title for your skillset.
Development titles in the field of Data Warehousing may include ETL (Extract, Transform and Load) Developer, ETL Engineer, Data Engineer, Business Intelligence Engineer, Data Architect, and Data Scientist. What is the difference between these titles and is there a standard? There may be a strong delineation between the ETL and Data roles versus the Business Intelligence roles. Some companies strictly associate a Business Intelligence role with front end development in reporting tools, such as Tableau or Power BI. Other companies may include the ETL development of star schemas into this role and restrict the ETL and Data roles to the ingestion of data from other sources or incorporating that data into Operational Data Stores (ODS).
Which of these titles is right for you? It’s important to match your skills and preferred tasks to the job description being offered as it isn’t always clear from just the job title what an employer is seeking. In addition to ensuring the actual functions required for the job meet your skills, it’s also important to tailor your resume so that employers find you as a match for the jobs they are trying to fill. Ensure that you are found in a search by having a section that highlights your technical skills in addition to the roles and employers for whom you have worked. It may be helpful to review existing positions that are posted for the skills and tools that are in high demand and highlight those you possess (or ramp up on those skills you do not have when you are able).
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