Data Architecture, Engineering & Analytics – Career Paths Tips & Insights from Experienced Professionals

guest blog from Panos Panidis, Haverford College ’09 and Founder of AESOP Academy & Advisory

Functional Differences:

  • Data Architect: Sets vision, plans, blueprint, structure, governance of a data ecosystem
  • Data Engineer: Builds, maintains, ETL (extract, transform, load) data within ecosystem. Prepares or ‘curates’ data for consumption
  • Data Analytics/Scientists: Perform analyses to answer pressing business questions. Translates data into: meaningful insights, ‘metrics that matter’, and detects patterns, trends or correlations

Essential Skill for these career tracks:

  • SQL is a universal skill that is relevant across these career routes because it helps build a common understanding of data structures & interactions. Most tools or softwares in these fields are SQL variants

How to standout in a competitive job market for these highly demanded expertise:

  • Getting involved in projects, self-practice or training are the best way to stand out to hiring managers. Share your story of a project – what you did, how you did it, and what was the outcome. That will exhibit passion for the subject matter and competency for the skills

What does career growth look like for this profession?

  • 2 common career routes in this field: (1) eventually becoming a manager of a team to drive broader programs, plans, and direct the data strategy/vision of the organization, or (2) become deeply embedded in the craft as a ‘specialist’ without managing people, becoming the ‘go to’ expert to solve increasingly challenging problems

Career tips from an industry leader in this field:

  • Career wisdom tips: use every opportunity to build skills – whether soft skill or technical, craft your own technical knowledge story, ask questions that confirm understanding of projects/techniques to build a collaborative working dynamic with your manager
  • An effective junior employee understands ‘the why’ of what they’re doing, what business problem are they solving with IT, and why they chose that approach to solve the problem. Having a clear orientation of the broader objective helps junior analysts/developers stay on track but also critically think about the work or solution they are assembling

Look out for more AESOP Academy sessions in Fall 2023 to learn and apply these skills!

Provided by AESOP Academy (

By Panos Panidis
Panos Panidis Founder