5 Best Online SQL Courses Reviews in 2021 | Our Guide to Structured Query Language and Its Applications

SQL stands for Structured Query Language, a programming language that's extensively used in data analysis. Many corporations heavily rely on SQL in collecting, storing, and analyzing massive sets of data. The rise of big data has only accelerated the use of this unique programming language.

SQL is literally everywhere. Even big tech names like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook use SQL in relational database management. Sounds interesting, right?

3 Top Online SQL Courses

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[Best Online SQL Course Overall] 

1.The Ultimate MySQL Bootcamp: Go from SQL Beginner to Expert - Udemy

The Ultimate MySQL Bootcamp course on Udemy is your perfect start for a fruitful SQL learning journey. This course will teach you how to interpret and analyze big data with MySQL.

4.9/5 

  • Great for beginners and intermediates
  • Practice exercises and projects
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
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[Best for the Money] 

2.Excel to MySQL: Analytic Techniques for Business Specialization - Coursera

"Excel to MySQL: Analytic Techniques for Business Specialization" is a multiple-course program offered by Duke University on Coursera. The program will teach you everything you need to know about data analytics.

4.8/5 

  • Self-paced
  • Extensive content with 4 individual courses
  • Final capstone project with feedback from senior data scientists at Airbnb
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[Best for Complete Beginners] 

3Learn SQL - Codeacademy

"Learn SQL" is an introductory SQL course offered by Codeacademy. The course is intended for complete beginners who want to get started in data analysis using SQL online. 

4.7/5 

  • Can be completed quickly
  • Practical learning experience
  • Self Paced

Whether you're a beginner who wants to learn an SQL course from scratch or an experienced professional seeking to improve your skills, we've picked the best online SQL courses to start learning right now! In addition, you can check out our dedicated business intelligence courses post

5 Best Online SQL Courses in 2021

There are many SQL courses on the internet, but not all of them will actually teach you anything useful. Our goal is to help you pick the best SQL course for your experience level, which is why we've reviewed 5 of the most top-rated SQL courses you can enroll in with a few clicks.

The Ultimate MySQL Bootcamp course on Udemy is your perfect start for a fruitful SQL learning journey. This course will teach you how to interpret and analyze big data with MySQL to gain actionable insights and improve business profitability.

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With this course, you'll also learn how to tackle complicated business problems by getting exposed to real-world examples from the industry. What's more, you'll learn everything you need to know about managing data sets with thousands of entries.

The course also introduces you to the difference between SQL and MySQL, as well as analyzing data with aggregate functions.

The instructors are friendly, and they take things slow to avoid overwhelming beginners with tons of information. The course breaks down each topic into smaller chunks and gives you the chance to evaluate your comprehension of the materials with mini exercises.

The Ultimate MySQL Bootcamp course follows an interactive learning approach, where you'll get the chance to start coding yourself from the very beginning of the lessons. Not to mention, you'll work on several projects to gain real practical experience to prepare you for professional SQL jobs.

This online course is excellent for beginners who want to learn all about SQL and create data-driven reports or even developers who are curious about building applications using MySQL. Even if you won't be directly working with databases, you can still benefit from this course to understand how your company's databases are handled, especially if you're involved in sales or marketing functions.

What's Included:

  • 20 hours of video content
  • 4 downloadable resources
  • 141 articles
  • Lifetime access
  • Mobile and TV access
  • Hands-on projects
  • Certificate of completion

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn how to work with relational databases
  • Build a database from scratch
  • Understand what an SQL query is and how to interact with it
  • Get familiar with how an SQL server works
  • Know the difference between Microsoft SQL Server and MySQL
  • Create a web application using MySQL and NodeJS
  • Write queries and understand SQL syntax
  • Interpret big data with the help of aggregate functions
  • Analyze big data using SQL queries

Advantages:

  • Great for beginners and intermediates
  • Practice exercises and projects
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Shortcomings:

  • The content is considered shallow for experienced data analysts

"Excel to MySQL: Analytic Techniques for Business Specialization" is a multiple-course program offered by Duke University on Coursera. As its name implies, the program will teach you everything you need to know about data analytics using Excel and SQL, as well as their real-world business applications.

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The specialization consists of 4 courses, which are:

  • Business Metrics for Data-Driven Companies
  • Mastering Data Analysis in Excel
  • Data Visualization and Communication with Tableau
  • Managing Big Data with MySQL

The first course will teach you how you can make a company generate more profit and stay competitive using the fundamentals of data analytics, while the second course will help you learn how to analyze data using MS Excel.

As for the third course, you'll get clued up about visualizing data using Tableau and communicating the implications that can affect the business's decision-making process. Lastly, you'll learn how relational databases work with SQL and how you can use entity-relationship diagrams to display the data structures in them.

The specialization has several assessment methods that let you track your progress and understanding of the materials, including graded quizzes and assignments. By the end of the program, you'll get the opportunity to apply the concepts that you've learned with a final capstone project, where you'll learn how to maximize the revenues of a residential property with input on the final project design from Airbnb.

The program requires no prior knowledge in programming or data analysis, making it the perfect choice for beginners who want to start a career in data analysis and business intelligence. The program is self-paced, and you should be able to complete it within 7 months if you dedicate 4 hours of study time each week.

What's Included:

  • 4 courses
  • Course videos and readings
  • Practice quizzes
  • Graded quizzes with feedback
  • Graded assignments with peer feedback
  • Hands-on project
  • Self-paced
  • Certificate of completion

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn how to use Excel, Tableau, and MySQL in business analytics
  • Understand how relational databases work and their business applications
  • Use data analytics in increasing your company's profits
  • Learn how to visualize data and make implications

Advantages:

  • Extensive content with 4 individual courses
  • Covers data analysis using several software solutions, including Excel, Tableau, and MySQL
  • Final capstone project with feedback from senior data scientists at Airbnb
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Self-paced

Shortcomings:

  • It May not the best option for experienced data analysts who want to learn advanced topics

[Best for the Complete Beginners ]

3. Learn SQL - Codeacademy

4.7/5 

"Learn SQL" is an introductory SQL course offered by Codeacademy. The course is intended for complete beginners who want to get started in data analysis using SQL online. You'll learn the foundational concepts of SQL and how to access and update data in relational databases.

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The course also introduces you to query keywords that'll help you execute complex queries.

What's more, you'll get familiarized with aggregate functions and their applications in running advanced database operations.

Additionally, you'll learn how to create related tables and manipulate databases.

The course duration is approximately 8 hours; you can complete it within a maximum of 1 week if you dedicate enough time to study the materials and take the quizzes. It's also worth noting that the course includes 4 practical projects that allow you to develop a working knowledge of writing SQL queries and handling databases.

What's Included:

  • 3 lessons
  • 3 quizzes
  • 4 hands-on projects
  • Certificate of completion

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn how to utilize SQL in communicating with databases
  • Understand what aggregate functions are and how to use them
  • Create databases with related tables

Advantages:

  • Excellent for beginners
  • Can be completed quickly
  • Practical learning experience
  • Self-paced

Shortcomings:

  • Not suitable for experienced data scientists

"An Introductory Guide to SQL" by Educative Learning Platform is a beginner-level SQL course that teaches you the foundations of SQL. Instead of using a video-based learning approach, this SQL course is text-based.

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This can either be a good or bad thing depending on your preference, but generally speaking, text-based learning is quite suitable for learning SQL, especially that you'll be able to practice what you're learning.

This SQL course walks you through the basics of SQL by teaching you how to create your own MySQL database and query and update data.  

With this course, you'll also learn valuable real-world skills that data science professionals use extensively, like setting up views and using multi-table operations, triggers, joins, and nested queries.

From the moment you enroll in the course, you'll be able to practice everything in an interactive coding environment and run SQL queries without having to install complicated software on your computer. The course also prepares you for SQL interviews by giving you a quick overview of the most common questions that employers ask in jobs that require familiarity with SQL.

This is probably one of the best SQL online courses for beginners who want to know how to analyze big data and ace SQL job interviews.

What's Included:

  • 98 lessons
  • 73 quizzes
  • 72 playgrounds
  • 438 illustrations
  • Certificate of completion

Learning Outcomes:

  • Use SQL for data analysis
  • Get clued up about the most frequently asked SQL interview questions
  • Learn foundational concepts like SQL queries, joins, triggers, nested loops, and multi-table operations

Advantages:

  • An interactive learning experience with a live coding environment for hands-on practice
  • No setup is required
  • Perfect for beginners

Shortcomings:

  • Not intended for advanced SQL users

As this course name implies, "Advanced SQL for Query Tuning and Performance Optimization" by the LinkedIn Learning platform is a course that teaches experienced SQL developers advanced concepts to help them overcome the occasional performance issues and handle queries that take a long time to run.

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Throughout this course, you'll learn how SQL executes a query, allowing you to enhance the execution plans and boost performance. Additionally, you'll be able to use PostgreSQL tuning tools like pgAdmin, a popular open-source administration platform.

The course also teaches you all about the different types of indexes, like B-tree, Hash, and Bitmap indexes. 

On top of that, you'll get clued up about tuning joins and the factors that influence their performance, as well as merging joins. With this course, you'll also understand the difference between subqueries and joins and gain familiarity with nested loops.

The course includes a mini project so you can grasp the concepts in a better way. This course's total duration is less than 2 hours, but the concepts it teaches are quite valuable for experienced SQL developers.

What's Included:

  • Video sessions
  • Hands-on project
  • Phone and tablet access
  • Certificate of completion

Learning Outcomes:

  • Improve SQL query performance
  • Use PostgreSQL tuning tools
  • Understand how tuning joins work and the difference between joins and subqueries
  • Get familiar with nested loops

Advantages:

  • Can be completed in a relatively short time
  • Teaches advanced SQL topics
  • Self-paced

Shortcomings:

  • Not suitable for beginners with no experience in SQL
  • Limited assessment methods

How to Pick the Right SQL Course for You

Not all SQL programs will suit everyone. Before choosing a course to enroll in, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

Professional Goals

First, you need to take a few minutes to think about your learning and career goals. Why do you want to learn SQL in the first place? Do you want to start a career in data analysis or a related field? Or is it simply out of pure curiosity? Maybe you're still exploring your career options and think that learning SQL might help you with your future career goals?

Once you answer these questions, you'll be able to choose the right SQL course for your needs.

For example, if you're serious about starting a new career in data analysis, you need to master SQL and pick a well-rounded course that takes you from A to Z regarding SQL principles.

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On the other hand, if you're still unsure whether this is the right path for you, a crash course that teaches the SQL basics might be a better option for you. After all, you don't want to spend months studying something that may not benefit you or your goals. Not to mention, professional online SQL courses are usually expensive.

Finally, if you're an experienced data analyst, look for courses that skip the basic SQL principles and teach advanced concepts that can help you develop your skills.

Learning Approach

Do you like to learn new things by watching or reading? Because not all SQL courses follow the same learning approach. For instance, some courses are text-based, while others rely on videos.

You should also consider whether the course has many methods of assessments so you can validate that you've fully comprehended the materials. There are many courses packed with assignments and quizzes to challenge your understanding of the topics, but some are purely for auditing.

A good SQL course will also use real-world examples from the industry to enhance your problem-solving skills. Additionally, it'd be best to make sure that the course includes at least one practical project because you won't know how to use SQL without actually trying for yourself. You can't learn how to swim by simply watching the Olympics on TV, can you?

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Subscription vs. Individual Course

Depending on the learning platform you choose, you'll either have to subscribe to the platform and become a member to access the course or simply pay a one-time fee.

This brings us back to your professional goals; it wouldn't be feasible to become a member of a learning platform and commit to a long-term plan if you simply want to learn SQL for pure curiosity. Nevertheless, almost all platforms give you the option to cancel the subscription anytime you want anyway.

Related Questions

How Much Time Will It Take to Learn SQL Course?

SQL is relatively easy to learn compared to other general-purpose programming languages like C and Java. You can learn the SQL fundamentals course in as little as a month, but it'll probably take you a couple more months if you want to learn more advanced SQL skills. On a side note, don't expect to master SQL with a small crash course.

Is SQL Enough to Get a Job?

Yes, you can get a good job by having a working knowledge of SQL (Structured Query Language). Here are some of the jobs where your SQL skills can be highly valuable:

  • Data Analyst
  • Database Administrator
  • Data Scientist
  • Data Visualizer
  • BI Developer
  • BI Administrator
  • Database Developer

However, depending on the job, you may need to learn some other skills along with SQL basics.

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What Are the Main Competencies for an SQL Developer?

Here are the most sought-after SQL concepts and skills that employers look for when interviewing candidates for SQL development roles:

  • MySQL database fundamentals
  • Fluency in SQL syntax
  • Joins and subqueries
  • Indexes
  • Boosting the performance of SQL queries
  • Familiarity with the PHP programming language
  • Backup databases
  • Communication and collaboration skills
  • Problem-solving and analytical skills

Is SQL in High Demand?

The demand for professionals who can write code in SQL is increasing day by day, especially in data analysis, SQL development, and data science job roles. 

According to Glassdoor.com, the average salary for data scientists in the United States is $113,309 per year, while SQL developers earn an average annual salary of $81,622. As for data analysts, the mean salary is $62,000.

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As you can tell, the career and salary prospects for SQL professionals are definitely promising. If you take the path of SQL development as a career, you'll undoubtedly have lots of opportunities to grow both on a personal and professional level.

How Can I Teach Myself SQL?

The best way to learn SQL is to practice. All of the courses on our list include at least one hands-on project so you can apply what you've learned. However, it'd be best if you still practiced more on your own. All you have to do is install a free SQL database and watch some tutorials.

Why Is SQL Better Than Excel?

SQL is much more advanced than excel because you can do the same tasks about 90% faster with SQL than Excel. The core difference is that SQL places a high emphasis on analysis by letting you use a separate relational database management system, like MySQL.

On the other hand, you can think of Excel as an advanced calculator that automates calculations and routine tasks. Analyzing data with Excel is very primitive compared to what SQL has to offer.

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Should I Learn SQL or Python First?

It depends on your education and career goals, but generally speaking, you should definitely start learning SQL before you make the jump to Python because SQL is easier to learn. Once you get a good grasp on data analytics with SQL, learning Python will be a walk in the park for you.

Are Online Courses Better Than Classroom Learning?

Online courses have come a long way, and you can definitely get a well-rounded learning experience online. The advantage of an online course is that you can start learning anywhere around the world without having to walk past your doorstep.

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Not to mention, an online course teaches you self-discipline since you'll be the one who sets your study hours. However, learning in a class allows for more effective communication between students and instructors, but many online courses make up for that with online student communities.

Final Words

SQL is one of the most in-demand skills, and mastering it will open a whole new world of opportunities for you. Whether you want to work in data science, business analysis, or database design, enrolling in one of the best online SQL courses on the web will bring you a step closer to your goal.

Businesses are increasingly relying on massive databases for data management and storage, and that's exactly why the demand for SQL specialists is surging.

Starting a new career is no easy task, but if you dedicate enough effort and time to it, you'll master the SQL concepts quickly, even if you're a complete beginner with no prior programming or data analysis experience.