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The best SQL courses of 2022

Managing and organizing data in business means you need to know SQL, but which course is best?

Rich, meaningful data can be a business' best friend, especially when you have the right talent on hand to manipulate it to reveal the most incisive insights. This talent will typically be trained in SQL - Structured Query Language - the programming language built for working with databases.

That said, finding the right person to fill the role can be difficult now the UK is currently in an “all-time high” skills shortage. Other routes to acquiring the top talent have proven fruitful, though, even for the biggest names in the game. There’s a lot of talk about upskilling in the tech industry but it does work when you have enthusiastic people in your business willing to learn and expand their skill set to meet a genuine business need, just ask TikTok or Euromoney.

Forgoing a costly degree or the arduous task of embarking on a degree apprenticeship, many tech companies are choosing to hire people that have gone down the self-taught route. There are a number of free and paid-for resources available online to upskill yourself and increase your employability in the tech industry, the best of which you can find below.

What is SQL

Often pronounced ‘sequel’, SQL is the widely used programming language used by data scientists for managing and manipulating databases. It’s especially useful for dealing with relational databases which hold tables of data containing entries that are related to others in different tables.

Those wishing to establish themselves in the SQL job market are especially in luck since the language has been in commercial use since 1979 - plenty of time for experts to get to grips with it and condense the most important, job-ready knowledge into easily digestible online courses.

If you learn SQL, you’ll be indispensable in a business - where SQL database servers are highly common and used to power their applications.

Whether you are a beginner keen to get into databases or a seasoned pro, here are some of the best SQL courses available.

These online courses range from the complete beginner to expert level.

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

SQL course 1

Duration: 20 hours
Provider: Udemy

This course helps students create a database or interact with existing databases and build a web app using NodeJS and MySQL. It looks at SQL syntax and how to analyze data using aggregate functions.

Students don’t need database, SQL, MySQL or previous programming language experience.

Upon completion, students should be able to interact with and query any SQL database and generate reports, answer company performance questions using data, and integrate MySQL into complete applications.

2. Databases and SQL for Data Science with Python

SQL course 2

Duration: 18 hours
Provider: Coursera

This course aims to introduce relational database concepts and help you learn and apply foundational knowledge of the SQL language. 

A lot of the course is hands-on, practical learning, working with real databases, real data science tools, and real-world datasets. Students will create a database instance in the cloud and practice building and running SQL queries. There is also a chance to learn how to access databases from Jupyter notebooks using SQL and Python.

3. Managing Big Data with MySQL

SQL course 3

Duration: 32 hours
Provider: Coursera

This course is about how 'Big Data' interacts with businesses and how to use data analytics to create value for businesses. 

There are four courses and a final Capstone Project where students apply their skills to a real-world business process. There is also teaching on using tools such as Microsoft Excel, Tableau, and MySQL to perform sophisticated data-analysis functions. 

4. SQL: Master SQL Database Queries in Just 90 Mins!

SQL course 4

Duration: 90 minutes
Provider: SkillShare

As the course suggests, this will teach students how to use SQL in 90 minutes for personal and business-related projects.

Made for beginners, this offers an introduction into SQL database queries. Students will understand the thinking underpinning SQL queries and see how they are used, accompanied by real-world examples to contextualise their learning. 

5. SQL & Database Design A-Z: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

SQL course 5

Duration: 12.5 hours
Provider: Udemy

In this course, students learn how to create queries in PostgreSQL and master database design concepts. 

Topics covered include online analytics processing (OLAP) versus online transaction processing (OLTP) databases and how and why the designs of these two types of databases differ. It also looks at database normalization and the step-by-step process to normalize a database.

6. The Complete Oracle SQL Bootcamp (2021)

SQL course 6

Duration: 25 hours
Provider: Udemy

This course helps students quickly get up to speed with Oracle SQL. With over 160 lectures in the course, students will learn essential SQL concepts in Oracle databases. 

This course is continually updated with more lectures, quizzes, and assessments to enhance knowledge of Oracle SQL.

7. Advanced SQL for Query Tuning and Performance Optimization

SQL course 7

Duration: 1 hour 44 minutes
Provider: LinkedIn Learning

While SQL queries can be fast and highly efficient, they demand excessive CPU and memory resources. This course helps students better understand how databases translate SQL queries into execution plans and take steps to avoid these issues. 

It will show developers how to analyze query execution plans and use data modeling strategies to boost query performance. It also covers several methods for performing joins and discusses how to use partitioning and materialized views to improve performance.

8. Excel to MySQL: Analytic Techniques for Business Specialization

SQL course 8

Duration: Seven weeks at 4 hours per week
Provider: Coursera

Students taking this course will learn to use tools and methods, such as Excel, Tableau, and MySQL, to analyze data, create forecasts and models, design visualizations, and communicate insights. 

The course ends with a final project that applies learned skills to explore and justify improvements to real-world business processes. 

9. Learn SQL

SQL course 9

Duration: Two months at 10 hours per week
Provider: Udacity

This SQL “Nanodegree” helps students learn SQL commands, functions, and data cleaning methodologies to join, aggregate, and clean tables. It also helps them perform complete performance tune analysis to provide strategic business recommendations. 

At the end of the course, there’s a final project where students apply relational database management techniques to normalize data schemas to build the supporting data structures for a social news aggregator.

10. Databases: Advanced Topics in SQL

SQL course 10

Duration: Two weeks at 8-10 hours per week
Provider: edX

This course is broad and practical, covering indexes, transactions, constraints, triggers, views, and authorization, all in the context of relational database systems and the SQL language. 

This course is best for learners looking to advance their understanding and use of relational databases.

11. MS SQL Server: Learn MS SQL Server from Scratch

SQL course 11

Duration: Five hours 31 minutes
Provider: Udemy

This course introduces SQL with MS Management Studio, allowing users to manage databases and retrieve data from the database with a graphical interface.

Students require no prior database or SQL experience and will learn skills such as creating functions, retrieving data under different scenarios, using powerful SQL commands, SQL transactions and more.

12. Learn Intermediate SQL for Marketers and Product Managers

SQL course 12

Duration: 5 hours
Provider: Codecademy

Designed with marketers, product managers, consultants, and data analysts in mind, this course will teach students advanced techniques to work with data and frameworks specific to their careers. It investigates user churn metrics, interprets usage funnels, and analyzes first- and last-touch marketing attribution methodologies — all leading up to a Warby Parker capstone project.

13. Deploying Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics and Azure SQL Database

SQL course 13

Duration: 1 hour 57 minutes
Provider: Pluralsight

By deploying Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics and Azure SQL Database, students can gain foundational knowledge to create and deploy databases as part of a CI/CD process. 

Students In this course learn to create new Azure SQL Databases, Azure Data Warehouses, and Azure Data Factory resources and create ARM templates for each resource. 

After that, students then learn how to set up build and release pipelines with Azure DevOps to automatically provision new resources using ARM templates and deploying data warehouses or SQL databases using data-tier application packages (DACPAC).

14. SQL for Data Analysis: Beginner MySQL Business Intelligence

SQL course 14

Duration: 4 hours 31 minutes
Provider: Udemy

Using only a MySQL database and MySQL Workbench, students can learn to write SQL queries to explore and analyze databases. They can also analyze data across multiple tables with powerful MySQL JOIN statements. The course also includes practical, hands-on assignments and real-world business use cases.

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