SQL is an abbreviation for Structured Query Language. For every analyst, it is a critical skill that helps manage data in relational database management systems. If you have utilized the best way to learn SQL online, you must be well aware of its multi-faceted uses.
Prerequisites To Learning SQL
- Make Up Your Mind Why You Wish To Learn SQL.
- Start With The Basics – Syntax Etc.
- SQL Free Tutorials
- Watch Some YouTube Videos
- Join The Best Courses To Learn SQL
- Work On A Guided Project
- Utilize Best Apps To Learn SQL On Your Mobile
- Buy SQL Books
- Practice With Real Data
- Work As An SQL Expert
What is SQL?
In simple words, it is the language employed for communicating with databases. However, the primary functionality of SQL is in the data structures. Today, it finds vast applications in web development too.
So, if you aspire to delete, modify, or fetch data from a database, you write SQL commands. These commands are known as queries.
Data programmers, data analysts, and data scientists use SQL. The tool helps write complex queries from scratch and perform data analysis on data sets. It is used for several real-world projects and is related to other open-source relational database systems.
Given the vast applications, are you also interested in learning SQL? So, what is the best place to learn SQL online? Below, we will discuss some of the fastest ways to learn SQL.
Are There Any Prerequisites to Learning SQL – What Should You Know?
SQL is a query language. The easiest way to learn SQL is to have some background in the following areas:
- Relational models
- Database Management Systems and Relational database Management Systems
- ER diagrams
- Clarity on DBMS concepts like transactions, ACID properties, normalization, etc.
In addition, you must also have a solid understanding of data storage in organized relational databases to yield vital insights from complicated queries via SQL. Further, you also need top-notch analytical skills for the task.
But, what is the fastest way to learn SQL if you do not have an IT or Computer Science background and do not meet the required prerequisites? Well, we are here for you.
This guide will discuss all the steps you should take up to learn SQL. So, bear with us, and you will have clarity on the best places to learn SQL.
Best Ways to Learn SQL – Step-by-Step Guide
1. Make up your mind why you wish to learn SQL.
Before you head to the best site to learn SQL, you need to ask yourself – “Why do I wish to learn SQL?”
So, before moving forward, ensure you have a solid answer ready. Why is this important to you? Even though SQL is not a challenging or tricky programming language, it demands time and effort. There may be some hindrances and roadblocks in the middle that may make the process complex. Hence, if you do not have a solid reason to start, you may quit during the tough days.
So, before you look for the best online course to learn SQL, consider why you should learn SQL. There cannot be one definite reason for everyone. But, some of the top reasons you can consider learning SQL are:
- You wish to build a repeatable, transparent data process to lower redundant tasks.
- You want to find a job as a data engineer, data scientist, or data analyst.
- You aspire to work with vast datasets.
- You want the ability to access your company’s data easily.
- You want to upskill from VLOOKUP and Excel.
Naturally, there may be more reasons too. So, consider the reason that appeals to you, and then search for the easiest ways to learn SQL.
2. Start with the basics – syntax, statements, and commands etc.
It is not the favorite aspect of learning any programming language. However, it is one step you cannot ignore. There is no way for you to get adept at SQL without clarity of its basic statements and syntax. At first, it may seem challenging, but fortunately, learning the syntax is pretty straightforward.
3. SQL free tutorials
You can find some of the best sites to learn SQL that guide you for free. These free courses help you to acquire the necessary SQL training and solidify your understanding of the concepts. Some websites where you can find free SQL tutorials are khan academy, W3Schools, freecodecamp, Udemy, Coursera, LinkedIn, Stanford University, Udacity, and others.
From the many available classes, a few of the best courses to learn SQL are:
Udemy: An amazingly best website to learn SQL. A few of the best online courses to learn SQL from this platform are:
Coursera is another platform to learn SQL . A few of the top courses you can find there are:
- SQL for Data Science – Offered by the University of California, Davis
- Introduction to Structured Query Language (SQL) – Offered by The University of Michigan
Khan Academy is another best place to learn SQL. Their Intro to SQL: Querying and managing data is also one of the best courses to learn SQL.
Some other resources to learn SQL online are:
- Learn SQL from Codecademy.
- SQL courses from edX.
- Intro to SQL for Data Science from DataCamp.
4. Watch Some YouTube Videos
If you have reached here in the list and are like, the list is good, but I want the most convenient and easiest way to learn SQL. Of course, not everyone like hours-long sessions. So, if your primary goal is to learn SQL fast, you can consider using YouTube videos to your rescue. YouTube is also the best way to learn SQL because it comes free.
A few of the videos that give you the fastest way to learn SQL are:
1. MySQL Tutorial for Beginners – It is an excellent video to start. Herein, you can get basic clarity on SQL.
2. Learn SQL In 60 Minutes – It is a relatively more in-depth method to learn about the query language. This video by Kyle is the best place to learn SQL.
5. Join a paid online course
Beyond the free courses, there are also some best courses to learn SQL by popular MOOCs. These are paid courses and often come with a credential that validates and authenticates your skills. Having the certification increases your probability of landing a job.
So, opt for the below-listed top-rated SQL classes:
- The Complete SQL Bootcamp 2022: Go from Zero to Hero
- SQL for Data Science – Offered by the University of California, Davis
- edX SQL for Data Science Course by IBM
- Databases and SQL for Data Science with Python by IBM – (Coursera)
6. Work on a guided project
Once you have employed one of the best places to learn SQ, it is time you take your knowledge further by working on an actual project with SQL. Coursera has several guided projects built into the curriculum that helps you use your acquired SQL skills to analyze and query the real database for solutions.
Ideally, look for a project that gives you the necessary structure and guidance because building a whole SQL project from scratch may be somewhat frustrating. Hence, the idea is to do something that you can do on your own but has the necessary guidance to fall back on if you feel lost along the way.
7. Use Apps to learn SQL.
Another best way to learn SQL online is via some online apps. Apps make learning SQL more cost-effective and faster. They allow learning from the comfort of your home, even on the go.
Some apps you can use to learn SQL are:
1. SoloLearn – Whether new to coding or brushing old skills, SoloLearn can be an excellent place to start.
2. Mimo – If you wish to get thorough with SQL, Mimo is another good app choice. It is a well-designed, intuitive app with several examples to learn SQL better.
3. ProgrammingHub is one of the most content-rich apps with courses on everything from app development to software engineering.
4. DataCamp – Are you interested in SQL fundamentals? If yes, DataCamp is the best app to learn SQL.
5. Enki – Enki has a top-notch interface and is ideally the best place to learn SQL from scratch.
8. Buy SQL books
Some people are old-fashioned and like learning the old-school way. Hence, they employ books to learn SQL. In all honesty, books can be one of the best ways to learn SQL and there is no harm in having them as an additional resource. Some of the books you can refer to are:
- Learning SQL: Generate, Manipulate, and Retrieve Data by Alan Beaulieu covers some key SQL concepts in every chapter, illustrated with examples and diagrams. It is a 400-page SQL book that has 18 chapters.
- Practical SQL: A Beginner’s Guide to Storytelling with Data by Anthony DeBarros is another excellent book written in a friendly, conversational style. It is suitable for people wishing to analyze data and pursue a data analysis career. It is full of examples and applications. It is a hands-on book of 392 pages and 18 chapters.
- SQL for Data Analytics: Perform fast and efficient data analysis with the power of SQL is by Upon Malic, Matt Goldwasser, and more authors is a clean and straightforward book that teaches you how to write SQL queries and think like an analyst. The book employs several examples and diagrams. It has 386 pages and nine chapters.
- SQL Queries for Mere Mortals: A Hands-On Guide to Data Manipulation in SQL by John Viescas – The book is in its 4th edition. Released in 2018, SQL Queries for Mere Mortals is a massive book recommended widely by experts in the programming field and is indeed one of the best books for SQL professionals. It is a 960-page book and has six parts and twenty-two chapters.
9. Practice with Real Data
After you have primary clarity on SQL, you can take it forward by working with the real data. It is indeed an essential step for the best way to learn SQL.
Begin by installing a database. However, if your workplace already employs a database, you can follow the channel and install it on your computer. Alternatively, you can install a free database like MySQL, SQLite, and Postgre SQL. You can also explore some best websites to learn SQL and find a step-by-step tutorial on installing SQL servers.
These things give you some data to work on. If you cannot find real data, you can download a public dataset via freeCodeCamp Open Data or Kaggle.
10. Work as an SQL expert
There are so many things you learn by actually being on the field. With the right experience comes apt learning. So, working as an SQL expert can also be one of the best ways to learn SQL. However, before you apply for a job as an SQL expert, fill in any gaps in any information by using the above-listed easiest ways to learn SQL. Do not forget to check out some of the to prepare better and ace your interview.
Related: SQL and Data Management | SQL for Data Science Courses
Frequently Asked Questions
Ques 1. Is SQL easy to learn for beginners?
Ans. It is a subjective question. What may be easy for you, maybe difficult for someone else, and vice versa? But, most people find SQL very easy to learn compared to other programming languages like R or Python. It is primarily because, unlike a traditional programming language, SQL is a query language.
Ques 2. How can I practice SQL online for free?
Ans. Here are some of the best sites to learn SQL with practice:
- SQL Fiddle
- Oracle Live SQL
- Stack Overflow
- Coding Ground
Ques 3. How long does it take to learn SQL?
Ans. On average, getting well-versed with the SQL fundamentals takes two to three weeks.
Ques 4. SQL or Python: Which is better to learn?
Ans. If you wish to start your career as a developer, you can consider learning SQL because it has an easy-to-understand structure that makes the coding and developing process faster.
Ques 5. Will SQL become obsolete in the coming years?
Ans. SQL is the number one programming language today. It finds use in almost every tool. So, there is no chance of it becoming obsolete anytime soon. There may be advancements to it in the near future but the basic foundation always will hold a strong value.
Related: Best way to learn PHP
To Sum Up…
The best way to learn SQL online is to have a mixed approach. Begin light with understanding just the basics and slowly advance to the best online courses to learn SQL. It is also important to side-by-side keep practicing whatever you are learning in your tutorials or courses through real data and guided projects.
We think this mantra will guide you to the fastest way to learn SQL. It is enough for you to get started with SQL and succeed!