If you’re new to IT, you may see the three-letter word SQL in job descriptions and key roles. SQL is a big part of many business infrastructures, and learning what it is and why you use it can help you land a great job. That’s why we’ve created a beginner’s guide to SQL. In this guide, you’ll learn what SQL is, how it’s used in the information technology industry, and why you should get certified in SQL! So browse A Beginners Guide to SQL and find the dream job you never knew you wanted!
What is SQL?
From day one, you hear the word Data or Database floating around in IT settings. A database is simply a place where information is stored. SQL stands for Structured Query Language. Pronounced like the letters SQL, it is a language used for relational database management systems. That’s a bit puzzling for the average user to understand.
In short, SQL is an incredibly useful programming language that allows you to work efficiently and powerfully with databases. That means you can use the data (information stored in a database) and do hundreds of different things. Whether it’s searching 10,000 old documents for specific dates, organizing a system for efficient internal personnel management, searching for trends or more. SQL is how you do that.
How does SQL help with this?
If you’ve used Excel or a similar spreadsheet program, you’ve experienced an entry-level database. Information is stored in some way (often with tables, rows, and columns) and you can call up specific data in the table using keyboard shortcuts or manual search. Advanced Excel users can program cells to perform specific functions, such as multiplying cells together and more. They can also search and merge documents in unique ways. The principles are similar for SQL-based systems.
Outside of Excel, you may have a unique dataset that needs to be searched, connected to other programs, or even combined with automation. SQL is the powerful tool you will use to parse this data and use it effectively. We could spend hours going through the details of SQL. For now just know that it is THE tool to help with Database Management.
There’s a lot to learn with SQL, so for a quick deep dive into plain English, check it out here!
Why learn SQL?
There are two main reasons to learn SQL. The first is the practical benefit that companies need and love from database management, in fact, data is one of the most important areas and as AI, Deep Data and other areas are invested, masters of database manipulation will have to pursue significant amounts of work! Businesses are growing and have more unique and important data management applications than you can imagine. Behind the scenes, companies use data to track customers, discover trends and solve problems.
The second reason is that SQL is very practical for any IT worker who has to use a lot of data. If you’re learning to manage 30-50 workstations, need to run programs on multiple machines, or work with an organization that uses CRM technology, you’ll want to know SQL. It can shorten your personal work time and you can save the day when people need to find information quickly and quickly. With SQL, you can help a company maintain and search records dating back decades in moments. Without SQL you have to search manually and waste a lot of time. It’s great to also be able to use SQL for internal inventory lists and more.
What type of tasks use SQL?
There are specific SQL-based tasks, as well as normal IT work such as system administrators, that will benefit greatly from the way SQL saves time and enables automation. Most will work from running an IT company background, some will work specifically with big data to find results as well. Expect $70,000 or more for a qualified and experienced SQL tech. Whether it concerns business analyst work or building a system, you will be well rewarded for it.
Are there SQL certifications?
Yes! Certification is a necessary step to show an employer that you are actually “getting” a specific technology. There are a number of SQL certifications, but we recommend using Microsoft as your first SQL Cert Vendor. They offer a wide variety of certifications all related to SQL and often update the certifications offered. Microsoft also has several in-house programs that use SQL, and you will most likely use those if you’re going to be dealing with SQL.
The MCSA path for SQL shows an employer that you have serious knowledge and understand databases. Microsoft offers separate certifications for Database Development, Database Administration, and Business Intelligence Development. This is because SQL is not a one-man operation. You may be creating the database or you may be able to parse the data and update the database. These certifications have specific points of interest, but don’t dwell too much on them. Learning SQL is the most important aspect!
Simply select your certification, review the requirements, take the necessary exams and you’re good to go! However, you can’t fake knowing SQL, so you’ll feel good about troubleshooting it.
This is so useful, but I’m a bit intimidated by learning SQL and getting a certification!
It’s completely natural to find certification overwhelming at first. In fact, we think it’s wise to take a moment and ask yourself if the investment is worth it and what you want. We are confident that SQL knowledge will take you to some amazing places. If you’re not sure, we always recommend taking a moment and looking up an online practice exam! Websites like Exam Topics offer amazing expert-designed practice exams that mimic the real SQL certification and show you what the knowledge certification is all about. Not only that, it’s MCSA 100% free. It’s a great resource and offers almost every certificate imaginable. If you read through the exam a bit, you might see what certification entails and calm your nerves! After all, learning SQL is hard, otherwise everyone would do it, but it’s worth it!
Hopefully, after reading A Beginners Guide to SQL, you’ve gotten answers to some of the most common questions you face every day. We love helping people in the industry learn the necessary things to make them A-list and get new careers that pay well. If this guide helped you, please take a moment to like, comment and subscribe! We hope you come back to our site for some other unique certification articles and good luck with your IT journey!