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Vijay Singh Khatri | 29 Nov, 2023

10 Best SQL Courses For Beginners in 2024 [Free + Paid]

 

As we enter 2024, the importance of data for businesses of all sizes continues to increase as it’s often a source of immense potential for increased efficiency, profits, and other organizational benefits.

At the heart of most data sets is the relational database, which, more often than not, relies upon SQL (Structured Query Language). 

If you’re an aspiring data-driven professional interested in becoming a database administrator, data analyst, data scientist, data engineer, and more, SQL is essential for working with data. And if you want to maximize your market potential, you might consider an SQL online course with a certificate.

With hundreds of options, finding platforms with excellent tutorials can be tough. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the top 10 SQL courses online, including key highlights to help you choose the best courses to learn SQL for your needs!

Featured SQL Courses [Editor’s Picks]

Why Learn SQL?

SQL is a powerful language used by businesses worldwide to efficiently query and manipulate data within databases.

If you want to land a role in technology focusing on data, especially if you plan to work with relational databases, then there are several benefits to learning SQL programming to manage SQL databases.

  • Database Access & Manipulation: Creating, reading, updating, and deleting data (CRUD) are core database skills for any data professional. SQL makes each of these operations fast and efficient. 
  • Data Analysis: Creating and running simple and complex queries can help you discover valuable insights or trends. For example, customer preferences or purchasing habits can be analyzed to help you tailor your marketing strategies.
  • Transferable Skills: Understanding SQL can be a valuable stepping stone to learning how to work with and manipulate NoSQL databases, which have grown in popularity.
  • Career Opportunities: Taking an SQL Bootcamp online or attending SQL programming courses can equip you with technical knowledge about database design and query optimization via SQL. These skills can open up a range of new roles in data science, analytics, software engineering, web development, and more.

Are you already applying for SQL jobs? Make sure you study the Top SQL Interview Questions

Choosing the Best SQL Online Courses

To help you find the best SQL online courses and the best places to learn SQL, we’ve considered a range of key factors when compiling our list.

  • Course Materials: Is it well-structured, and does it include up-to-date video content?
  • Instructor: Do they have relevant credentials and experience?
  • Practicality: Do the SQL tutorials focus on real-world applications rather than theory?
  • Support: Does it include some form of instructor or community support?
  • Certification: Is there a certification of completion for your resume?

10 Best SQL Online Courses in 2024

1. [Coursera] SQL for Data Science (UC Davis)

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

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Why We Chose This Course

Ready to start with SQL basics? This is one of the best SQL courses online for beginners. The curriculum assumes zero SQL knowledge and is primarily a data science specialization that helps you start with SQL for data science.

You’ll go through different functions specific to a data scientist’s daily workflow, including data retrieval, filtering, sorting, joins, and other things necessary to rummage around unprocessed raw data.

Pros

  • Helpful to learn SQL for data science, especially if you’re fresh out of college
  • Covers the basics in a structured way
  • Covers all bases with interactive quizzes, extra readings, and resources

Cons

  • Tests may seem redundant
  • No in-course interactive module to work with data

Key Information

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Sadie St. Lawrence

Level: Beginner

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: Yes

Duration: 14 hours (video content)

2. [Udemy] The Ultimate MySQL Bootcamp: Go from SQL Beginner to Expert

SQL for NEWBS: Weekender Crash Course for Beginners

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Why We Chose This Course

The MySQL Bootcamp course is a perfect fit for individuals with zero database knowledge. You don’t even need to know how to program, though it’d certainly help!

As one of the most comprehensive online SQL classes, you’ll be introduced to MySQL to create complex databases. You will learn about SQL syntax outputs and inputs and how to analyze data with aggregate functions. You'll also learn about robust methods to generate reports using sales data.

By taking this course, you’ll master MySQL, model real-world data, and generate reports with SQL queries. You’ll also learn how to manipulate tables to get meaningful data by running complex queries and learning complex joins.

Pros

  • Master SQL window functions & relational databases
  • Write complex join queries & use tables for data manipulation
  • Answer complex real-world questions asked of data analysts
  • Includes CRUD basics for SQL
  • Works with MySQL 8.x onwards
  • Includes exercises for hands-on training

Cons

  • Can be fast-paced towards the end

Key Information

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Colt Steele

Level: Beginner

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: Yes

Duration: 36.5 hours (self-paced video content)

3. [DataCamp] Data Manipulation in SQL

Data Manipulation in SQLLearn More

Why We Chose This Course

DataCamp's data manipulation course is a solid choice if you’re looking to master complex SQL queries for data science applications. 

As an intermediate-level course, it’s quite short at only 4 hours long, but I really appreciate the inclusion of 55 exercises to help you reinforce these new SQL skills. 

Expect to focus on essential SQL functions such as CASE statements, subqueries, and window functions, plus you’ll also be using a Soccer Database for practical examples. 

Overall, this is an ideal course if you already have some experience in SQL but you want to expand your toolkit to manipulate, transform, and categorize information in relational databases.

Pros

  • Comprehensive learning of key SQL functions for data manipulation
  • Practical examples and exercises for hands-on experience
  • Suitable for intermediate learners looking to enhance their SQL skills

Cons

  • May not be suitable for beginners without basic SQL knowledge

Key Information

Prerequisites: Basic SQL

Instructor: Mona Khalil

Level: Intermediate

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: Yes

Duration: 4 hours (self-paced video content)

4. [Coursera] Excel to MySQL: Analytic Techniques for Business Specialization (Duke University)

Learn SQL

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Why We Chose This Course

This course teaches you how to see data when examining business challenges. You’ll learn how to extract and analyze data and communicate interpretations. 

A nice bonus? You’ll also learn to use Tableau to visualize and communicate data, create forecasts, manage big data, and use data to drive profits.

You’ll also work on a capstone project which uses analytics to build a method for improving profits for a residential property management company.

Pros

  • Understand business metrics & master Excel data analysis
  • Learn data visualization & communication in Tableau
  • Manage Big Data with MySQL
  • Capstone project to add to your portfolio
  • In-depth content covers everything to go from beginner to master
  • Self-paced

Cons

  • Large commitment for beginners

Key Information

Prerequisites: Beginner MS Excel skills

Instructor: Daniel Egger, Jana Schaich Borg

Level: Beginner

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: Yes

Duration: 112 hours (4 hours per week for 7 months)

5. [LearnSQL] SQL from A to Z

An Introductory Guide to SQL

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Why We Chose This Course

We chose LearnSQL especially because of their focus on building experience for beginners. It’s actually a full track of courses, seven in all, and they require no prior experience in the IT field. During the courses, you learn basic and advanced features of SQL. Specifically, you will focus on databases and data analysis.

Then, once you finish the interactive courses, they provide SQL certificates. This course track includes a resource base, student-to-student support, mentoring, and tech support.

Pros

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Hints and examples for each task
  • Free ready-to-use SQL cheat sheets 
  • Practice oriented: real code editor and data sets from real business scenarios
  • Apart of common standard functions covers work with multiple tables, data aggregation, subqueries and complex reporting

Cons

  • Fully automated self-paced tasks without live communication 

Key Information

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: LearnSQL.com

Level: Beginner

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: Yes

Duration: 84 hours (text content and assignments)

6. [Udemy] The Complete SQL Bootcamp: Go from Zero to Hero

SQL for Data Science (UC Davis)

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Why We Chose This Course

Not only is this possibly the best SQL course on Udemy, but it’s one of the best SQL training courses to learn SQL and PostgreSQL skills, like making queries and performing data analysis. You’ll also learn to read and write complex database queries. 

A top attraction for this SQL course is its accessibility, which students rave about!

Pros

  • Learn PostgreSQL & PgAdmin
  • Learn SQL syntax including aggregation, advanced queries, & JOINs
  • Use Python with SQL to learn data analytics

Cons

  • Some reported issues with source code files

Key Information

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Jose Portilla

Level: Beginner

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: Yes

Duration: 9 hours (self-paced video content)

7. [Educative] An Introductory Guide to SQL

Excel to MySQL: Analytic Techniques for Business Specialization (Duke University)

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Why We Chose This Course

Looking to learn SQL in a hands-on coding environment? Educative.io’s introductory SQL course is the place to do it! 

This course covers the fundamentals of SQL, like creating a database, queries, insertions, and table operations.

A nice touch is the inclusion of potential data science and SQL interview questions at the end of the class.

This is ideal for learners who thrive in text-based learning environments, as Eductaive.io thinks that videos waste time!

Pros

  • Step-by-step progression to understand concepts
  • Hands-on coding environment (no setup or download needed)
  • Quizzes to test your knowledge

Cons

  • May not suit those that prefer a visual format via video content

Key Information

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Educative.io

Level: Beginner

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: Yes

Duration: 13 hours (text content and assignments)

Want to enhance your SQL learning? Consider reading one of the Best SQL Books

8. [Codecademy] Learn SQL

The Ultimate MySQL Bootcamp: Go from SQL Beginner to Expert

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Why We Chose This Course

"Learn SQL" is the perfect online course to quickly learn the basics of SQL and database management.

The authors used pro-level database examples like the Startup Trends databases to help you learn about real business problems facing companies today. The exercises and problems also help students to better understand the core concepts.

Pros

  • Perfect for beginners who want to work with complex databases
  • Short & straightforward course to cover SQL basics
  • Content builds from SQL basics to complex queries and functions
  • Includes a project for you to practice & add to your portfolio
  • Hands-on learning inside browser

Cons

  • Projects, assignments, and certificate only available to paid users

Key Information

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: N/A

Level: Beginner

Free or Paid: Free Audit option & Paid option

Certificate: Yes with the Paid option

Duration: 8 hours (self-paced video content)

 9. [Udemy] The Complete Oracle SQL Bootcamp

The Complete Oracle SQL Bootcamp

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Why We Chose This Course

If you want to learn Oracle SQL for application development or database admin, then this SQL training course is a great fit.

You’ll master techniques for table and database creation, and you'll also learn how to write SQL queries. The course also covers Oracle SQL concepts, including ALTER, DELETE, SELECT, UPDATE, and INSERT statements.

Bottom line? This comprehensive training program offers hands-on experience in writing SQL codes quickly. The real-world challenges, quizzes, and examples featured in the course will also enhance your writing, reading, and analysis of SQL queries. The course also combines lectures, articles, and downloadable resources to help you learn SQL. 

Pros

  • Learn Oracle SQL step-by-step & SQL CRUD operations
  • Prepares you for Oracle Database SQL Exam (1Z0-071)
  • Helps prepare you for interviews
  • Lifetime instructor support

Cons

  • Doesn’t cover indexing & doesn’t focus on practice

Key Information

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Oracle Master Training

Level: Beginner

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: Yes

Duration: 34.5 hours (self-paced video content)

10. [Udemy] SQL & Database Design A-Z: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

The Complete SQL Bootcamp 2020: Go from Zero to Hero

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Why We Chose This Course

Ideal for gaining a deeper understanding of SQL, this course allows you to master major SQL and application development topics.

You'll learn to handle SQL statements and various joins, including cross, outer, inner, self, left, and right. You’ll also learn to create advanced SQL queries, create tables, use indexes, and combine this information to generate detailed analyses.

Pros

  • Learn about normalized relational database schema
  • Dive into database design & data science
  • Learn to write advanced SQL queries & JOINS

Cons

  • May be too brief on SQL functions

Key Information

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Ilya Eremenko

Level: Beginner

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: Yes

Duration: 12.5 hours (self-paced video content)

Conclusion

If you’re an aspiring data professional that wants to land a role in one of the many data-driven professions like database administrator, data analyst, data scientist, data engineer, and more, SQL is one of the hottest and most in-demand skills to add to your resume!

We’ve covered the 10 best online SQL courses online for beginners in 2024, and with nearly all of these offering a certificate, you can demonstrate to any prospective employer that you have the SQL skills that they need!

Looking for more ways to demonstrate your SQL skills? Check out the Best SQL Certifications and the Top SQL Server Certifications

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which SQL Course Is the Best?

There is no single best SQL course. However, the best SQL course online for you is the one that matches your preferred learning style with the level of detail and difficulty that fits your current skills. You’ll also want to consider whether you want to add a project to your portfolio, whether you’d like a certificate, and how much time you have to commit.

2. How Much Time Will It Take To Learn SQL?

This depends on the time you have free and your previous skills. The courses we’ve listed vary, with the shortest coming in at 3.5 hours. Like all complex skills, the more you practice, the better you will become.

3. Is a Udemy SQL Course Worth It?

Yes! And Udemy SQL online class is a great way to learn SQL skills for a very reasonable price. Although, you may want to consider professional SQL certifications if you’d like to add more gravitas to your resume.

4. Which Database Course Is Best?

There is no best database course, as it depends on your career goals and the tools that make the most sense for your planned activities with relational databases. 

You should focus on MySQL courses if you think you’d prefer to use MySQL. Similarly, if you intend to use Microsoft SQL Server, look for course content that focuses on this relational database management system (RDBMS).

 

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By Vijay Singh Khatri

With 5+ years of experience across various tech stacks such as C, C++, PHP, Python, SQL, Angular, and AWS, Vijay has a bachelor's degree in computer science and a specialty in SEO and helps a lot of ed-tech giants with their organic marketing. Also, he persists in gaining knowledge of content marketing and SEO tools. He has worked with various analytics tools for over eight years.

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