The 7 Best Online SQL Courses of 2019

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Our Top Picks

Our Top Picks

Best Interactive Course: Codecademy

Codecademy

Codecademy

What We Like

  • Great introduction

  • Plenty of material to practice with 

  • Mobile app

What We Don't Like

  • Online-only

If you’re looking for an interactive course that lets you do everything in your browser in a lightweight format, then Codecademy is the way to go. Codecademy has a series of SQL courses that require no prior experience. The first course is free, but the six-week “skill path” includes more courses on topics such as data science and databases requires the Codecademy Pro subscription.

The Pro subscription would also let you complete several projects, such as finding what makes an article popular on the tech website Hacker News, or searching through the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, all using your newly-gained SQL skills. There are even coding challenges for you to practice with once you’ve completed the course, analyzing country population statistics or mockup data from Codecademy students. All this makes Codecademy a great place to get started with SQL.

Best Free: SQL for Data Analysis, Udacity

Udacity

Udacity

What We Like

  • Completely free

  • Interactive course

  • You can download the videos for offline watching

  • Subtitles in multiple languages (Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Mandarin)

What We Don't Like

  • Exercises are online-only

Although this course is part of a larger Nanodegree, which does cost money, you can take part in the individual course for free. SQL for Data Analysis is a great free course on Udacity which takes you from a basic introduction to SQL statements all the way to speed optimization and detailed looks at edge cases. The course is made up of a healthy mix of videos, text, quizzes, and interactive exercises, and for those with hearing impairments or anyone who just feels more comfortable with reading the information they learn, you can download the videos and subtitles. 

Though the exercises require you to be online, Udacity’s online IDE (integrated development environment) means you don’t have to install any software, and there’s no risk of messing anything important up while working with it.

Runner-up, Best Free: Querying Data with Transact SQL 4 on edX

edX

edX

What We Like

  • Free

  • Only takes about four to five hours a week

What We Don't Like

  • Not everything you can do in Transact-SQL can be done in SQL, which might get confusing if you don’t know the exact differences

Although this course is part of a Professional Certificate (which is rather Python-heavy), you can take this course on its own if you’re mostly interested in the SQL side of data science. In this course by Microsoft, you’ll learn how to write queries, join tables, and more SQL basics, but you’ll also learn how to handle Transact-SQL, Microsoft’s extension to SQL, which lets you write programs, too.

Although this might seem like a bit much to start with, have no fear, this course is aimed at beginners provided you have a basic understanding of how databases and IT systems work. Programming experience per se is not required. 

Best Short Course: SQL for Data Analysis: Weekender Crash Course for Beginners on Udemy

Udemy

Udemy

What We Like

  • Perfect for completing over the weekend 

  • An exercise after almost every new input

  • Videos can be watched on mobile, too

What We Don't Like

  • Not much more than the absolute basics

If you’re looking for a short course that will let you work through SQL basics over the weekend or in your breaks, then this Udemy course will be right up your alley. SQL for Data Analysis is a short course to set you up with enough SQL knowledge to feel comfortable putting in on your resume, or even if you just want another skill to add to your arsenal.

Made up of videos, quizzes and so-called “Brainbusters” (exercises such as organizing movies by rental count or rating) to make sure you’ve actually understood what was taught, it’s a great way to learn the basics of SQL and make sure it really sticks.

Best Splurge: LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning

 LinkedIn Learning

What We Like

  • Large selection of courses

  • Courses for every skill level

  • Guaranteed quality despite the variety

What We Don't Like

  • Online-only

When it comes to variety, there’s no beating LinkedIn Learning. The service has too many courses to count, and thousands on SQL alone, so it’s no surprise that it’s on this list. Whether you just want a very basic video that explains what the point of SQL is or a detailed video going through the essentials, you’ll find what you need.

Even experienced SQL developers switching from one version to the next will find courses on here to catch you up on exactly what you need to know. No matter what your background is, if you want to take that step into SQL, you’ll find the right course to get started on LinkedIn Learning.

However, all courses on LinkedIn Learning require the subscription, which will cost you either $350 annually or $34.89 monthly.

Runner-Up, Best Splurge: DataCamp

DataCamp

 DataCamp

What We Like

  • Interactive courses

  • Mobile app

  • Free for schools

What We Don't Like

  • Online-only

  • $400 per year for the full package

DataCamp has several courses on SQL available on their website, and three so-called “Skill Tracks”, which are bundles of courses. The three skill tracks cover SQL basics such as querying, filtering, and joins, as well as how to work with SQL Server and even advanced SQL Server techniques, such as writing more efficient queries.

The first chapter of every course is free, but if you want anything more than that, you’ll have to subscribe to DataCamp, which will set you back $400 a year for the full package. However, classes wanting to work with DataCamp will be pleased to know that the service is free for classes, all you have to do is sign up as such (although they’ll have to verify it first of course).

Best Career-Focussed: 200+ SQL Interview Questions on Udemy

Udemy

 Udemy

What We Like

  • Great practice for job interviews

  • Provides lots of tips for experienced SQL users

What We Don't Like

  • It's not meant for beginners

If you already have some SQL experience and are applying for jobs that require it, then this is the course for you. Less a course than a large selection of practice material with some tips, 200+ SQL Interview Questions on Udemy will help you get through your application interview unscathed. With a whole array of different questions at varying skill levels depending on the type of job, you’ll be able to practice the kind of thinking that these SQL interview questions demand from you. Obviously, there’s no guarantee you’ll be hired on the spot, but acing a question about optimization can’t hurt.

However, this course isn’t meant for SQL beginners. If you have little to no experience with SQL, then you’ll have more than a hard time with some of these questions, but once you’ve gathered some experience with the other courses on this list, you might feel up to the challenge.