How Long Does It Take to Learn SQL?

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You work with databases. However, you have had enough of dealing with sluggish Excel, searching for data in countless tables and rows. This is a sign that it's time to find a much better tool. SQL will help! But how long does it take to learn SQL?

Let's start from the beginning. SQL, which stands for “Structured Query Language,” was created for managing data held in relational databases. It was developed in the 70s by Raymond Boyce and Donald Chamberlin, who worked at IBM at the time.

SQL has become the standard in communication with relational database servers. Many modern relational database systems use SQL to communicate with users, which is why it is commonly said that using relational databases is using SQL.

One of its biggest advantages is that it has been standardized. In 1986, SQL became an official standard. It was supported by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and its member, the American National Institute for Standardization (ANSI).

In 1992 and 2003, this standard was expanded to include further functions. However, it still retained its structure. This means that when you learn SQL, you can be sure that everyone in the world uses the same language and the knowledge acquired will not go out of use. The newest version of the standard was published in 2016.

How Popular Is SQL?

Is the 40-year-old language used to write database queries still popular? Just look at the independent Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2019. In the rankings, based on the responses of professional developers, SQL came third, ahead of Python, Java, C, C#, and PHP, among others. At 56.5 percent, it's only less popular than HTML/CSS and JavaScript.

Most Popular Technologies

It can be safely assumed that for many years SQL will be at the forefront of the most popular languages and will not disappear from the market. It is extremely sought after by employers. It can be the main language, especially for analysts, marketers, or accountants, as well as a complement to the set of skills of programmers, system developers, and administrators.

Show Me the Money!

Average salary od an SQL expert

How much will I earn? This is one of the key questions that can determine the choice of language to learn. The same Stack Overflow study makes it clear—it's definitely worth learning SQL. The list, based on the responses of users on one of the most popular platforms for programmers and developers, indicates that knowing SQL and working in the United States as an analyst or Database Administrator (DBA) will bring an annual income of up to $110,000. You have to admit, it's a pretty reasonable salary. Imagine yourself writing a database query and a fat sum of money being transferred to your bank account every month. Not bad!

How Hard Is It to Learn SQL?

The question remains, how hard is it to learn SQL? If you've ever tried to learn any programming language, even C, Python, or Java, you know that you have to deal with difficult commands and functions. SQL is much simpler.

SQL is based primarily on logical sentences called queries. What does this mean? Instead of wondering how to extract data from a database, you just need to know exactly what data you need, and SQL will find it. This language uses English words that we type almost intuitively. All you need to do is master the basics to write queries quickly and efficiently.

So, How Fast Can I Learn SQL?

It all depends on you, including how motivated you are and which resource you plan to use. I recommend Vertabelo Academy courses. This is the best place to learn SQL. Our courses are interactive and contain a lot of practical exercises. We believe that you will only be able to learn SQL well by writing queries and practicing the acquired knowledge with examples from real life.

You can do individual courses. However, a much better idea is choosing the SQL First Aid bundle. Why? It contains the necessary basics so that you can start working with SQL. In addition, it is much cheaper than buying five separate courses.

Let's see how long it takes to master SQL with the SQL First Aid bundle. Make sure you start with the SQL Basics course. Here, you will learn the basics of syntax and quickly move on to writing more complex queries. You will first learn how to extract data from one table. Later you will discover methods of working on more than one table, how to join them and grouping query results. All this you can immediately apply in everyday work.

The SQL Basics course should take you a maximum of 10 hours to complete it. During this time, you will learn how to retrieve information from a database. You will also be able to build basic reports from scratch and write complex WHERE conditions using logical operators like AND, OR, and NOT. You will also be able to work with multiple tables, combine them using JOIN functions, and group data using aggregate functions. After completing this course, you will also easily write complex subqueries.

Imagine the moment you become an SQL user. You will find yourself in an elite group of people who understand databases, can process them, and have a chance to get good money for it.

The next course, SQL JOINs, should take about 10 hours. JOIN functions are one of the most fundamental and commonly used features of the SQL language. It's safe to say that at least a basic knowledge of querying data from more than one table is an absolute must for every SQL user.

Then it's time for the Create Tables in SQL course. It contains 177 interactive exercises that will help you master creating and changing tables and adding and deleting data. You will discover how to change table structure using ALTER TABLE and will be able to decide when and how to use views. This course should take you no more than 12 hours.

Once you learn the basics, you'll be able to move on to more advanced topics. In the Standard SQL Functions course, you will learn how to utilize common SQL text and numeric functions, select and implement SQL date and time functions, and work with NULLs and advanced aggregate functions. You will get to practice your skills on 211 interactive exercises, which should take you less than 18 hours. This is a large dose of useful knowledge that is worth knowing.

Finally, you will practice everything in the SQL Practice Set. We believe that mastering SQL is a hands-on experience. Thanks to well-designed exercises, you will see how much you have learned. The course takes 10 hours. The last two parts of the course comprise a special challenge that combines all material for a comprehensive review.

SQL train

When we add up the hours needed to do the above courses, we get 60 hours. That's all it takes to learn SQL. If you did everything without any break, it would be enough for just two and a half days. Of course, no one can sit in front of the computer without a break. You have to sleep, eat, and do other things. So, plan your study schedule well.

How to Plan to Study SQL Daily

Let's assume that we decide to devote 2 hours a day to learning SQL. With the right motivation and focus, getting to know SQL well enough to be able to use it for complex tasks, we need 30 days. It's only a month. This is all that separates us from being an expert in one of the most popular languages in the IT industry.

How to Plan to Study SQL Daily

It is worth managing your time well while studying. The most important thing is consistency. Don't know how to schedule time every day for SQL? Find a helpful application.

I use Google Calendar every day. It allows me to make a plan and reminds me of scheduled activities and events. There are many alternative applications on the web, both for Android and iOS.

Check out, TimeTune, or Evernote. Most of these solutions can also be used as browser add-ons. It is helpful in learning tools, thanks to which you will not deviate from the previously chosen path. Oh, and if you get distracted by the internet, you may like to explore some online distraction killers.

Motivation will also be important. Think about how your life will change as you learn SQL. Think about all that you can achieve. Each completed exercise will bring you closer to your goal.

Tell your family and friends that you are learning SQL. Such a public declaration will help you find the strength to continue. Others may support you and remind you of your purpose. It is very useful, especially in times of doubt.

Why Vertabelo Academy?

Now you know how long it takes to learn SQL. Vertabelo Academy is one of the best places for achieving your goal. Don't know which course bundle to choose? In this article, we suggest the best options.

People from all over the world use our courses. One of our largest clients is Uber. The trust of this company speaks for itself. Our courses are well thought out, logically arranged, and give you the opportunity to practice real-world tasks.

Our experts are here to help! They will answer your questions and provide hints when you come across difficult tasks. There is also a vibrant community of users who support each other and share their experiences.

What more could you want? Don't wait any longer. Start learning today.


There are many ways to learn SQL. People might tell you to watch some YouTube clips or read a book. However, until you start writing SQL queries yourself, which you will in our courses, everything will just be theory for you. Practice is the key.

Choose courses at Vertabelo Academy, and learn SQL from scratch. Get a dream job and change your life. I did it, and you can too!

Jakub Romanowski

Jakub was a journalist for various news television stations for many years. Then, he fell in love with programming, and it changed his life. At Vertabelo, he attracts and retains clients through content marketing. In his free time, he enjoys playing football with his son, reading science fiction, training in martial arts, and cooking for his family and friends.

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