The tech sector is experiencing strong job growth. Should SQL be on your list of must-have skills?
If you’re even remotely interested in finding a new job, you’ve probably noticed that IT jobs are hot. Not only are a lot of these jobs available, they offer some pretty great opportunities to challenge yourself, grow, and build new skills. And the compensation tends to be pretty awesome too.
In today’s world, technology is evolving at an almost daily pace, and this is producing a flood of data that has to be managed. That’s where databases – and the people who build, manage, and work with them – become such a valuable asset. However, working with databases in just about any capacity requires a specific set of skills. And one of these skills is a knowledge of SQL.
SQL Is Here, There, and Everywhere
SQL, or Structured Query Language, is a special programming language that is widely used in database management. By writing a query in SQL, database users can pluck specific information from massive data sets and put it to use. You can read more about the value of SQL in this post.
Where is SQL being used? Thanks to database technologies like MySQL, PostgreSQL and Microsoft SQL Server, SQL is everywhere from small shops to hospitals, banks, universities, and huge multi-national corporations.Very soon, every one of us will have some kind of user experience with a database, whether it’s by way of building mobile apps or by using simple cloud storage solutions like Dropbox. That means the demand for people with database-related skills is growing.
— Vertabelo (@Vertabelo) January 2, 2017
You’ve no doubt heard of Big Data – the processing and analysis of massive amounts of information. In the not too distant past, storing and analyzing today’s huge data sets would have been impossible for all but the very largest organizations (and their very largest computing systems). Now, though, it is possible for the smallest of businesses to use Big Data in making decisions and coming up with new ideas and strategies. And guess what is at the heart of Big Data? Database technologies!
SQL Job Options
Both technical skills and your individual personality are important factors in finding the right job. Fortunately, SQL is so widely used that it covers a very diverse set of occupations. SQL-related jobs tend to fall into two categories: technical (programmers, database administrators) and analytical (data analysts, BI consultants) Let’s examine the differences.
SQL programmers and database administrators work primarily with the database itself. They have very complex technical knowledge and are familiar with different DB technologies like Oracle or MySQL. They spend a lot of time checking database statuses and updating, adding, or recovering data. They may also implement new IT solutions to keep the company’s data systems running smoothly.
Data analysts and consultants focus on the data itself and its applications – e.g. in a business setting. They need to be able to draw conclusions from the data. In addition to SQL, they use special tools dedicated to data analytics, such as the R programming language. “Soft skills” (communication, teamwork, organization) are very important to those on the analytical/business side of things. They may spend a lot of time implementing new IT solutions from the business side or creating new strategies to meet organizational goals. This kind of work is best described as blending engineering and business.
Getting Started with SQL
Are you interested in learning some SQL to boost your career but don’t know where to start? No problem! The Internet has lots of free tools and tutorials that can help you pick up the basics. Many database companies (like Oracle) offer free software that you can install on your computer; others (like Microsoft) offer free self-paced courses in database fundamentals. In short, there are many different free and paid training solutions. The most convenient allow you to learn SQL in your browser, without any additional software or special tutorials. Often, it doesn’t take all that many lessons before you can start writing and understanding SQL queries Vertabelo Academy’s SQL courses use this approach.
The future of the SQL job market is bright. No matter what your technical background, picking up some SQL will help you grow professionally. And if you choose to really delve into the world of databases after getting your feet wet with SQL, it can open up a whole new career path!