If you’re fascinated by all things data, then learning the SQL computer language would be a good use of your time, especially if you’re looking for a career in database administration, software engineering, or other database roles.
Before you invest your energy in learning SQL, you might be thinking, What’s the job market is like for those with SQL skills? and, Is SQL in high demand? In this article, we break down what SQL is and the best jobs that use SQL. We’ll answer those questions and give insight into the industries hiring professionals with SQL skills.
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What Is SQL?
SQL (Structured Query Language) is a domain-specific language used to store, manage, and retrieve data in databases. SQL works with relational databases and helps to perform different operations in them. The language is used by developers to write data integration, and by data analysts to set up and run analytical queries.
Beyond these most common uses, SQL is also used to modify database tables and index structures. It also provides functions like adding, updating, and deleting rows of data. It can also be used to retrieve information packs from a database for processing and analyzing applications.
Is SQL in High Demand?
Yes. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, jobs related to SQL, such as data analysts and database administrators are projected to grow by 25 percent by 2030. As companies gather data on their users, they need data experts to harness that information to better serve their customers. You’ll have plenty of career opportunities with SQL under your belt.
Types of SQL Jobs
The career outlook for people with SQL skills is growing as the language can be applied in different industries. Below are some career roles where SQL is applicable in day-to-day operations. If you’re looking to make a career switch, you might find you already have some transferable skills that are relevant to jobs that use SQL.
Business Analysis Jobs
Business analysts look at company data to find gaps in systems and processes, and use this information to improve decision-making within the company. In analyst roles you would need knowledge of SQL to analyze the data. SQL skills in combination with business know-how and soft skills would make you highly marketable in the business world.
There are numerous database roles such as database developer, database administrator, and database engineer. One thing they have in common is that they all required SQL. The language is essentially the foundation of every data science career. To land a job in one of these areas, SQL should be at the top of your skill acquisition list.
Researchers work in industrial, government, or private institutions. Researchers use SQL to solve problems, predict trends, and explore issues that could be economic, technological, or social. A key responsibility in research is collecting and organizing data. If you are looking to have a career in research, learning SQL is worth your investment.
How to Establish a Career in SQL
Just as every career starts from somewhere, landing a career in SQL doesn’t happen overnight. It is a step-by-step process. Below are reliable steps to begin a career in SQL.
- Learn a programming language before SQL. Before taking up SQL, it’s a good idea to learn a programming language such as C++ or Java first. This is because languages like Java are often used with SQL, and with the knowledge you have, you will find SQL easier to navigate and be able to perform tasks quickly and efficiently.
- Learn how to secure your code. As a newcomer in the SQL career space, you need to learn how to secure your code, because they are prone to being lost due to failure of storage, or being stolen due to a hacking attempt. Securing your code can boost your confidence and give a firm foundation as you start your career.
- Improve your skills. To be much more confident in your career, don’t just learn. Try to put everything you’ve learning into practice. Create programs for people or companies. By doing this, you are improving your skill in real-time, gaining experience, and learning more. Not only that, you become more creative and more resourceful.
- Craft out your resume. Now that you have a knowledge of SQL, it’s time to craft a resume that will pique the interest of potential employers. Write your resume to communicate your skills, strengths, and certifications. Review your resume and make sure it has a strong suit for landing you a job.
The 15 Best Jobs That Use SQL
If you are planning a career path in the tech industry, then SQL is an in-demand skill to possess. SQL is the fourth-most used language by developers worldwide. Knowledge of SQL is a basic requirement for landing one of the high-paying jobs. Below are the top 15 jobs that use SQL.
|Job Title||Average Salary||Job Outlook|
|Big Data Engineer||$130,674||22%*|
|SQL Server Developer||$103,647||22%**|
|Quality Assurance Tester||$62,876||22%**|
*Job outlook has been sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics data on Computer and Information Research Scientists
**Job outlook has been sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics data on Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and Testers
***Job outlook has been sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics data on Database Administrators
What Careers Use SQL? An In-Depth List
SQL is a basic tool in data analysis. It is used for accessing and analyzing data that is stored in relational databases. The major work of a data analyst is to analyze data through various means including statistics, graphical representation, and calculations. Data analysts possess strong Excel and programming skills because that is the major part of their work.
Database administrators are some of the most important people needed in an organization. They use SQL to manage all forms of data and make sure everything is running smoothly. They install and configure databases, handle data security, database programming, and are also in charge of recovering data in cases of loss or theft and backing it up as a recovery plan.
Software consultants work in database administration and maintenance services, MS SQL database troubleshooting, database development services, and other related administrative tasks. They give information and create different kinds of database solutions. In summary, they deal with everything that has to do with software and its services.
Database developers design, modify, and edit databases using SQL. They also use SQL to check for errors or issues in an existing database design. They are in charge of database performance and optimization, data transformation and loading, reporting, and querying. Database developers make sure that large databases are easy to use for database managers.
Software developers use SQL in the design and use of the software they create. They also handle the documentation of how each step of the process of creation will go. The services of software developers are in high demand due to the emergence of technology in almost all sectors.
Data scientists work with data to give insights or extract knowledge using math skills, programming skills, statistics, and domain scientific knowledge. Data scientists use SQL in relational databases in order to fetch the required data from a large mass of data. Data scientists use their analytical skills to interpret data and inform business decisions.
.NET developers specialize in building software for Microsoft Windows platforms. They work with software that is compatible with Microsoft such as SQL Server Management Studio. These developers write code with these languages and develop architecture and interfaces for software.
ETL developers are a type of software engineers. Their role is to oversee the extract, transform, and load process of company data from one source to another. The main job roles of ETL developers is to move and process raw company data into a useable form. ETL developers use SQL in all aspects of the ETL process.
SQL Server Developer
SQL server developers are responsible for designing, developing, and maintaining SQL databases. They deal with database management and attend to any SQL query that arises. With their deep knowledge of SQL, SQL server developers help companies organize, store, access data to inform business decisions.
Big Data Engineer
Big data engineers are tasked with designing, developing, and maintaining complex data processing systems. They are involved in the collection, storage, and dissemination of data throughout a company. SQL is one of the key skills used by big data engineers. This role has bright career potential as big data engineers are in high demand and well paid.
Journalists must collect information, analyze it, then assemble and write in a presentable manner, then broadcast and distribute it as news. Often, they have to dig through data to find facts to back up their stories. Having SQL knowledge makes the work easier because of the ability to sort through voluminous data to get the information needed.
If you have a passion for teaching, your SQL skills could be useful in higher education, especially for students in the programming, engineering, and other information science or data science courses. As SQL is a popular programming language, students will be keen to learn it.
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When researchers go into the field, they collect data that they later have to analyze and make inferences from to solve problems and predict trends. Researchers in all fields can use SQL to sort through the large amounts of data collected.
Quality Assurance Tester
Quality assurance testers use SQL to check new software for mobile apps, gaming systems, or web applications. They run tests to improve the quality, identify possible errors, and provide extensive reports and documentation. Companies hire them to determine if the data fed into the software is in line with the data listed from the source.
Should You Get a Job in SQL?
Yes, getting a job in SQL is a move you should make if you are looking for a job with a bright career outlook and growth opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, data scientists are among the 30 fastest growing careers between 2020 and 2030. Armed with SQL skills, you will never be out of employment.
Jobs That Use SQL FAQ
Can I get a job in SQL without a degree?
Yes. Companies in need of SQL skills also recruit applicants who possess the key skills even if you haven’t been to college. You can learn all you need to know in SQL through a coding bootcamp and be employed using your new skills within a few months.
Is SQL applicable to other fields apart from data science?
SQL is highly sought in business, education, health, journalism, and many other fields. Find out the best jobs that use coding in the tech industry.
How long does it take to learn SQL?
This depends on your learning pace and what areas you are looking to cover. You can learn the basics in as little as two weeks, however, it depends on how you apply yourself. Read this guide for more tips on how to learn SQL.
Which SQL is most in demand?
At the moment, MySQL is one of the most popular databases used with SQL.