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Why learn SQL?

Learning SQL can be one of the best career decisions you will ever make. Importantly, there’s a high potential salary and you’ll be able to gain insights into the workings of your business.

What is SQL?

SQL stands for Structured Query Language. It’s a language for interacting with data and data structures within a relational database management system. There are four basic operations that SQL can perform. They are: insert, select, update and delete.

What are databases?

A database is an organised collection of data. Typically a company will store order and customer data in a database. The database is made up of tables. Tables store rows of data in a structured format defined by columns. You can think of it like Excel spreadsheets. When you are writing SQL queries, you are pulling information from the rows of data store in tables within the database.

So now you know what SQL is, why should you learn it?

It’s a highly sought-after skill

There are over 462 jobs asking for SQL as a skill on (as of 27 August 2019). Compare this with 52 for C++, 58 for PHP, 231 for Python or 314 for Javascript and you’ll see why it’s worth learning SQL.

For the wages

The average SQL developer salary in Ireland is €50,549, according to Indeed, and $87,000 for developers in the USA. As the mean wage in Ireland is €38,900, this represents wages 23% higher than the mean for SQL developers.

To avoid relying on colleagues and reports

You’ll be able to finally answer those questions you need in your own time, without emailing co-workers to track down data or relying on general reports that don’t quite answer your questions. Questions such as how did our sales last year compare with 2017? What is our average customer rating? How have our expenses changed since 2 years ago? You’ll be able to pull the answers to these questions using SQL.

You won’t have to deal with Excel

We all know how Excel crashes when there’s too many rows in a spreadsheet. It’s a great tool of course, but not designed for millions of rows of data, going back years. So SQL will allow you to access relational databases, so you can dig deeper and go back further in analysing data.

You’ll save time

Once you’ve worked out the query you need, you can just reopen and rerun the query to produce the same report. You’d save a large amount of time not having to manually produce reports that could be automated.

So it’s clear that SQL is a valuable, in demand skill. As businesses focus more and more on data, they are looking for individuals with the skills to access and analyse that data.

Find out more about the ICS SQL for beginners course.

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