12 free or cheap online courses to learn SQL 4x3

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  • SQL (Structured Query Language) is a popular programming language, most commonly used in data analysis.
  • Careers that use SQL range from data science to full-stack engineering.
  • Below are 11 free or cheap online courses and programs you can take to learn SQL, from edX, Coursera, Codecademy, FutureLearn, LinkedIn Learning, and Udemy.

If you’ve eyed Glassdoor’s top careers and considered a job as a data scientist or software engineer, you’ve probably heard of Structured Query Language (SQL, often pronounced “sequel”). 

Along with Java and Python, SQL is one of the most widely used programming languages. It’s most often employed in organizing and managing relational data, making it ideal for data analysis. It’s also a little simpler to learn as a beginner than other coding languages, and can be a great skill to build on its own or in addition to another programming language like Python.

Like other coding classes, many great online SQL resources are either free, quick introductions (to see if you like it), or longer professional certificate programs that cost less than a master’s degree. Below are online courses from e-learning platforms such as edX, Coursera, Codecademy, FutureLearn, LinkedIn Learning, and Udemy, with some offered by schools like Harvard, Duke, the University of Michigan, and more.

11 free or cheap online courses and programs to learn SQL:

Introduction to Structured Query Language (SQL)

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Length: 4 weeks (4 hours per week)

Cost: Free with 7-day trial; $49 per month to keep learning after trial ends

The University of Michigan heads up this four-part course that walks students through everything from installing SQL to single table queries, database design, and many-to-many relationships.

Learning SQL for Non-Programmers

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Length: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Cost: Free with 1-month trial; $19.99 or $29.99 per month after trial ends

As the title suggests, this course is perfect for those who have some curiosity about SQL but feel overwhelmed about deciding on a specific career path just yet. This short course covers SQL basics such as tables in a relational database, foreign keys, queries, and common built-in functions.

Learn SQL Basics for Data Science

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Length: 4 months (5 hours per week)

Cost: Free with 7-day trial; $39 per month to keep learning after trial ends

Taught by the University of California, Davis, this four-part course specifically focuses on SQL for data science and touches upon data wrangling, AB testing, and distributed computing. Students end the class with a Capstone project where they develop a project proposal.

SQL for Data Science

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Length: 4 weeks (2-4 hours per week)

Cost: Free; $99 for certificate

Part of IBM’s professional certificate in Data Science, this free intro course is a great way to gauge your interest before committing to a paid, full program. Focusing on SQL and a bit of Python, this course covers SQL fundamentals, string patterns, and data analysis.

The Complete SQL Bootcamp

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Length: 9 hours of video

Cost: $23.99 (Originally $99.99)

This bestselling crash course is great for complete beginners, teaching students to get comfortable with SQL using real-life scenarios and exercises to test what they’ve learned as they go along. The course promises that students will be comfortable adding “SQL” to their resume once they’ve finished.

Excel to MySQL: Analytic Techniques for Business Specialization

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Length: 7 months (4 hours per week)

Cost: Free with 7-day trial; $49 per month to keep learning after trial ends

Led by Duke University, this course is perfect for those who want to apply datasets to solving real-life business problems. On top of covering SQL, the course also uses Excel and Tableau to analyze data and ends with a Capstone project where students propose improvements to a business using data analysis.

The Complete Oracle SQL Certification Course

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Length: 16.5 hours of video

Cost: $20.99 (Originally $149.99)

Another top-seller at Udemy, this course is intended for aspiring Oracle SQL Developers who already have some SQL experience under their belt. The video classes walk students through solving SQL code problems, understand the Oracle database, and prepare to take the Oracle 1Z0-071 Database SQL Exam.

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