What is SQL?

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Structured Query Language, which is simply known as SQL, is the programming language that developers use to communicate with database systems.

The appropriate use of data drives business productivity and growth. While data abounds, it takes skilled database developers and data analysts to turn data resources into beneficial information. Database developers use SQL to write code that efficiently queries databases; they can also modify the structure of databases using SQL programs. Because nearly all aspects of business support and operational activities rely on databases, people who have SQL expertise are in high demand within the global software development community.

Here are some careers for which SQL experts qualify, insight into gaining SQL skills and the credentials that make technology professionals attractive to employers who are seeking SQL developers.

SQL Developer Careers

There is a federal mandate for healthcare facilities to convert all of their paper medical records to digital formats. This has created a niche career path for people who have both database development skills and experience working in the healthcare industry. These SQL developers design databases that must accommodate numerous records. They also upgrade databases to improve their organizations’ efficiency.

One of the main concerns of SQL developers of healthcare database systems is building databases that help users to comply with patient privacy regulations. Additionally, SQL developers work in a number of industries like insurance and financial services that use data to determine the types of financial products and services to offer clients. These finance professionals depend on SQL databases to quickly and efficiently conduct quantitative analysis.

Acquiring SQL Skills

Many people begin their careers in SQL development by earning bachelor’s degrees in computer science or related fields.

Others work in career fields that are not as challenging as software development or where job growth looks dismal. These people often return to school to earn associate’s degrees in computer technology. Both types of people generally keep their skills fresh by taking SQL professional development training that can be found through online and traditional venues.

SQL Certifications and Credentials

Certification in areas like SQL development and database administration is a confidence builder for developers and an easy way for employers to verify candidates’ skills. These types of certifications are especially important to SQL practitioners who want to cross train into the growing career field from other disciplines. Microsoft and Oracle administer SQL related certifications that accommodate a variety of skill sets and that are recognized around the world.

Work Experience

Most SQL database development positions require that applicants have some form of related degree or certificate as well as some years of experience. After gaining necessary academic degrees or professional development credentials, those who want to cross train into the database development career path can gain experience by volunteering their services to industry associations or non-profit organizations. They can also build their portfolio of work by contracting their skills out as freelancers; these information technology specialists can do this type of work while they prepare to leave their day jobs.


Programmers who work as SQL developers design and modify database systems for clients who have unique data requirements. This involves creating user-friendly ways of finding and retrieving data, generating data warehouses and ensuring that database systems are secure against access and data manipulation by unauthorized persons. The people who have experience writing structured query language code, as well as those who conduct data analysis by using SQL databases, find that there are a number of job opportunities across many industries.

Related: Most Affordable Online Database Management Degree Programs (Bachelor’s)

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