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Our Picks for 2020’s 7 Best Online SQL Schools

If you’re looking for the best online SQL courses but aren’t sure where to start, you’re in the right place. I evaluated the top 7 ranked SQL schools available online to help you find the right solution.

While summer is a great time to relax and get away from work, it’s also an excellent opportunity to learn new skills – like SQL! Thanks to SQL schools putting their courses on the internet, learning new tech skills is super easy and you can choose from a variety of formats to suit your needs.

Obviously, not every SQL school will be right for you. That’s why you should look for your perfect SQL academy.

Which Online SQL Schools Are the Best?

Well, it depends! While one SQL academy will explain concepts through text, others will rely on multimedia (videos and images). But at the end of the day, the best online SQL courses are those that help users apply the concepts. This makes it easier to sharpen and retain new skills.

Let’s take a look at the best online SQL schools on the market. They are not listed in any particular order.

Codecademy


Codecademy is an online learning platform for programming in general; it offers the following three SQL courses:

  • Learn SQL (7h) – A good guide for beginners. You learn how to use SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, and ALTER statements. The course also covers SELECT queries and aggregate functions.
  • SQL: Table Transformation (3h) – Presents issues about subqueries, set operations, and standard SQL functions. It is for intermediate users.
  • SQL: Analyzing Business Metrics (1h) – Covers data analysis with data aggregation. It is for intermediate users.
  • Analyze data with SQL – Intended for beginners who want to obtain skills in analyzing data with SQL. This course covers SQL basics, querying SQL, using aggregate functions to calculate data, joining sources of data, and applying your knowledge to solve real business problems.

Overall, Codeacademy’s SQL courses cover fundamental SQL concepts, but they don’t cover some important issues like ORDER BY and IN with a list of columns, or the HAVING clause. This SQL school also doesn’t contain set operations with the MINUS operator or subqueries with the ALL, ANY, EXISTS, and NOT EXISTS operators.

Each course consists of a panel divided into three sections: text explaining the concepts with instructions and template code, a console where you can paste the template code, and an area that displays the results of the database schema. The one downside of the “Learn SQL” course is that most of its exercises hold your hand and guide you towards the answer instead of encouraging you to solve them on your own. Despite that, I think it’s still quite a good SQL academy for beginners.

You can upgrade your account to the paid Pro version, which offers a personalized learning plan to track your progress and remote tutors who can help you with your learning process. The pro version also gives you access to realistic projects that help you apply your skills.

Khan Academy


Khan Academy iis an online learning platform that covers a wide range of subjects, not just those in programming. In terms of its SQL school, Khan Academy offers a free course, Intro to SQL: Querying and managing data, that consists of the following sections:

  • SQL basics
  • Advanced SQL queries
  • Relational queries in SQL
  • Modifying databases with SQL
  • Further learning with SQL

All courses from Khan Academy’s SQL school rely on video tutorials to explain subjects. They are supplemented with challenges that help you practice SQL exercises online through a console interface that displays your code and its result set.

Each section of Khan Academy’s course ends with a project, but there are no quizzes to test your knowledge. You can also create your own projects and share your work with other members of the Khan Academy community, ask questions, and help others.

This SQL academy provides essential knowledge of SQL fundamentals, but some beginner concepts are omitted. Overall, the course is ideal for beginners, so if you’re looking for more advanced topics, it’s not the best option.

SQL Teaching


SQL Teaching is an interactive SQL school available for free. The tutorial is divided into lessons that consist of short explanations with one example and an exercise to help you practice what you learned. You’ll get feedback when you run your code. However, their user interface is a bit dated, and they don’t offer any quizzes to test your knowledge. All in all, SQL Teaching is a good SQL academy for beginners, but not for advanced users.

SQLBolt

SQLBolt is a free interactive SQL platform that does not require registration. In each lesson, you’ll get a rundown of the theory followed by an exercise with an SQL console. As in the other platforms, you’ll get feedback on your submission. In terms of advanced topics, this SQL school is lacking in content, but it hits all the basics.

SQLZoo

SQLZoo is a free interactive SQL course that doesn’t require registration (unless you want to comment in the discussion section). Each lesson is very short and is followed by several practice SQL exercises. Each tutorial finishes with a quiz that tests your knowledge of the concepts you learned. SQLZoo teaches the fundamentals of SQL. Apart from the very basics, you won’t find information about intermediate SQL concepts in this SQL academy.

W3Schools


The W3Schools SQL Tutorial is a free interactive online course for learning SQL that does not require registration. It’s one of the most popular websites for learning SQL. Each lesson consists of a short rundown of some SQL syntax, followed by examples and diagrams. You can use the Try it Yourself button to visit their SQL console and experiment with their datasets. Each tutorial wraps things up with a quiz. Like most other courses, W3Schools explains the fundamentals of SQL; thus, it’s a good online SQL school for beginners only.

LearnSQL.com

LearnSQL.com is an online platform designed to help you master SQL. It offers plenty of interactive courses that range in difficulty from beginner to advanced. Each course delivers both theoretical knowledge and hands-on exercises so that you can solidify these new ideas.

If you get stuck,a ‘Hint’ helps resolve the task. You can also turn to our learning community for more help. And everything is in the browser; no need to download a dataset, connect to a server, or set up a database.

LearnSQL.com

LearnSQL.com allows you to choose from a full learning track, mini-courses to sharpen targeted skills, and individual courses. You can also select the SQL dialect (Standard SQL, MS SQL, or PostgreSQL) that best suits your needs.

A track is a set of courses geared to a specific SQL skill (aka a “course track.”) The full track allows you to become a SQL master – even if you’ve never coded before. You start with the basics, then discover advanced SQL functions and features. Mini tracks develop your skills in one area (e.g. creating reports) or to a certain level (e.g. advanced SQL).

The best part is that there are tons of online SQL exercises at your disposal! You’ll get hands-on experience in writing queries using realistic data. At the end of every course, you’ll be given a comprehensive quiz to make sure you’re on track for success.

LearnSQL.com

With reasonable pricing, a supportive online community, help when you need it, and an interactive user interface, LearnSQL.com offers everything that beginners and pros alike need in an online SQL course. Here are some of the learning options on offer:

  • SQL from A to Z: Available in Standard SQL, PostgreSQL, and MS SQL Server dialects, this full track is great for complete beginners who want to learn SQL to develop reports, perform data analysis, work with a database, and do other moderately complex tasks. Go from SQL basics to writing recursive queries and developing your own custom functions.
  • SQL Fundamentals: This mini-track gives you what you need to get going in SQL: basic commands, standard functions, and CRUD (create, update, delete) operations.
  • Advanced SQL: Perfect for people who want to deepen their SQL skills, this mini-track goes in-depth on windows functions, GROUP BY extensions, and recursive queries.

Other tracks and courses are available; check out LearnSQL.com for more info.

Summary

In this article, you’ve learned about my choices for online SQL schools and you’ve learned why I believe these are the best SQL courses. Let’s summarize it in a few points:

  • Interactivity and lots of practice material are key to mastering writing queries. For users, it’s very convenient when all elements are at hand.
  • Free courses offer solid information, but they are usually not going to be enough if you plan on a professional career in SQL programming.
  • Not every SQL school on this list provides a certification of completion. If you plan on attaching certification to your resume (or if certification is required by your employer), be careful to check that before starting a course.

Below is a table summarizing all the information we covered:

7 Best SQL Online Schools

SQL school Difficulty Practice materials Format Pricing Cumulative quizzes Certifications
Codecademy beginner to intermediate no text free/paid yes yes
Khan Academy beginner yes video free yes no
SQLBolt beginner yes text free no no
SQL Teaching beginner yes text free no no
SQLZoo beginner yes text free yes no
W3Schools beginner no text free no yes
LearnSQL.com beginner to advanced yes text free/paid yes yes
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