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What Online SQL Courses Are Best for Finance and Economics Majors?

Are you studying finance and wondering how you can use your knowledge in this technical world? Maybe you’ve just started working as a data analyst and you want to bring new tools and skills to your workplace? This article could help you with the list of the SQL courses worth trying.

Maybe you’re studying finance and find your studies too theoretical. How will you put this knowledge into practice? I can relate to that! Twenty years ago, when I studied finance – and now I’m sounding old – it was impossible for me to gain any worthwhile technical skills during my studies. This was back when Excel was still considered magical, with its ability to perform various calculations or create a simple chart.

I assume today’s economics students are much more technically skilled. But your studies probably don’t equip you with enough technical skills to prosper in today’s data-centric world. There are also many companies lagging behind, still not fully using tools like SQL. I know because I’ve worked at several of them! Having to do things “the old way” can lead to frustration and disillusionment. We could be doing the same thing quicker and more accurately. And we could provide more useful insights – but only if someone changed “the old way”!

Why Learn SQL?

SQL (short for Structured Query Language) is a great tool for data analysis and reporting. It was released in 1986 and was the language used to talk to databases. Nowadays, SQL has become the standard language for working with data. Most technologies that process data – e.g. relational databases, Big Data technologies, Google Spreadsheets, and even NoSQL databases – use it.

SQL is becoming an important part of a data analyst’s toolkit, even though this language has been traditionally associated with IT. That’s because it's no longer possible to lock yourself blindly in your field of expertise, with everything outside of that being "the other guy's job". Cross-disciplinary knowledge is increasingly required of a good data analyst.

By adding technical skills to your economics knowledge, you can be more independent from the tech department. And you can more easily communicate your problems to them when you do need help. Having both business and technical knowledge can be very valuable to your employer (or to clients, if you’re a freelancer).

With all that being said, we’ve created a list of ten SQL courses that can enhance your economics knowledge with technical skills.

Best online SQL courses

The 10 Best Online SQL Courses for Economics Students

1. Excel to MySQL: Analytic Techniques for Business (Coursera)

This specialization is specifically designed to provide you with the skills to use SQL in the business world. The track is provided by Coursera and developed by Duke University. It will teach you how to analyze data, create forecasts and models, and design your visualizations. To achieve that, you will use tools such as Excel, Tableau, and MySQL.

The Excel to MySQL specialization consists of five courses:

  • Business Metrics for Data-Driven Companies
  • Mastering Data Analysis in Excel
  • Data Visualization and Communication with Tableau
  • Managing Big Data with MySQL
  • Increasing Real Estate Management Profits: Harnessing Data Analytics

You can complete the whole specialization or simply take a few of the courses.

By completing this track, you will learn the most significant business metrics and how to use them to make your company more profitable and competitive. You will be able to implement realistic predictive models based on data, provide decision-makers with valuable information, and reduce the uncertainty of decision-making. You’ll have a better understanding of relational databases and data collection. And you’ll know some useful SQL queries for accessing and analyzing data.

This track is video-based and offers a flexible schedule. The spoken language is English, and subtitles are provided in English and several other languages. If you dedicate six hours a week to this specialization, you will complete it in approximately seven months.

You have to be registered on Coursera to take this learning track. There's a 7-day free trial; after that, you'll pay $49 per month.

2. SQL Reporting (LearnSQL.com)

Provided by LearnSQL.com, the SQL Reporting track requires you to have a basic knowledge of SQL before you start. Unlike the offering above, which combines several tools, this track focuses solely on SQL.

This is the only interactive learning path on our list (other than our bonus course, SQL Basics, which is on the same platform); interactive courses are probably the best way to learn to program online. Unlike just watching videos, this approach regularly gives you tasks that you have to solve before moving to the next step.

This learning track consists of two courses:

  • Creating Basic SQL Reports
  • Revenue Trend Analysis in SQL

If you take these two courses, you’ll go into deep detail about the GROUP BY function, including:

  • Grouping by ID instead of name.
  • Using non-aggregated columns in GROUP BY.
  • What to do when columns in GROUP BY are not in SELECT.
  • Combining CASE WHEN and GROUP BY.
  • Computing proportions and percentages in SQL.
  • How to use COUNT (*) with a left join. (This solves a lot of problems!)

When you complete this track, you’ll know how to access data and create complex, multi-level reports in SQL. You'll understand how to analyze revenue trends and trends in general. This will give you the skills to prepare finance comparisons, such as month-to-month, quarter-to-quarter, revenue by time and by category, quarterly revenue across years, etc.

This is an interactive track that will take you 20 hours to complete. It is also subscription-based. A basic subscription is $39 per month; this will give you access to 29 courses and 13 tracks, including this one.

3. Introduction to using SQL for Reporting (Udemy)

Before embarking on this course, it’s recommended that you already have some basic SQL and relational database knowledge. This is a course created specifically for using SQL as a reporting tool for business purposes; as you might guess from the title, the main topic is reporting.

The course is based on the Oracle database. If you haven’t had an opportunity to work with Oracle, this could be a good chance to do so.

Introduction to Using SQL for Reporting covers topics like sorting data with ORDER BY, filtering data with WHERE, and using subqueries. You will learn single-row functions (e.g. character, conversion, numeric, and date functions) and aggregate functions (e.g. counting, summing, averages, minimum, maximum, and grouping functions). TOAD (Tools for Oracle Application Development) for Oracle is also covered, and you’ll use real-world examples to create reports.

The four hours of video making up this course are provided by Udemy at the regular price of 109.99 EUR/USD. At the time of writing, there’s a discounted price of 12.99 EUR/USD.

4. SQL - MySQL for Data Analytics and Business Intelligence (Udemy)

Here’s another Udemy SQL course – this time, focusing on MySQL. Anyone that aspires to SQL-based jobs – such as business analyst, SQL developer, etc. – should look into it. No previous SQL knowledge is needed.

Finishing this course will equip you with theoretical knowledge about relational databases, constraints, and coding techniques and best practices. You will also learn how to use basic SQL commands, aggregate functions, joins, subqueries, self joins, views, and stored routines. There’s also an advanced part that tackles variables, triggers, indexes, and CASE statements. You’ll also learn how to combine SQL and Tableau to perform and visualize analyses.

There are 9.5 hours of video-based training in this course. The regular price is 194.99 EUR/USD. At the time of writing, a discounted price of 12.99 EUR/USD is being offered.

5. SQL for Business Analysts (DataCamp)

Like the previous two courses, SQL for Business Analysts is also designed mainly for people with an economic background who want to spice it up with SQL. To complete this track, you’ll have to finish five courses:

  • Exploratory Data Analysis in SQL
  • Data-Driven Decision Making in SQL
  • Applying SQL to Real-World Problems
  • Analyzing Business Data in SQL
  • Reporting in SQL

On the way, you’ll get to know relational databases and how to obtain, store, and manage your data. You’ll learn to write SQL queries using GROUP BY, LEFT JOIN, EXISTS, UNION, and subqueries. The track also covers using OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) extensions for SQL, such as CUBE, ROLLUP, and GROUPING SETS.

SQL for Business Analysts is a video-based track that takes 20 hours to complete. It is subscription-based, with $25 per month giving you access to 44 courses on the DataCamp site.

6. SQL for Data Science (Coursera)

Don't let the “data science” in this track from the University of California, Davis scare you off. SQL for Data Science is basic enough to provide good insight into SQL, and it doesn’t go too deep into data science (which you're probably not ready for yet). The track consists of four courses:

  • Getting Started and Selecting & Retrieving Data with SQL
  • Filtering, Sorting and Calculating Data with SQL
  • Subqueries and Joins in SQL
  • Modifying and Analyzing Data with SQL

If you finish all the courses, you'll be able to understand relationships within a database and SQL’s basic syntax rules. You’ll use commands that filter, group, and sort data, such as WHERE, BETWEEN, IN, OR, NOT, LIKE, ORDER BY, GROUP BY. You’ll also learn how to perform calculations in SQL by using AVERAGE, COUNT, MAX, and MIN. The track will teach you how to use subqueries and all types of joins and how to modify and analyze data.

It will take you approximately 20 hours to finish this video-based course; that’s four weeks at 3-5 hours per week. Like our other Coursera pick, this is a subscription-based course. There's a free seven-day trial; after that, the price is $39 per month.

7. The Complete Oracle SQL Certification Course (Udemy)

This is one of the most popular Udemy courses. Even though this course is nominally intended for aspiring SQL developers, it covers everything you need to get started with data analysis. It's a video-based course that offers 10 hours of material, with no previous coding experience needed.

This course will teach you how to prepare data for the database and how to write single-table queries using basic SQL commands. Besides that, it’ll lead you through multi-table queries; creating, altering, and deleting objects with SQL; using single-row and aggregate functions, and working with joins. The course also covers all the topics required for getting your Oracle SQL certification, which can come in handy if that’s your goal.

As with other Udemy courses, there’s a discount available at the time of writing. The regular price is 194.99 EUR/USD, but you can purchase it for 12.99 EUR/USD.

8. The Complete SQL Bootcamp (Udemy)

Even though this Udemy course is not specifically designed for data analysts, the Complete SQL Bootcamp covers a variety of useful topics. Unlike the other courses, this one uses PostgreSQL, so it's handy if you need to get familiar with this database management system.

After finishing this training, you'll master the fundamentals of SQL queries and commands. You’ll also dabble in aggregate functions, joins, and creating, deleting, and altering databases. Additionally, it will show you how to use PostgreSQL with Python, in case you’re interested in finding out what Python is all about.

There are 8.5 hours of video in this course. The regular price is 194.99 EUR/USD, currently discounted to 12.99 EUR/USD.

9. SQL & Power BI: Your Data Analytics & Visualisation Journey (Udemy)

Unlike other courses, this one teaches you how to use SQL and visualize data with Power BI instead of Tableau. The course's primary focus is data visualization. Nevertheless, it covers a solid number of SQL topics, which will help you retrieve all the necessary data for your Power BI visualizations.

In SQL & Power BI, you’ll learn how to retrieve, filter, and aggregate data using the SELECT, FROM, WHERE, IN, LIKE, GROUP BY, and HAVING statements. Besides that, you’ll learn how to convert data types and how to clean the data using the ISNULL, COALESCE, CAST, CONVERT, and REPLACE statements. You’ll also use joins and window functions, such as ROW_NUMBER, RANK, and PARTITION.

After that, you'll learn how to connect Power BI with SQL. By combining these tools, you’ll be able to perform analyses and create the dashboards and reports needed in the business world.

As with other Udemy courses, this one is currently discounted to 12.99 EUR/USD. (The original price is 99.99 EUR/USD). For that price, you get 8.5 hours of video.

10. SQL Masterclass: SQL for Data Analytics (Udemy)

Here’s another PostgreSQL course, this one focusing on using SQL in data analysis.

SQL Masterclass will teach you the fundamental SQL statements needed to retrieve and modify data. You’ll learn how to filter, order, and group data. Along with that, you’ll explore aggregate functions, joins, subqueries, and indexes. The course also covers string functions, mathematical functions, date-time functions, and conversion functions.

There are 7.5 hours of video in this course. At the time of writing, you can get it for the discounted price of 12.99 EUR/USD. The original price is 199.99 EUR/USD.

Bonus: SQL Basics (LearnSQL.com)

This is an introductory course for anyone with zero SQL experience. It can be a useful stepping stone to courses requiring basic SQL knowledge, such as SQL Reporting.

This course will teach you how to retrieve data from the database using the WHERE condition and logical operators like AND, OR, and NOT. You’ll learn about the LIKE, ILIKE, IN, and BETWEEN operators. There’s also an introduction to joins, aggregate functions, subqueries, and the set operations UNION, INTERSECT, and EXCEPT.

Provided by the LearnSQL platform, SQL Basics is an interactive course that will take approximately 16 hours to complete. It’s subscription-based and costs $39 per month. This will give you access to 29 courses and 13 tracks, including this one.

Are You Ready to Become a Technically Skilled Data Analyst?

In this article, I've tried to give you some guidance on how to start learning SQL. Everything I've mentioned here should give you a good foundation in SQL. There are plenty of other courses out there; I've selected these because each one offers something a bit different. Of course, you have to choose which one is most suitable for you, depending on your needs, time, budget, etc.

Do you know a good SQL course that is not listed here? Or maybe you didn’t like one of the courses I’ve mentioned. Feel free to let me know in the comment section!

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