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Top 5 MS SQL Server Courses for Beginners

Every journey, including a career change, begins with the first step. If you're thinking about learning data analysis or strengthening your MS SQL Server skills arsenal, you've come to the right place. Here are the top 5 MS SQL Server online courses. Enjoy!

You've probably heard that today’s organizations rely heavily on data analysis. You heard right. They are looking for employees who can navigate the world of databases and draw conclusions from data. These are the basics of modern strategic decision-making and the first step towards earning money!

You need a good tool for that. I recommend MS SQL Server. Ok, but how do you learn it?

It can be a challenge. You can buy a book, install the software, and try to learn SQL on your own. You can also try tutorials on YouTube. But be warned – it's not the best idea. Most of them are a waste of time. You spend more time looking for the right resources instead of learning. Do you really want that?

There are great MS SQL Server courses for beginners that give you a solid foundation for further learning. I’ve selected my top 5 here, and choosing one of those is a great option for getting started.

One of my guiding principles in choosing SQL courses is whether you can practice MS SQL Server. Only through practicing are you able to master new skills. Practice, practice, and practice again! Writing one SQL query gives you more than a few chapters of a book or an hour-long clip of a video lecture.

Convinced? Cool! Welcome to the modern approach to learning SQL.

What Is MS SQL Server?

Let's start with the basics. What is MS SQL Server, and what can it do for you?

MS SQL Server, or Microsoft SQL Server, is one of the most popular DBMSs in the world. It is a solution for managing relational databases. It has a language for communicating with databases and software for using its capabilities.

To communicate with databases, MS SQL Server uses a variant, or a “dialect,” of SQL (Structured Query Language) called T-SQL (Transact-SQL). Most of the syntax is the same, and the slight differences from the SQL standard are only in the details. For those small differences, you can simply check the documentation or check here. It is so similar that, with the knowledge of MS SQL Server, you can also write most SQL queries in other dialects (PostgreSQL, MySQL, or Oracle). Pretty cool, right?

If you are already a bit lost, just know this: Microsoft created great software for working with databases some 30 years ago, and it is still an industry standard to this day. Interested in reading more about the history of the project and its development? My friend Karolina has an article you should check out: “A Brief History of MS SQL Server.”

Is MS SQL Server Worth Learning?

I can describe at length the advantages of using MS SQL Server and why organizations still reach for Microsoft software even though free and open-source alternatives are available. I can, but I won't. To answer the question of whether it pays to learn MS SQL Server, I will show you two numbers.

The first is $81,000. According to, this is the average salary in 2021 for people who are well versed in MS SQL Server. These include different jobs. Some, such as database administrators and software engineers, earn over $100,000 a year. Of course, it all depends on experience and the employer. But it is safe to say it pays to know MS SQL Server.

Top 5 MS SQL Server Courses for Beginners

Don't know which career to choose? Maybe my article can help you decide.

The second number is 200,000. This is the number of U.S. jobs you see when you type “MS SQL Server” into the LinkedIn search engine. You have to admit this is quite a reassuring number.

The demand for MS SQL Server specialists is huge and continues to grow. As widely used as T-SQL and MS SQL Server are, you are almost guaranteed employment and peace of mind. MS SQL Server is future-proof!

For more convincing arguments, please read “Is MS SQL Server Still Worth Learning?” When you make up your mind – I believe the only correct choice is to learn MS SQL Server – come back here and choose an online course for yourself.

Top 5 MS SQL Server Courses for Beginners

Which MS SQL Server online course do you choose if you are a beginner? It must meet three basic requirements:

  • It has to be interactive. Learning the theory does you no good if you can't put it into practice. An online course must give you a chance to write real SQL queries and analyze their results.
  • It has to give you solid knowledge appropriate to your level. I've seen tons of online courses that overwhelm the user with difficult wording from the very first exercise. Enter the world of MS SQL Server step by step, get to know each topic well, and don’t jump immediately into the deep end. Without a life jacket in the form of support, a well-thought-out learning path, and hands-on exercises, you won't get far.
  • It must end with a recognized certificate. After all, one of the reasons you learn is so that you can demonstrate your skills to your (prospective) employer. Most interview processes begin with the recruiter or the hiring manager reviewing your resume. You do not have a certificate of knowledge of MS SQL Server on it? You may not get that first call.

With all these in mind, here's my list of the top 5 MS SQL Server courses for beginners!

1.   SQL Basics in MS SQL Server (

Top 5 MS SQL Server Courses for Beginners

You may think I'm advertising a course just because it's on But SQL Basics in MS SQL Server is a brilliant online course for beginners. If you want to learn MS SQL Server from scratch, you don't need to look anywhere else.

The course includes 130 interactive exercises based on real business scenarios. According to those who developed the course, it takes about 10 hours to complete. Of course, no one can do that in one sitting. Spread your study hours over several days. Here are some tips on how to learn effectively.

The first dozen or so exercises are free as part of the Free Trial. Check it out for yourself and tell me if I'm wrong. From the very first exercise, you can see the quality and the attention to detail. Just log in and start learning.

With this MS SQL Server course, you will learn to work with both single and multiple tables in databases. You will learn everything you need to know to write basic SQL queries comfortably.

As you go deeper into the course, you will master the SQL JOINS and the GROUP BY function and create simple reports. You will also start investigating subqueries.

Finally, you will test your knowledge (and earn your certificate!) in a comprehensive quiz. Here is a quick guide on how to attach your certificate to your LinkedIn profile.

If you decide to install MS SQL Server after completing this course, here's how to do it without a hitch.

The SQL Basics in MS SQL Server course is intended for beginners, including those who have never dealt with SQL before or even written a single line of query. Do you dream of a career in data analysis or databases, or does your boss just want you to be able to extract insights from data? This is the course for you!

SQL Basics in MS SQL Server is part of the SQL from A to Z in MS SQL Server track. It is a set of 7 interactive SQL courses which will make you an MS SQL Server expert.

2.   Microsoft SQL for Beginners (Udemy)

Top 5 MS SQL Server Courses for Beginners

Here is one of the best sellers on Udemy. Over 50,000 people have already completed the Microsoft SQL for Beginners course. This is a pretty good course on basic MS SQL Server.

Unlike the course, this online course is mainly based on video lessons. On one hand, the topics are well discussed and properly organized. On the other hand, you are responsible for taking care of the practical part. Fortunately, you will learn how to install and set everything up on your computer at the beginning of the course.

Later, you'll learn how to use a SELECT statement, how to filter data with a WHERE clause, and how to sort results with ORDER BY. Once you have mastered the basic parts of the SQL query, you will be introduced to using aggregate functions and creating the simplest reports.

You don't need any SQL or database background before taking this course. You will learn everything you need from the mini-lectures.

The course is intended for those who want to learn the basics of MS SQL Server and can learn from video clips. It takes 3.5 hours on average and requires basic computer skills, such as software installation.

3.   Introduction to SQL Server (

Top 5 MS SQL Server Courses for Beginners

Whenever I write about Pluralsight courses, I start by saying how much I like their service. Compared with the majority of platforms of this type, they win in the beauty and design category. Everything here is refined in terms of appearance and UX.

This time, it is the course Introduction to SQL Server, which is a solid dose of MS SQL Server principles. It begins with an introduction to the world of databases and the wider context of using DBMSs in data analysis and data manipulation. In the lessons that follow, you learn basic SQL statements and clauses.

In addition to analysis, a lot of time is devoted to data engineering – creating databases, tables, updating their content, etc. So, if you are considering a career in this field, this may be a good starting point. You don't know what a data engineer is? Read these articles: Who Is a Data Engineer? and What Is Data Engineering?

This course is a great entry point into the world of MS SQL Server. I recommend it to those who want to understand the concept of databases. But be warned that it lacks some practical tasks.

It is also not the cheapest; you have to purchase access to the entire platform. The good news is that you have a 10-day trial period. It's worth giving it a chance!

4.   MS SQL Server: Learn MS SQL Server from Scratch (Udemy)

Top 5 MS SQL Server Courses for Beginners

Another Udemy course. This time, it's MS SQL Server: Learn MS SQL Server from Scratch. The name itself suggests the content. Have no idea about MS SQL Server and databases? You will learn everything here.

Again, you have to install the necessary software on your computer. For this course, you will be using SQL Server Management Studio in addition to SQL Server itself. It is one of the most popular IDEs – a software program in which you physically write SQL queries – for MS SQL Server. Interested in more about apps like this? Read this article: Best SQL IDEs for You in 2021.

In this course, you learn how to extract data from databases using T-SQL, how to create tables, and how to use basic SQL functions. You also learn a lot about SQL transactions and transaction commands.

You don't need to know SQL to start this course, which again has video lectures as its basis. Some course reviews say it doesn’t have enough hands-on exercises and practical projects to write. So, once you have mastered the basics, you can practice your skills in the next MS SQL Server course on my list for beginners.

5.   SQL Practice Set in MS SQL Server (

Top 5 MS SQL Server Courses for Beginners

Finally, something completely different. This is, in my opinion, the best MS SQL Server course available: the SQL Practice Set in MS SQL Server!

If you've ever missed good interactive exercises with MS SQL Server, you have plenty of them here – 88 practical exercises based on real scenarios to prepare you for working every day with MS SQL Server.

The course creators assume you already know the basics of SQL. But you don't need to be an advanced user; it is still for beginners. Many topics are reviewed or explained from scratch. Make sure to leverage this interactive course fully – this course is also great for preparing for job interviews that require MS SQL Server.

SQL Practice Set in MS SQL Server is part of the larger SQL Practice in MS SQL Server track. In it, you will find:

  • SQL Practice Set in MS SQL Server. Refine your SQL Server skills with 88 interactive exercises, ranging from simple tasks with SELECT and FROM statements to more advanced problems involving multiple subqueries.
  • JOINs in MS SQL Server. Review and deepen your knowledge of T-SQL JOINS with this set of 93 great, interactive exercises. Practice the most popular as well as not-so-common ways to get data from multiple tables in MS SQL Server.

Practicing your T-SQL skills has never been easier!

Choose the Right MS SQL Server Course for You

Now you know where to start learning MS SQL Server. If you are a beginner, choose one of these courses and enter the world of databases. Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

On the web, you will find huge knowledge bases about MS SQL Server. I highly recommend you follow our blog to stay up to date. Remember to subscribe to receive our newsletter.

We have recently been awarded by as one of the Top 70 SQL Blogs and Websites for Microsoft SQL Server Administrators. We are in eleventh place, ahead of some major industry giants. It reflects a job well done and the trust of the readers. Thanks,! If you are considering a career in IT, follow their activities – they read everything and know what to recommend to their users.

Regardless of which course you pick, or if you decide to learn on your own or with the help of YouTube, I keep my fingers crossed for you. MS SQL Server is a skill that comes in handy at work and in your career!

See you in class!