Career Development

Guide to learning SQL. How long does it take to learn SQL?

Learning SQL language requires a lot of practice and repetition to develop a deep understanding of how the SQL language works.

The time it takes to learn SQL will vary depending on which level you start, how proficient you want to be, and how much time you have to invest in learning

In addition, it’s important to choose the correct learning tools, such as books, online courses, practice problems, and blogs. You may additionally improve your knowledge and increase more knowledge of SQL by getting hands-on experience with real-world projects and databases.

Understanding how to arrange the SQL queries in order to perform the desired actions is the trick. Use SQL commands to manipulate data on a regular basis to learn the language more quickly and enhance your skills.

The fundamentals of SQL can be understood in a few weeks to months, while regular practice and dedication are necessary for growth and progress.

Fortunately, most people can learn SQL in three to four weeks. It may differ depending on your level of experience, how you want to use SQL, and other knowledge.

SQL is one of the most in-demand skills you can learn if you want to work or get a job.

What is SQL?

SQL is the database communication language. It is a query language which is not a programming language.

SQL is a query language that people use to manage and modify relational databases. It provides a standardized method for creating, finding, and modifying databases, as well as retrieving data from databases. SQL enables you to execute an infinite number of operations, including creating and modifying database structures, inserting, updating, and removing data, and finding data from one or more tables via queries.

The most popular relational database management systems that make use of SQL are Microsoft SQL Server, Ingres, Access, and Oracle.

Basic SQL queries

SQL is used for tasks ranging from data retrieval to the implementation of complex business logic within database systems. At the core of SQL are queries, which enable the retrieval of specific information from a database.
For example, the SELECT statement retrieves data from a table:

SELECT first_name, last_name FROM employees;

Here, first_name and last_name are columns within the employees table.

The WHERE clause filters records based on specific conditions:

SELECT * FROM employees WHERE salary > 50000;

Data modification is achieved via the INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE commands. The INSERT statement, for instance, adds new records:

INSERT INTO employees (first_name, last_name, salary) VALUES ('John', 'Doe', 60000);

SQL is also equipped to handle complex operations through the use of joins, subqueries, and aggregate functions, providing a versatile and powerful toolset for data manipulation and analysis. This foundational knowledge is essential for anyone aspiring to excel in data engineering.

Many Reasons to Learn SQL

There are many reasons to get proficient with SQL (Structured Query Language). To mention a few Examples:

  1. Handle large datasets: SQL is the standard language for managing huge databases, and it includes an advanced set of tools for searching, manipulating, and changing data. You can work with enormous datasets efficiently and successfully if you know SQL.
  2. Improve decisions: SQL enables you to extract insights from data, allowing you to choose better decisions. SQL can help you identify the answers you need to make better decisions, whether you’re a business analyst, data scientist, or CEO.
  3. Expand your employability: SQL is one of the most in-demand skills in the field of technology, and knowledge of the language can lead to jobs as a data analyst, data scientist, business intelligence analyst, or database administrator. You can boost your employability and open up fresh career prospects by learning SQL.
  4. Automate repetitive tasks: SQL can save you a lot of time because it enables you to automate repetitive processes such as updating databases and queries. You can create quick schedules that allow you to focus on more important duties by knowing SQL.
  5. Working with a variety of data sources: SQL is used to integrate data from several sources and to conduct complicated joins between tables. By learning SQL, you will be able to deal with multiple data sources as well as gain a complete understanding of your organization’s data.

Overall, learning SQL can help you become a more productive data professional, boost your employability, and make more knowledgeable decisions based on data.

Best way to Learn SQL

Mastering SQL, a cornerstone of data engineering, involves a holistic approach that fuses both theoretical understanding and practical experience.
Consider the table below for a multi-faceted approach to learning SQL that will not only sharpen your skills but also keep you competitive in the rapidly evolving field of data engineering.

Key ComponentsDescription
Understanding SQL’s ImportanceGrasp the role of SQL in data engineering tasks such as data retrieval, modification, and database management to fuel motivation.
Learning the FundamentalsDedicate time to understand basic SQL commands (SELECT, FROM, WHERE, GROUP BY, etc.) and their applications.
Hands-On PracticeGain practical experience through cloud-based SQL platforms like AWS RDS or Google Cloud SQL.
Real-world ProjectsApply SQL skills in real-world scenarios, either through your current professional role or freelance opportunities, to gain practical knowledge.
Structured LearningEnroll in a structured SQL training program, be it an online course, workshop, or a university course, that aligns with your learning objectives.
SQL Code ReviewsParticipate in SQL code reviews with seasoned engineers to get constructive feedback on your SQL writing and structuring.
Community EngagementEngage in SQL communities and forums to get new perspectives and solutions to common challenges.
Staying UpdatedKeep abreast of the latest advancements and updates in SQL and data engineering by subscribing to industry publications, attending conferences, and committing to continuous learning.

How Long Does It Take to Learn SQL

The answer depends on your background knowledge as well as your reasons for learning SQL.

Here are some scenarios for different knowledgeable people on how long to learn SQL for a job

I Have no programming knowledge and have learned basic SQL

If you have no programming knowledge and wish to learn basic SQL (Structured Query Language), it can take up to two weeks (daily 1 to 2 hours). The time it takes will be determined by various things, including your learning style.

Here are some suggestions to speed up your knowledge of basic SQL:

  1. Start with the fundamentals: Learn the fundamentals of SQL first, including how to create and edit tables, insert data, and run simple queries.
  2. Use interactive materials: You can learn SQL more efficiently by using interactive online resources including tutorials, tests, and practice questions.
  3. Regular practice: It is necessary for learning any new skill, including SQL. To improve your skills and confidence, try to write SQL queries and manipulate data on a regular basis.
  4. Get opinions: Ask for remarks on your work from others, whether it comes from a more knowledgeable colleague or an online forum. This might help you determine points of improvement and get suggestions for how to proceed.

I Have no programming knowledge and have learned intermediate SQL

If you have no programming knowledge and wish to learn intermediate SQL (Structured Query Language), it can take three to four weeks (daily 1 to 2 hours). The time it takes will be determined by various things, including your learning style.

Here are some tips to help you become more proficient with intermediate SQL:

  1. Start with the basics: Learn the basics of SQL first, including how to create and edit tables, insert data, and run simple queries. Before moving on to more complicated topics, make sure you have an excellent knowledge of these basic concepts.
  2. Learn intermediate query techniques: After you have a strong understanding of SQL’s basic information, you may start learning more complex query techniques including joins, subqueries, and aggregations.
  3. Practice with real-world scenarios: Try to practice developing SQL queries to solve problems or difficulties that you might face in the real world. This may help in your ability to understand how SQL is applied in real-world situations.
  4. Use tools and techniques: If you want to understand intermediate SQL, you may need to use more tools such as Oracle. To learn more about how these tools operate, try using them yourself.
  5. Get opinions from experts: Ask for remarks on your work from others, whether it comes from a more knowledgeable colleague or an online forum. This might help you determine points of improvement and get suggestions for how to proceed.

I Have no programming knowledge and have learned advanced SQL

It can be difficult to learn complex SQL without any prior programming experience. Becoming fluent in advanced SQL may require a lot of effort and time.

If you have no programming knowledge and wish to learn advanced SQL (Structured Query Language), it can take one to two months (daily 1 to 2 hours). The time it takes will depend on various factors, including your learning style and how quickly you acquire knowledge.

Some tips to learn advanced SQL

  1. Start with the basic knowledge of SQL
  2. Learn advanced query techniques
  3. Practice with real-world scenarios
  4. Use advanced tools such as Oracle and MongoDB and techniques
  5. Get opinions from experts or colleagues

I have programming knowledge and have learned basic SQL

How long does it take to learn SQL depends on your experience as a programmer. If you know how to write code in other programming languages, it is possible to learn the basics of SQL within a week.

Here are some methods you may take to quickly enhance your understanding of basic SQL:

  1. Start with the fundamentals
  2. Use interactive material
  3. Regular practice
  4. Get opinions

Familiarity with programming helps in grasping intermediate SQL

The time it will take to learn intermediate SQL if you are already familiar with programming will depend on how quickly you learn new skills and how much SQL you already know.

Becoming fluent with intermediate SQL, assuming you have sufficient knowledge of the fundamentals, could take a few weeks (one to two weeks).

Intermediate SQL includes more advanced querying techniques such as:

  • Subqueries and correlated subqueries
  • Joins (inner, outer, self-joins)
  • Set operations (UNION, INTERSECT, EXCEPT)
  • Grouping and aggregating data
  • Using functions (built-in and user-defined)
  • Working with views and temporary tables

Follow these steps to learn intermediate SQL more effectively:

  • Review fundamentals
  • Practice with actual situations
  • Practice complex query methods
  • Integrate SQL with additional languages
  • Ask for feedback and guidance from a colleague

Advanced SQL can be grasped with the help of previous programming abilities

It can take more time and effort to master advanced SQL because it involves a deeper knowledge of SQL and more complicated ideas. The length of time it will take to learn advanced SQL if you are already familiar with programming will depend on your knowledge of SQL proficiency, your ability for conceptual learning, and the complexity of the advanced topics you choose to study.

It can take many months to a year to become an expert in advanced SQL, presuming you have a strong foundation in basic and intermediate SQL.

Advanced SQL covers more difficult subjects like:

  • triggers, functions, and stored procedures
  • Functions of Analysis and Windowing
  • approaches for performance optimization
  • advanced approaches for database design and data modeling
  • using unstructured data

The best way to learn SQL is as follows:

  1. Review the fundamentals and advanced ideas
  2. Use actual world situations as practice
  3. Practice more complex SQL concepts
  4. Use SQL while working with other tools and languages
  5. Ask for advice and suggestions for improvement from a colleague

How to Learn SQL for free?

Data Engineer Academy offers comprehensive, up-to-date SQL courses for free! Whether you’re a beginner aiming to learn the basics or an experienced professional looking to fine-tune your skills, our courses are designed to cater to all levels of expertise. Enroll in our free SQL courses today and take the first step toward becoming an SQL pro!

Motivation for Learning SQL

There are many things that might increase someone’s interest in learning SQL:

  • One of the most in-demand talents in the computer sector is SQL, and knowledge of it can open doors to careers as a database administrator, data analyst, data scientist, or business intelligence analyst.
  • Large dataset management and analysis are made easier with the help of SQL. You can make data-driven decisions, convey your results to others, and extract insights from data by learning SQL.
  • By helping the automation of time-consuming operations like updating and accessing databases, SQL can help you save time and effort.
  • SQL is used to conduct complicated connections across tables and to combine data from several sources.
  • Learning SQL can make developing personal projects like your own database or a web application that uses a database much easier.

FAQS on How long does it take to learn SQL

How can I become proficient in SQL?

Working with actual datasets, constant practice, and knowledge of more complicated ideas like window functions, CTEs, recursive queries, views, stored procedures, and triggers are all necessary to become proficient with SQL.

How long does it take to learn SQL to get a job in short?

SQL can be learned in a few weeks if you are familiar with programming and other languages. It may take longer if you are a beginner, or if you are absolutely new to programming.

If you are familiar with programming and other languages, you will understand SQL in a few of weeks. It may take longer if you are just starting out and have no programming experience.

WHERE is SQL used in real life?

SQL is frequently used in business and managing databases everywhere. It is frequently the default tool for “operating” on a traditional database, such as changing data in tables, retrieving data, or generally modifying an existing data set.

Will SQL be replaced by AI?

No, AI is not expected to replace SQL in the near future. While AI can be used to analyze data, SQL is still utilized in relational databases for accessing and manipulating data. SQL is also a standardized language that is utilized across various database systems, giving it a reliable and regular data management and analysis tool.

Is SQL Server still in demand?

SQL is in great demand than any other database language on one of the job listing applications Indeed or

Can I learn SQL in one day

Yes, it is definitely possible to learn the basics of SQL in one day.


In this article, we have discussed what is SQL, how long it takes to learn SQL, and motivations for learning SQL.

The amount of time it takes to learn SQL depends on various factors, such as your prior programming knowledge and the level of SQL you want to learn.

For beginners with no programming knowledge, learning basic SQL can take several weeks, while intermediate SQL can take several months. Advanced SQL can take several months or more to learn, even for those with programming knowledge.

To learn SQL efficiently, it’s important to start with the basics, practice regularly, work on real-world scenarios, and seek out feedback and guidance from more experienced colleagues or online communities. With consistent effort and practice, anyone can become proficient in SQL and use it to manage and analyze data effectively.