Are you serious about learning SQL?  If so, then get started with free tools using my Guide Getting Started Using SQL Server.

Is SQL a Valuable Skill… is it Sought Out?

If I was to say that SQL is not a sought out skill would you believe me?   Is it possible to safely say that since databases are now taken for granted and are so easy to administer and query, that specialized knowledge is no longer required?

The answer to both questions is a resounding “no.”

As you’ll see below, the result of many surveys conclude SQL skills remain in the top ten sought out IT skills.

Thought there may be sexier skills to learn, such as Swift, and SQL may seem “old fashioned,” it is a major foundation element of a majority of database systems in existence today.  Without SQL, major applications such as SAP would simply cease to function.

Why Learn SQL?

SQL is pervasive and found in many applications as well as in support tools used by IT.  Let’s consider a few positions and how knowing SQL can help you there:

Network Administrator – If you use a tool like SolarWinds, then you’ll know the back-end data is stored in a SQL Server database.  SolarWinds has great reports, but if you want to create a custom metric, such as network up-time at a remote locations, then you need to use SQL to get to the data.

Desktop Engineer – If you use SCCM (System Center Configuration Center) to manage servers and desktops, then knowing SQL allows you to get to the data store and write better custom reports.  You may still find yourself writing the reports in SCCM; however, by knowing SQL it makes it so much easier to understand how to piece the data together.

Help Desk – Many help desk systems run on a SQL databases.  Being able to extract data for custom reports becomes much easier if you’re able to run an ad-hoc query.

Developer – Want to increase the performance of your program by one thousand percent?  Knowing the right way to have your program interact with the database is key!  Recently I was talking to a developer friend whose query containing a derived table ran for three hours.  By using a stored procedure and creating a temp table instead, and then using that in the main query, they were able to get the run time down to thirty seconds!

Application Support – Many complex applications, such as Computer Aided Design (CAD) applications are built upon SQL databases.  Knowing SQL can help you diagnose performance problems, understand how the client interacts with the back-end databases, and assist users in extracting information from their system.

Hopefully you can see that SQL is used directly or indirectly by a variety of employees within an IT department.  By having a working knowledge of SQL you can get more out of the tools you use by being able to retrieve data in the form you wish.

Also, who’s going to care for all those databases?

Database Administrators – These administrators ensure the databases remain operational.  As more and more tools are built on top of SQL, the demand for administrators is sure to remain strong.  There is quite a bit to know before becoming a DBA, but the learning curve is worth it.

SQL Value


If you are still wondering whether SQL is worth learning, then check out what these following sources have to say.

Business News Daily

The Best Tech Skills to List on Your Resume in 2015

SQL makes Business News Daily’s top ten list.  As Ibro Palic, CEO of Resumes Templates for Mac puts it,  “SQL is a highly sought-after technical skill due to its ability to work with nearly all databases.”

The Armada Group

The 5 Most In-Demand Software Engineering Skill Sets

The Armad group considers SQL to be one of the top five foundations skills for a software developer.  Foundation skills don’t go out of style!  As IT trends come and go, the foundation skills remain relevant.  From my own personal experience, SQL is just as cool now as it was before the Internet was popular.


Job posting analysis: The twelve skills that Canadian employers are having the most difficulty hiring right now

SQL is one of the most sought out skills in Canada.

IT Career Finder

Top 10 IT Skills in Demand for 2015

DBA for Oracle, SQL Server, DB2 and Progress are in high demand.  Knowing how to operate in production environments and troubleshoot slowly running queries is key.  According to IT Career Finder, “26% of the tech executives surveyed plan to bring on new database specialists this year [2015].”

Linked In Pulse

Top 5 most sought after IT skill-sets right now

Knowing SQL is a great way to break into the Business Intelligence market.  Many of the popular BI tools, SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services) and SSAS (SQL Server Analysis Services) use SQL.

Huw Price and Team Lead Keith Watt from CPS Group said, “One area is business intelligence: SQL Servers; SSRS, SSAS and the Oracle side of things. That’s another area, which isn’t a candidate-rich market (ed. meaning there are jobs!).  Obviously, with companies looking to utilize their data better than they have been in the past, we are noticing that there is a rise in vacancies in those areas and not enough quality staff available in that sort of space.”

Ready to Get Started using SQL Server?

Are you ready to get started learn SQL?  If so, then you can get started with free tools using my Guide Getting Started Using SQL Server.

About the author 

Kris Wenzel

Kris Wenzel has been working with databases over the past 30 years as a developer, analyst, and DBA. He has a BSE in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan and a MBA from the University of Notre Dame. Kris has written hundreds of blog articles and many online courses. He loves helping others learn SQL.

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