If you have ever used iCloud or Google Drive, then you know something about databases. In the digital age, data has emerged as one of the most valuable commodities for personal and professional use. The world of big data has opened up a number of job opportunities in the IT sector.
If you’re interested in a career in information technology or computer science, you can learn databases to compete for top jobs in tech. To help you learn the ropes, we bring you this all-inclusive guide. Let’s dig in.
What Are Databases?
Databases are essentially storage containers used to store, access, and edit information. They are used by organizations of all sizes. Knowing your way around them can lead to a career as a data scientist, analyst, developer, designer, manager, or administrator.
You will be expected to master whatever set of data science skills is required for specific data roles. If any of these IT fields interest you, then use the resources in this article to learn databases.
What Are Databases Used For?
Databases are primarily used to efficiently store data and information in large numbers. You can also use them to access data, edit unstructured data, and delete old or new information.
Individuals and companies in almost every industry use databases. Businesses use them to store their prized data and to ensure information security. Police departments use them to identify criminals through fingerprint, biometric, and image data. Schools use them to keep track of their student performances and information.
Types of Databases
In binary terms, there are physical data warehouses and digital databases like the cloud. But to fully understand database management systems (DBMS) and their use, you will need a more detailed breakdown. Below are four types of databases.
These object-oriented databases store the data in one central place. Users from different locations can access the data using a number of different operating systems.
Commercial databases are bought by companies to manage large amounts of data. They usually contain subject-specific data that users can access through commercial links.
Cloud database storage is one of the most widely-used and accessible DBMS in today’s day and age. You can store your data using either a private or public cloud. You essentially pay for the storage capacity, access to data, and bandwidth.
These are a kind of customized and hierarchical database, which organize data in a manner similar to the rows and columns of an Excel spreadsheet. This method makes it easy to perform data management queries across multiple tables.
What you will learn depends on which type of database you plan on working with. Learning relational databases, for example, requires SQL skills for performing essential database management tasks. You will also need to know the differences between the differences between MySQL and SQL Server, two DMBS for managing relational databases.
In general, learning databases will open many doors for you and many paths to specialization. It’s just a matter of finding the courses you need and preparing for and passing certification exams using online resources.
How Long Does It Take to Learn Databases?
The time it takes to learn databases depends on your interest and background knowledge. If you want to become a database engineer, for example, you will need to have engineering skills, developer skills, and design skills.
The most crucial skill is knowledge of a programming language. Depending on your commitment and previous experience, it will take between a couple of months and a year to learn a new language.
How to Learn Databases: Step-by-Step
- Research areas of interest. The first step is to find out what interests you about the subject of databases, and which types of industry jobs you are well-suited for.
- Learn SQL. Most career trajectories in big data require knowledge of SQL. It is of utmost importance that you know SQL inside and out. If you plan on working with NoSQL databases, you will need to learn a different set of skills.
- Enroll in courses. Enroll in database courses. You can take courses on things like network databases and application programming. Choose the courses that best suit your interests.
- Practice. Practice what you learned using open-source and free software.
- Take certification exams. Enroll in certification programs and ace the test.
- Apply for jobs. Build your resume with the certifications and skills you have acquired, and start looking for the job of your dreams.
The Best Databases Courses and Training
Databases have become an integral part of business success. This subject is not easy to learn, so it is vital to commit yourself to learning databases. Below are the best courses, books, resources, and certifications you can get to learn this subject.
Best Online Databases Courses
Online courses are a great way to learn the skills required to succeed in tech. There are hundreds of online courses available for learning databases. Below are our top picks.
- Provider: Linkedin Learning
- Prerequisites: None
- Cost: $29.99/month or $299.88/year (one-month free trial available)
- Time: 1 hour 6 minutes
One of the key aspects of being able to use customer data is to ensure its privacy. Data privacy is a field that has quickly become one of the most in-demand skills in almost every industry. Learning how to manage data privacy is an extremely lucrative skill and we recommend it for everyone interested in databases.
In this Linkedin course, you will learn everything about data ethics. You will learn the major privacy challenges, the differences between private and public data, and individual and group privacy.
This course will prepare you to make informed and ethical decisions surrounding using, selling, and sharing data. We highly recommend taking this course to learn the value of customer privacy, your duties towards the customers, and how to pursue your business goals well while adhering to high ethical standards.
- Provider: NYU (edX)
- Prerequisites: None
- Cost: $448.20
- Time: 4 months, 6-8 hours/week self-paced
For those wanting to do a MicroBachelors program in Databases, NYU offers this amazing program through edX. This course will teach you everything you need to know about relational databases and relational database management systems.
This course specifically focuses on SQL. It will teach you how to use the open-source relational database MySQL. You will learn how to apply queries in SQL, apply concepts of entity integrity constraint and referential integrity constraint, and how to create, edit and delete data in a SQL database.
This course will also teach you how to sketch conceptual data models and to apply storage procedures using a commercial relational DBMS. This is a great course for anyone who wants a professional certification and college credit at the same time.
- Provider: Udemy
- Prerequisites: None
- Cost: $15.99 (subject to change)
- Time: 20 hours on-demand
This SQL Bootcamp will teach you how to create and interact with databases using MySQL. Previous programming experience will help, but is not required. To succeed in this course all you need is a computer and the willingness to learn.
You will learn how to write complex SQL queries and build web applications using NodeJS and MySQL. You will also learn how to model real-world data and answer company performance questions using data. This is a great bootcamp for mastering SQL, which is the standard language for managing databases.
Best Free Databases Courses
If you can’t or don’t want to pay for courses, we’ve got you covered. Just because these courses are free doesn’t mean they’re inferior. There are plenty to choose from, but you can start with these three.
- Provider: Stanford Online (edX)
- Time: 2 weeks, 8-10 hours/week self-paced
- Prerequisites: Basic understanding of computer science concepts
- Price: FREE
The first in a five-part series, this database course is taught by Stanford online and covers everything you need to know about relational databases and SQL. Although there are no prerequisites, a basic background in computer science is expected. You can take all five courses for free, with the option to pay for a certificate of completion.
This course covers both introductory and advanced concepts. You will learn how to create indexes for increasing query performance, database triggers, modeling and theory, and the XML model for semistructured and self-describing data.
- Provider: UC Davis (Coursera)
- Time: 4 months, 5 hours/week self-paced
- Prerequisites: None
- Price: FREE
UC Davis provides this course to teach you SQL basics, including how to use SQL commands and how to assess and create datasets. You will also learn how to use the collaborative data bricks workspace, create an end-to-end pipeline, and perform statistical analysis.
This course is especially great for those who want to implement SQL in a data science context. By the end of the course, you will be able to do query strings, data analytics, and predictive analytics, and you will gain fluency in SQLite and Apache Spark. All these skills are essential for using databases to enhance business performance.
- Provider: NYU (edX)
- Time: 5 Weeks, 6-8 hours/week self-paced
- Prerequisites: None
- Price: FREE
NYU also offers a free edX course on databases. In this course, you will learn the basics of relational DBMS and how to issue queries to retrieve and change data.
This is a beginners course for those wanting to learn more about how to query data with SQL. It is part of the Databases MicroBachelor’s Program, and you can pay $166 for a certificate of completion.
Best Databases Books
You can also learn about databases in books. There are plenty of books on this topic that will provide the theoretical knowledge you need to develop IT skills. Below are our top picks.
An Introduction to Database Systems, C.J. Date
Date’s textbook provides an introduction to the database systems used in today’s industries. This is a great book to stay updated about current trends in database systems, to learn how to manage databases efficiently, and to see what’s on the horizon.
SQL Queries for Mere Mortals: A Hands-On Guide to Data Manipulation in SQL, John L. Viescas and Michael J. Hernandez
Viescas and Hernandez provide a step-by-step guide to SQL queries. You will learn how to solve SQL problems, write the queries, and perform logical evaluation. This book has a high rating and is praised for its clear and concise explanations. Overall, it is a fantastic guide to learning databases through an SQL lens.
Designing Data-Intensive Applications: The Big Ideas Behind Reliable, Scalable, and Maintainable Systems, Martin Kleppman
You need to be aware of changing database technology, their pros and cons, and how to maintain them. This is what Kleppmann’s book offers, providing a comprehensive guide to the current state of databases and their features. You will learn how to better use the tech that already exists, including aspects like scalability, consistency, and fault tolerance.
If there’s one thing that can prove your skills, it’s certifications. Getting certified in databases is an absolute must. The certification you get will depend on your preferred job roles. Below are the best database certifications.
Microsoft certifications are the industry standard for many roles in IT. They offer four certifications for anyone who wants to become a database administrator. The exams will test you on the different tasks that can be performed on the Microsoft SQL server, including querying, administering, and implementing.
Microsoft also offers four SQL server database engineer certifications. You should choose the one that best matches your skills and level of interest. For some of them, you may want to learn SQL or try a database design bootcamp before you enroll.
The certification exam will test you on designing database solutions, designing business intelligence solutions, and implementing data models.
Oracle University offers some of the best IT certification programs. They offer admin certifications for different skill levels, with more experience and knowledge required the higher you go. They test you on your overall MySQL database admin skills, including your ability to install, optimize, and monitor MYSQL servers efficiently.
Keep in mind that Oracle also offers database developer certifications, if that’s more your speed.
Best Online Databases Resources
There are plenty of places online where you find software solutions to keep your database skills sharp. We give you a taste of these resources below.
Airtable is a cloud-based database software that provides pre-built database templates to which you can refer while managing, storing, and tracking databases. The free plan comes with unlimited databases, 2 GB of file attachments per database, and two weeks of history. If you like the product, you can upgrade to Plus for $10/month or Pro for $20/month.
PostgreSQL is an open-source relational database system that offers features like user configuration settings, data importing and exporting, data indexing, and version control. You can use this platform with Python and JSON. One of the best things about the software is its large support community.
Should You Learn Databases?
In today’s age, the business, education, and even non-profit world would come to a halt without data. The existence of databases has enabled automated and accurate predictions for almost every business. So the better question would be, why not learn databases?
If you are tech-savvy, or if the collaboration of data, science, and business intrigues you, then waste no time to start learning databases. Skilled and knowledgeable database professionals are in high demand in virtually every industry. The resources in this article could be your ticket to a career in one of them.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Read more