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The 6 Best SQL Certifications in 2023

Written By Ryan Loftus | December 21, 2022

Are you thinking about earning an SQL certification to improve your career prospects? If so, you’re not alone. SQL (Structured Query Language) has become one of the most popular and in-demand programming languages in the world.

An SQL certification can be a great way to develop your database skills and advance your career. But there are many different SQL certificates that you can earn, and it can be overwhelming to try to figure out which one is the best right for you. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the top SQL certificates that you can earn.

The Importance of SQL Certifications

SQL (structured query language) is the industry-standard language for working with relational databases. Used for creating, defining, and maintaining databases, SQL is a vital skill for data scientists and software engineers.

Now is a great time to further your SQL skills with a certification. In 2022, SQL was the third most in-demand language and grew faster than the average for all languages.

Earning an SQL certification has a number of career benefits, including:

  • Expanding your knowledge base
  • Improving your potential earning power
  • Earning a digital badge you can add to LinkedIn
  • Validating your skills to appeal to potential employers
  • Learning to perform complex, hands-on database activities
  • Gaining exposure to the tasks you’ll use on the job

There are many different SQL certificates that you can earn, and the best one for you will depend on your specific goals and interests. Whichever certification you choose, it can be a valuable addition to your resume and can help you to advance your career.

The right certification will also depend on the technologies you intend to work with. For example, a developer who primarily works with Oracle databases should consider Oracle’s certification program.

In general, there are two types of SQL certifications: 

  • Courses by education providers that teach foundational skills
  • Vendor-specific certifications that teach advanced skills for a particular technology

So, is pursuing an SQL certification worthwhile? 

Any certification will require a time investment, and some have an upfront cost. Whether an SQL certification is worth this investment will depend on the individual and the specific certification. With so many opportunities for professionals who know SQL, improving your database skills will always go a long way in building a successful career and increasing your earning potential. But the value of having a credential to use during your job search will depend on your career goals. 

Top SQL Certifications

While selecting a certification, pay careful attention to whether the program is active. Large technology companies often withdraw or retire their certifications programs, and may or not replace them with a new certification. Any list of SQL certifications runs the risk of sharing a link to a withdrawn course. You should also keep in mind that some certifications expire. If maintaining an SQL certification is important for your career, you may need to redo the program every few years.

Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Cost: $245
  • Experience level: Beginner

The Oracle Certified Associate certification is for professionals who have experience working with the Oracle Database and want to prove their skill with the technology. To earn the Oracle certification, you’ll need to demonstrate competency in topics such as data modeling, database administration, and SQL.

The certification also covers hands-on database actions, such as

  • Inserts
  • Queries
  • Optimizers
  • Statements
  • Data control
  • Data definition
  • Normalization
  • Indexes
  • Tables

MySQL Certification Paths

  • Duration: 1.5–2 hours
  • Cost: $245
  • Experience level: Professional or Specialist

The MySQL Certification Paths are a valuable series of certificates for professionals who work with MySQL, another database management system. This entry on our list is actually a broad category of certifications offered by Oracle for MySQL. (Oracle owns MySQL, so don’t be surprised if you see both of these names in a course title.)

The certifications under the MySQL Certification Paths include:

The various MySQL certifications cover topics such as SQL, data modeling, database administration, connectors, APIs, schema objects, and transactions.

HackerRank SQL Certifications

HackerRank offers an SQL certification that will test your knowledge of SQL and relational databases. Part of HackerRank’s series of skills certification tests, these assessments will evaluate your technical proficiency.  

The certification exams cover topics such as basic SQL commands, data types and constraints, and advanced queries. Once you pass the certification exam, you will receive an SQL certification from HackerRank, which can be added to your resume to demonstrate your proficiency in SQL.

HackerRank offers certifications for three experience levels:

  • Basic SQL Skills
    • Duration: 30 minutes
    • Concepts: simple queries, relationships, and aggregators
  • Intermediate SQL Skills
    • Duration: 35 minutes
    • Concepts: complex joins, unions, and sub-queries.
  • Advanced SQL Skills
    • Duration: 60 minutes
    • Concepts: query optimization, data modeling, Indexing, window functions, and pivots.

Microsoft Azure SQL Course

  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Duration: 7 hours 
  • Course Cost: Free
  • Certification Cost: $99

The Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals Certification is a five part series that includes the Microsoft Azure SQL course. This course is ideal for IT professionals looking to learn the fundamentals of database concepts in a cloud environment and build foundational knowledge of cloud data services within Microsoft Azure. 

The course covers a range of database topics, including:

  • Queries 
  • SQL dialects
  • Provisioning 
  • Deploying
  • Querying 
  • Database maintenance
  • Relational data offerings
  • Cloud data solutions

PostgreSQL 12 Associate Certification by EDB

  • Cost: $200
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Experience level: Intermediate

The PostgreSQL 12 Associate Certification by EnterpriseDB (EDB) is a certification exam that assesses the ability of a database professional to maintain and manage a PostgreSQL server in a production environment. Professionals who pass receive a personalized PDF certification and badge from EDB.

The PostgreSQL certification covers topics such as:

  • Foundational SQL knowledge
  • Familiarity with Postgres
  • Database installation
  • User management

IBM Certified Database Administrator

  • Duration 90 minutes
  • Experience level: Intermediate

IBM Certified Database Administrator certification is a certification exam that includes two exams and an optional preparation course. We’ve included the IBM certification because it is a popular certification with a key database technology. However, IBM regularly withdraws their certifications, which means that the program is inactive until they create a new one. For this reason, there’s a chance the IBM certification is inactive while you’re conducting your research. The link is for the most recent certification, which was withdrawn before publication. Be sure to verify the status of the IBM certification (or any certification, for that matter) before you proceed.

Topics covered in this certification typically include:

  • Physical design
  • Database security
  • Server management
  • Business rules implementation

Resources for Learning SQL

HackerRank SQL Practice Problems

7 Advanced SQL Interview Questions

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