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Top Skills for 2019: SQL

If you've been around the technology industry anytime at all, you've definitely heard of SQL.  With more than half the world's population using the internet, it's good to have some web skills. Knowing this widely used programming language is one of the most desirable skills one can have in their professional toolbox. So, why is SQL one of the most important skills of 2019?

What is SQL?

SQL, or Structured Query Language, is used to view or change databases. It was first developed at IBM in the 1970s as a way to retrieve and manipulate data found in a relational database management system.  Overtime, it has become the standard way to query and manipulate data in relational databases and a language that every developer should know how to read and how to code.

Why does it matter in 2019?

SQL has been around for nearly 50 years, but it is still relevant today. Data is behind almost every decision we make and an extremely valuable asset, which perhaps makes SQL one of the most important languages you can learn in your career.

  • It is the most commonly used database language. Despite a lot of NoSQL languages that have popped up in recent years, SQL is still the primary language for managing data contained in relational database management systems.  Knowing how to write SQL queries will allow you to walk into almost any organization and immediately add value by helping them access and understand their data.
  • Employers want candidates that know SQL. SQL skills are applicable in almost any application or database development, administration or support role.  Even those outside the IT field can benefit from learning how to write SQL.  Employers are looking for people who can access, update, organize and clean up data.  SQL skills immediately make you a more self-sufficient employee.  And as someone who knows SQL, you will be valuable to employers and know how to access information to find answers to important questions.
  • You can earn great money by knowing SQL. CNBC listed SQL knowledge on its “5 skills that will lead to a high paying in demand job”. According to, the average SQL developer makes just over $72,000 per year. reports the average salary for SQL developer jobs on their site at $85,422. Even entry level SQL developers can make over $60,000 per year on average!

What can you do with it?

Learning SQL could lead to a job as a data analyst, business analyst, database administrator, quality assurance analyst, software engineer, systems administrator, developer, and many others. It’s also a good skill for people who make data driven decisions, such as product managers and marketers.

If you are interested expanding your programming literacy and learning SQL, Mississippi State University Center for Continuing Education offers a six-week online Introduction to SQL course as well as Intermediate SQL and an SQL Series course bundle. These courses are taught by an experienced software tester with more than 15 years of experience in SQL.


  • SQL, Technology, Career, Online, Learning