Become an SQL Developer: Education and Career Roadmap

Explore the requirements to become an SQL developer. Learn about the job description and duties, and review the step-by-step process that can help you start a career in SQL development. View article »

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  • 0:03 SQL Developers
  • 0:57 Step 1: Bachelor's Degree
  • 1:38 Step 2: Work Experience
  • 1:57 Step 3: Certification

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Video Transcript

SQL Developers

SQL developers specialize in the design, implementation and maintenance of structured query language (SQL) databases. They may work as database or web developers, depending on the specific position. SQL developers often spend many work hours seated in front of computers.

SQL developers should have strong analytical, communication, and problem-solving skills. A knowledge of SQL servers, server integration services (SSIS) and server reporting services (SSRS) is also important. In October 2016, the median annual salary for SQL developers was $70,215. However, salaries can vary according to experience and location. Let's a look at some of the undergraduate programs that can help you become an SQL developer.

Step 1: Bachelor's Degree

Prospective SQL developers can earn a bachelor's degree in computer science, computer information systems (CIS), or a related major. Students in these types of programs typically learn about computer networking and programming and acquire database management skills. Required coursework also includes topics in algebra, calculus, and computer algorithms.

Success Tip:

Participate in an internship. Some computer science and CIS degree programs offer students the opportunity to intern in the information (IT) industry. By doing so, they may fulfill some of the experience requirements for SQL development positions.

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Step 2: Work Experience

Hands-on experience working with database systems is an important part of launching a successful career as an SQL developer. Typically, SQL developers need two to five years of experience working with SQL database applications, but recent graduates may find entry-level positions as programmers or developers.

Step 3: Certification

In some cases, employers may require that SQL developers have application-specific certifications or prefer candidates who have them. Some relevant certifications include the Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) and Oracle PL/SQL Developer Certified Associate, which usually require a passing score on an exam.

Remember, before you can apply for a job as an SQL developer, you'll need a bachelor's degree in computer science, computer information systems (CIS), or a closely related major. As of October 2016, SQL developers earned a median annual salary of $70,215.

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