Is A College Degree, Good Enough Knowledge For A SQL Job?

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What Is The Toughest Challenge Facing Your Career?
What Is The Toughest Challenge Facing Your Career?

Question

I need specific training in SQL. I was laid off from my job in 2009 and before I was laid off I was working with SQL.

I was only using basic queries and programming. I went to school; however, my training wasn’t concentrated in one area.

Now I have a degree, but not enough knowledge to obtain a job.

Answer

  1. Generalized Versus Specialized Education, Which Is Better?

    Your college degree is a general type of education even when the major or discipline is in Computer Science or Management Information Systems (MIS).

    College Degrees are not designed to teach the practical skills or hands-on knowledge required for database developer, SQL Query Writing or Database Management jobs.

    College Degrees are designed to improve your educational competence and/or literacy. However, that is not what employers are looking or hiring for.

    For example, an employer will hire a college graduate with an Arts major and strong, hands-on database experience over a computer science major with general / theoretical knowledge of databases.

  2. What Does Practical, Hands-on SQL / Database Knowledge Look Like?

    Having practical hands-on SQL Server / Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS) knowledge / skills means that you can build a real-world database and write simple to complex SQL queries easily and efficiently.

    Having practical, hands-on SQL Server knowledge means that you understand core RDBMS / SQL concepts like: normalization, data redundancy, entity-relationship modeling / data modeling, de-normalization, inner joins, outer joins, subqueries, indexes, etc.

    It also means that when you are asked to design a database, you do so correctly and quickly and are able to explain the RDBMS principles that are guiding or influencing your design decisions.

    Again, these are not things that you should expect to learn in college because college focuses on the theory and science behind what you do while employers want you to be skilled and/or experienced in the practical considerations of building and/or maintaining databases.

  3. Do You Have Specialized Knowledge in Database Management System(s)?

    There are several relational database management systems out there … Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, Microsoft Access, etc.

    It is not enough to say that you have knowledge, skills or experience in database development, it must be specialized in a database management system (s) like SQL Server or Oracle.

    Again, why a college education may focus on the general principles and/or standards behind database systems like ANSI SQL, employers are only interested in your knowledge of how a specific vendor (e.g. Microsoft) implements that standard for their database software (SQL Server).

    If you are not familiar with the working of a specific database management software, your general database knowledge will … “not be … good enough”!

  4. Is Knowledge By Itself Ever Enough?

    No amount of SQL knowledge will ever be enough by itself.

    So, even if you go to Amazon.com and buy the best books on SQL and/or Databases and then read them all … that knowledge will never be enough just by itself, OK?

    The reason is that Information Technology careers (including database careers) are functional, hands-on careers and so …

    You always have to have three (3) components to be effective: Knowledge + Skills + Experience:

    1. Knowledge: is what you gain from reading textbooks, articles or watching videos on SQL and/or databases.

    2. Skills: is what you gain by practicing a step over and over again.

    3. Experience: is what you gain over a period of time especially in a real-world setting.

    While knowledge and skills can be gained quickly, gaining experience is usually gained over a longer period of time.

    Here again is where you run into trouble with formal educational institutions. They usually address just some of the theoretical knowledge but not the practical knowledge or skills and not the experience either.

    Yes, you may only get to gain experience on real-world projects but without first gaining knowledge and skills, employers are not inclined to hire you or give you the opportunity you need to gain more experience on their real-world projects.

At the SQL Boot Camp, we provide you with the knowledge and skills you need for a SQL Query Writing or Database Development job.

We also provide you with some projects / assignments that simulate real-world database challenges which allows you to build some of the experience you need to get started.

You may review our detailed SQL Boot Camp curriculum for a breakdown of all the different knowledge areas we cover for a specific relational database management system (Microsoft SQL Server).

At the SQL Boot Camp, we use Quizzes in our Learning Management System (LMS) to sharpen your skills and prepare you for SQL and/or Database jobs.

Please “click here” to read more about how we prepare you for SQL and/or Database Jobs …

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One Response to "Is A College Degree, Good Enough Knowledge For A SQL Job?"

  1. Learning SQL   November 12, 2012 at 1:15 PM
    1. Generalized Versus Specialized Education, Which Is Better?

      Your college degree is a general type of education even when the major or discipline is in Computer Science or Management Information Systems (MIS).

      College Degrees are not designed to teach the practical skills or hands-on knowledge required for database developer, SQL Query Writing or Database Management jobs.

      College Degrees are designed to improve your educational competence and/or literacy. However, that is not what employers are looking or hiring for.

      For example, an employer will hire a college graduate with an Arts major and strong, hands-on database experience over a computer science major with general / theoretical knowledge of databases.

    2. What Does Practical, Hands-on SQL / Database Knowledge Look Like?

      Having practical hands-on SQL Server / Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS) knowledge / skills means that you can build a real-world database and write simple to complex SQL queries easily and efficiently.

      Having practical, hands-on SQL Server knowledge means that you understand core RDBMS / SQL concepts like: normalization, data redundancy, entity-relationship modeling / data modeling, de-normalization, inner joins, outer joins, subqueries, indexes, etc.

      It also means that when you are asked to design a database, you do so correctly and quickly and are able to explain the RDBMS principles that are guiding or influencing your design decisions.

      Again, these are not things that you should expect to learn in college because college focuses on the theory and science behind what you do while employers want you to be skilled and/or experienced in the practical considerations of building and/or maintaining databases.

    3. Do You Have Specialized Knowledge in Database Management System(s)?

      There are several relational database management systems out there … Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, Microsoft Access, etc.

      It is not enough to say that you have knowledge, skills or experience in database development, it must be specialized in a database management system (s) like SQL Server or Oracle.

      Again, why a college education may focus on the general principles and/or standards behind database systems like ANSI SQL, employers are only interested in your knowledge of how a specific vendor (e.g. Microsoft) implements that standard for their database software (SQL Server).

      If you are not familiar with the working of a specific database management software, your general database knowledge will … “not be … good enough”!

    4. Is Knowledge By Itself Ever Enough?

      No amount of SQL knowledge will ever be enough by itself.

      So, even if you go to Amazon.com and buy the best books on SQL and/or Databases and then read them all … that knowledge will never be enough just by itself, OK?

      The reason is that Information Technology careers (including database careers) are functional, hands-on careers and so …

      You always have to have three (3) components to be effective: Knowledge + Skills + Experience:

      1. Knowledge: is what you gain from reading textbooks, articles or watching videos on SQL and/or databases.

      2. Skills: is what you gain by practicing a step over and over again.

      3. Experience: is what you gain over a period of time especially in a real-world setting.

      While knowledge and skills can be gained quickly, gaining experience is usually gained over a longer period of time.

      Here again is where you run into trouble with formal educational institutions. They usually address just some of the theoretical knowledge but not the practical knowledge or skills and not the experience either.

      Yes, you may only get to gain experience on real-world projects but without first gaining knowledge and skills, employers are not inclined to hire you or give you the opportunity you need to gain more experience on their real-world projects.

    At the SQL Boot Camp, we provide you with the knowledge and skills you need for a SQL Query Writing or Database Development job.

    We also provide you with some projects / assignments that simulate real-world database challenges which allows you to build some of the experience you need to get started.

    You may review our detailed SQL Boot Camp curriculum for a breakdown of all the different knowledge areas we cover for a specific relational database management system (Microsoft SQL Server).

    At the SQL Boot Camp, we use Quizzes in our Learning Management System (LMS) to sharpen your skills and prepare you for SQL and/or Database jobs.

    Please “click here” to read more about how we prepare you for SQL and/or Database Jobs …

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