An SQL bootcamp online or in person can prepare you for a career in data science or data analytics — some of the fastest-growing fields in business and technology. Considering the many SQL bootcamp options, it can be difficult to figure out which one is right for you. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 SQL bootcamps, focusing on cost-effective options with thorough SQL training and the flexibility to fit into a busy student’s schedule.
Top 10 SQL Bootcamps
The best bootcamps to learn SQL are typically data science or data analytics bootcamps. These types of programs provide an in-depth foundation in using SQL for analysis, querying databases, and using programs and systems like MySQL and PostgreSQL.
1. Udacity – Best Overall
Cost: $1,356 for four months ($399 per month)
Time commitment: Self-paced, but 10 hrs/wk recommended
Udacity has several programs to learn SQL and data science skills, including a free introductory SQL course, a two-month-intensive SQL program, and bootcamps in data science and data analytics. Udacity also offers a variety of courses in coding, software engineering, and UX design. Although the data science and data analyst bootcamps are not for beginners, the platform includes many free introductory courses and preparatory courses to help beginners build a foundation.
While the bootcamps are estimated to take four months to complete, they are entirely self-paced. However, the tuition ($1,356) only gives you access to the program for four months. Any additional months needed cost $399 each. Students receive a certificate upon completion and support from technical mentors, personalized feedback, portfolio review, and networking opportunities.
2. Mode SQL Tutorial – Best Free
Time commitment: Self-paced
Mode is a data analytics and visualization platform designed to help businesses perform ad-hoc analysis and run custom reports. However, as part of the platform, Mode offers an SQL tutorial for people interested in becoming data analysts. The program is entirely self-paced and meant for beginners. All of the tutorial is completed within Mode’s platform and a web browser.
This program covers everything you need to use SQL in data analysis but doesn’t go into using SQL for software or data engineering. However, Mode also offers a free tutorial in Python for data analysis, making the platform a great tool for anyone looking to get started in a data science or analytics career.
>>MORE: Learn what a career in data science is like with BCG’s Data Science and Analytics Virtual Experience Program.
3. Coding Nomads – Best for Intermediate Analysts
Cost: $9 per month for the basic plan (up to $899 per month for other plans)
Time commitment: Self-paced, designed to take 12 weeks at 5 to 15 hrs/week
The Coding Nomads data science and machine learning program is an in-depth 180-hour course designed for students with a foundation in Python and object-oriented programming. The basic plan includes only the course and access to an online forum for help with technical questions. Coding Nomads offers two other plans — premium ($29 per month) and mentorship ($899 per month). The mentorship program includes career guidance, one-on-one support, and 24/7 support.
4. Career Foundry – Best Paid
Cost: $6,900 (discount available for paying in full)
Time commitment: 5 to 15 hrs/wk (finish in 8 months) or 30 to 40 hrs/wk (finish in 4 months)
Career Foundry’s data analytics program is primarily self-paced, making it a good option for those with a busy schedule. Additionally, the program has a job guarantee — if you don’t get a job in your new field within six months of completion, your tuition is refunded. However, not everyone is eligible for this, and no one is required to opt-in.
Career Foundry’s program is for beginners and includes an introductory unit teaching the fundamentals of analysis and Excel. Students also receive career coaching and one-on-one mentorship with personalized feedback and guidance.
>>MORE: Explore how analysts visualize data with Accenture’s Data Analytics and Visualization Virtual Experience Program.
Cost: $9,500 (for data science) or $13,475 (for data analysis)
Time commitment: 50 hrs/wk for 4 months (full-time) or 15 to 30 hrs/wk for 6 months (self-paced and part-time)
Thinkful offers courses in both data science and data analytics. The data science program includes lessons on machine learning, big data, and deep learning, in addition to SQL fundamentals. Thinkful’s data analysis program focuses on business analytics, using Excel for analysis, basic Python programming and SQL basics. Full-time students may need to take a prep course before being accepted into the bootcamp.
All of Thinkful’s programs include a job guarantee option for those who qualify and are interested. Additionally, students can access a Slack channel to get support from instructors and peers, technical coaches to work through complex problems, career coaching, technical interview prep, and help writing resumes.
Cost: $8,500 (data analytics) or $9,900 (data science)
Time commitment: 15 to 20 hrs/wk for 6 months
Springboard has two primary courses for learning SQL: a data science bootcamp and a data analytics bootcamp. The data science program includes specialized career tracks in business analytics, advanced machine learning, and advanced general data science. This program is designed for students with at least six months of coding experience and familiarity with probability and statistics.
Springboard’s data analytics program is similarly not for complete beginners — students need two years of professional experience using office, design, or programming tools. The program centers on business analytics, finance and financial metrics, and data visualization.
Both courses include an optional job guarantee for eligible applicants and one-on-one mentorship, career coaching, technical interview training, and salary negotiation tips. Additionally, students are given insights on how to search for jobs and help writing resumes.
7. Bloom Institute of Technology (BloomTech)
Time commitment: Self-paced
BloomTech‘s data science course is an intense 960-hour course to teach beginners the fundamental skills needed for a career in data science. The program is entirely self-paced, and students can access live classes throughout the week and pre-recorded lessons on demand. Additionally, BloomTech students get personalized career coaching and mentorship, interview prep, and salary negotiation tips.
While BloomTech is the most expensive option on this list, eligible students can opt into a job guarantee program, either paying nothing up-front or paying the tuition in equal installments. Graduates who don’t land a job paying more than $50,000/year within a year of completion are refunded 110% of their tuition. Additionally, partial scholarships are available for eligible students.
8. Data Science Dojo
Cost: $3,799 – $4,500
Time commitment: 5 to 6 hrs/wk for 16 weeks
Data Science Dojo offers a 16-week data science bootcamp covering the fundamentals of data science and using SQL for analysis. Students can choose from three plan options: The Dojo plan ($3,799) includes only the course itself, while the Guru plan ($3,999) consists of the course, a verified certificate of completion, access to a learning platform, and software subscriptions. For $4,500, students can also gain mentorship with experienced data scientists.
Students in Seattle, Washington D.C., New York City, and Austin can attend in-person bootcamps. The in-person courses are only five days long and require 10 hours of class time each day. In addition to data science, Data Science Dojo has courses in PowerBI, Python, and a practicum for eligible students, which includes a mandatory six-month internship.
>>MORE: See how data science impacts business decisions with Quantium’s Data Analytics Virtual Experience Program.
9. Coding Dojo
Cost: $11,995 (machine learning) or $13,995 (data visualization)
Time commitment: 25 hrs/wk for 16 weeks (machine learning) or 20 weeks (data visualization)
Coding Dojo has two courses for learning SQL skills: a data science course focusing on machine learning and a data science course focusing on data visualization. The data visualization course includes everything from the machine learning course, with an added four-week intensive on using Tableau and time series analyses. Students can expect to learn fundamental Python and SQL skills in addition to data manipulation, statistical analysis, and gradient boosting.
Although the programs are not self-paced, students benefit from having access to instructors during and outside of class, teaching assistants, personalized career coaching, mock interview training, and resume development support. Additionally, partial scholarships may be available for eligible students.
10. Brain Station
Time commitment: 12 weeks (full-time) or 30 weeks (part-time)
Brain Station’s data science bootcamp features in-depth learning in core skills and programs, including Python, Tableau, Pandas, and Amazon Web Services. Additionally, students can expect to gain a strong foundation in SQL for data analysis and machine learning skills. The course also provides a professional development unit to teach students how to communicate findings, create portfolios, and develop soft skills.
Neither the full-time nor part-time options are self-paced. However, students can access one-on-one career coaching, professional development workshops about building resumes and using LinkedIn, and a diploma for completion.
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Other Ways to Learn SQL
If data science isn’t your thing, there are other ways to learn SQL. In fact, many coding and software engineering bootcamps include coursework on SQL. A few of our choices for the best coding bootcamps for 2023 offer solid SQL training, including:
- NuCamp‘s complete software engineering bootcamp
- Career Foundry’s full-stack web development program
- Coding Dojo’s software development program
These courses also cover core skills in full-stack development like Python, Java, HTML, and CSS and can be great options for those interested in learning SQL and exploring more tech-centric career options. However, these programs can be costly.
Free bootcamps and courses are available that include some SQL teaching. Some of our picks for the best free coding bootcamps have units that touch on SQL, such as:
These programs are designed for software engineering and coding, first and foremost, though, so the SQL training may not be in-depth. However, they can be great ways to explore essential SQL and data science skills without a big commitment.
Tips for Taking SQL Bootcamps
Determine What You Want
Before spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a bootcamp, it’s important to figure out your goals. For example, a program with a job guarantee may be perfect if you want to make a big career change. However, cheaper or free courses may be a better choice if you’re looking to learn for personal reasons or side gigs.
Additionally, if you know you only want to learn some basics of SQL, it might make more sense to take a less intensive course rather than investing time and money into a more in-depth course.
Before starting a program, make sure you understand the prerequisites, time commitment, and technological requirements. If you need to learn some Python fundamentals before starting, it’s better to do that before signing up for a bootcamp. Additionally, bootcamps can be demanding. Making a schedule and sticking to it can help you stay on track, especially for self-paced courses. Lastly, always check the program’s computer and software requirements in advance so you can avoid any surprises once you begin.
Build a Support System
Because bootcamps are intentionally intense and challenging, building a support system is essential to keep you motivated. Talk to your friends and family beforehand, so they understand what you’re undertaking. See if they can offer any advice or even bring you snacks on especially tough days.
Carefully Read the Program Details
Many programs offer options like deferred tuition, job guarantees, and income share agreements (ISAs), but you should read the terms carefully before agreeing to anything. Some job guarantees have very strict stipulations, such as requiring you to move to a metropolitan area. Deferred tuition and ISA options come with contract terms and conditions, like agreeing to pay the company up to 30% of your monthly salary for several months after landing a new job.
Additionally, some programs require a full-time commitment, making it difficult to have a job during the course. These all have advantages and disadvantages, but make sure you understand what you agree to beforehand.
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We chose programs based on criteria including relative affordability, online vs. in-person learning, third-party reviews, student feedback, and location. Our ultimate goal was to find programs that are cost-effective, flexible for students and working professionals, and comprehensive with SQL skills.
The final list was ranked based on the following criteria and weights:
- Cost: 25%
- Thoroughness of SQL training: 25%
- Flexibility: 20%
- Number of other skills taught: 15%
- Student support during and after the course: 10%
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