I hope this is the right place for posting this, but if not, please let me know!

I recently took a second class in Python programming which, toward the end, also taught a little bit of SQL. As it turns out, SQL was the part of the class that I enjoyed the most. So, over the summer, I am thinking of acquiring a Microsoft certification in SQL. However, before engaging myself in that, I wanted to ask if this certification is likely to benefit my career plans directly or indirectly (I am planning to pursue a Masters in Statistics, with probably some data science component in a couple years).

Do statisticians use SQL in their work? Is it reasonable to assume that SQL might become prevalent in statisticians' work in 10 or so years?

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    $\begingroup$ You've received a helpful answer already, but just to let you know that questions about statisticians might be better asked over on Cross Validated. That said, I'm not sure how they view career questions. $\endgroup$
    – J W
    May 20 '20 at 3:53
  • $\begingroup$ SQL is a query language that works with relations - rectangular tables consisting or columns (kinds of data) and rows (data values). The fashion how these tables are defined and relate to each other have some theory behind it, but the language is just there to make queries. If you store data in rectangular tables, like most of the world have done for the last sixty or so years, SQL is the standard-issue tool for it. If you store data in a hierarchical database, you will use another language. If you store data in an object database, you will need yet another tool. And so on, and so forth. $\endgroup$
    – Rusty Core
    May 21 '20 at 4:26

Do statisticians use SQL in their work?

Yes! I would say it is already prevalent.

Four indications:

  • One is how SQL queries are now easily accessed from within R: Database Queries with R.

  • You are apparently already familiar with Python and SQL interfaces, e.g., SQLite.

  • There is a DataCamp course Introduction to SQL.

  • If you are on the job market as a statistician, anecdotally it is now common to require SQL knowledge and experience.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the response and the four evidences! Would you say that R and SQL are the two most prevalent programming languages used by statisticians? Are there any other that they use? Do they use Python at all? $\endgroup$ May 19 '20 at 23:14
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    $\begingroup$ @Ricky_Nelson: R and Python dominate. SQL is not a general-purpose language, rather specific to database queries. A statistician today needs to be familiar with all three, although it is typical to become more proficient in either R or Python, with weaker knowledge of the other. $\endgroup$ May 19 '20 at 23:24
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    $\begingroup$ There are also up-and-coming languages like Julia. In ten years' time it might have partly displaced Python in scientific computing and data science, or maybe not. Keeping an eye on it. $\endgroup$
    – J W
    May 20 '20 at 4:03
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    $\begingroup$ Have a look at the tidyverse which is heavily influenced by sql. $\endgroup$ May 25 '20 at 3:25

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