Udacity is one of the most popular and trusted online learning platforms. In this Review, I will share my experience along with the syllabus, projects, curriculum, pros and cons of the Udacity SQL Nanodegree.
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In this Udacity SQL Nanodegree Review, I will be reviewing the Udacity SQL Nanodegree which I completed in December 2020.
I was a student at the University of Texas at Dallas pursuing my Master’s degree in Business Analytics when I decided to pursue an SQL Nanodegree with Udacity.
While in school most of the curriculum for business analytics courses focuses on Model building and how to interpret model outputs, very little focus is laid upon the data manipulation aspects.
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It is during my summer internship I got the reality check about how things happen in an actual industry setting.
I interned with a giant brokerage firm in the summer of 2020 and I was surprised to find out that most of my time was utilized writing SQL or HIVE queries to get the data from the database in the desired form.
There I got to know the importance of writing good SQL codes and decided to invest time in learning them.
After considering many online courses, I finally decided to pursue the Udacity SQL Nanodegree program looking at the depth of the syllabus and the extremely good faculty base that Udacity has.
Fast forward almost a year, I graduated from my university and worked as a full-time data scientist with the same brokerage firm that I interned with.
However, this time all my learnings at Udacity SQL Nanodegree program are helping me a lot in doing my job every day.
Syllabus of the Udacity SQL Nanodegree
Now, let’s know about the Syllabus of this Nanodegree in this Udacity SQL Nanodegree Review.
The entire Nanodegree program covers a lot of important aspects of SQL coding which can benefit students or working professionals in getting in-demand data analyst/data scientist jobs.
The course covered the entire syllabus in two broad parts. The first part is the introduction to SQL language where they have covered from very basic select queries to advanced subqueries and window functions.
The second part is more about the Database Management aspects where they have covered database concepts like Normalization, constraints, and query performance improvement, and a basic taste of NoSQL databases.
I have jotted down my thoughts on each of the sections of the course below.
Lesson 1: Introduction to SQL
This part is the foundation of the course and it is quintessential to cover this part well for any student.
If someone has already worked in SQL a lot, he/she may find this portion a little boring and may skip some basic stuff, but for a novice like me, it helped a lot.
This section covers very basic SQL select statements to where clause, group by clause, order by clause, joins, set operations, data manipulation functions, advanced subqueries, and window functions.
At the end of the module, one becomes very fluent with SQL as a Programming language.
Project 1: Deforestation Exploration
This project thoroughly tests your learning from Introduction to SQL module.
The project is based on real-world data obtained from the World Bank that includes forest area and total land area by country and year from 1990 to 2016, as well as a table of countries and the regions to which they belong.
The task is to use the knowledge that you gathered in the introduction to the SQL module and write queries in an effort to find areas of concern in deforestation as well as areas that present an opportunity to learn from successes.
They have a very structured approach to the project. A guiding document will be shared with the students where the students need to answer specific questions asked in the document using SQL queries.
Finally, you need to submit your queries and the completed document for evaluation. The faculty member will then give you feedback on your queries and if needed asks you to resubmit.
Here is a view how the project workspace looks like.
Lesson 2: Management of Relational & Non-Relational Databases
In this section, they cover mostly the database-related concepts in detail.
I understood how Data Normalization is performed really well from this course.
It also covers in detail the DDL and DML command, how to maintain database consistency through constraints, how to improve query performance through indexes, and also a basic taste of NoSQL Databases.
After covering this module, a student will feel really confident in all the database-related concepts.
Combining lessons 1 and 2, this course will give holistic learning of SQL programming to a novice learner
Project 2: Udiddit, A Social News Aggregator
In this project, you will be thoroughly tested on your learning from both the first and the second lessons.
In this project, an existing flawed schema of a backend database of a social news aggregator website would be provided.
Your tasks are to study the existing schema, identify the flaws and limitations, improve those flaws by creating new DDL statements, then migrate given data to the new schema, finally use DQL on the newly created database to answer some questions.
Udacity SQL Nanodegree Project Experience
Frankly speaking, I have learned a lot from those projects than any other assignment as part of my school work.
The projects are based on real-world datasets and give you the flavor of working in the industry.
The projects were definitely challenging for me but they improved my approach to problem-solving.
They test you really well on your learning and give you a reality check of your understanding.
Thoughts on course pricing and timeline
I got a really nice deal on the course pricing as Udacity has given me a very huge discount.
But in my opinion, it was worth every penny when finally, it helped you get a job with a six-figure salary
The course timeline is good and I strongly believe that people can do the course in 3 months at a normal speed.
For me, I took the course after my semester was over so I completed it within 25 to 30 days putting in more hours per week.
My thoughts on Udacity SQL Nanodegree features
I heard it is a great feature, but I have not used it extensively, so don’t want to comment on it much.
They are really helpful. The feedback I got from the faculty members on my projects really helped me to fine-tune my learning.
The feedbacks are usually very detailed and many times you need to resubmit your work if it is not up to the mark.
They are not distributing certificates. You have to earn it.
Again, not used so no comments.
My purpose was totally different. I used this course for learning which eventually helped me get my dream job.
Pros and Cons of the Udacity SQL Nanodegree:
After the syllabus and pricing, let’s talk about the Pros and Cons of this Nanodegree in this Udacity SQL Nanodegree Review.
A very structured learning process starts at a basic level and gets into the more advanced concepts, good faculty members, and a good supporting team.
I liked most of the contents of the course, but in the future, I would like to see stored procedures and triggers to be covered in the course as well.
My Udacity SQL Nanodegree Certificate
Is this Udacity SQL Nanodegree Worth it?
Overall, the course content is really great and I recommend the course to the students, for me it worth it. Hope you like this Udacity SQL Nanodegree Review and found it useful.
I would also encourage them to look for good pricing deals or scholarship opportunities provided by Udacity.
It would help them to ease any financial burden.
Mrinmoy Jyoti Bhuyan
I have always been fascinated by the idea of solving real-life business problems with analytics. Be it any role in Marketing, Finance, Operation Research, etc. Or be it any industry such as Healthcare, Manufacturing, FMCG, etc. analytics becomes the major game-changer in recent times.