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In many job descriptions for IT Admin, Ops, or Network gurus, I see the requirement of SQL.

Why would it be needed? In my opinion there's no need for IT Technicians to interact with SQL databases but perhaps I'm wrong. Can somebody shed some light on this?

Edit:

Perhaps I should have a second part to my question as I realise the broadness of a job title "IT Admin". Unfortunately the job offers/descriptions out there do not help in this department, so please let me know example job titles that you think would definitely require SQL

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"IT admin" is a very broad category of jobs which might range from very specialized support of a single software platform to "the guy who knows things about computers". Especially in smaller companies they might not have the funds to hire separate people for their SQL.

In my previous job I did everything from plugging in hardware, cleaning out support tickets and making reports for Management. someone else actually built the database but I was heavily involved in keeping it running.

Regarding your edit: the title of a job often has little or nothing to do with what you end up doing and the tools you get to do them with. But if you are looking for SQL jobs look for titles involving Support, Analyst, Admin, Databases. It is a very broad set of jobs that might somehow involve SQL as it is a very broad language with a lot of uses. Sometimes you might just use it to understand a query or bit of architecture and sometimes you might need to write something yourself.

  • I totally understand the broadness of the job title but the jobs themselves aren't helping here. I will rephrase my question a little – Moseleyi May 22 at 9:24
  • @Moseleyi What do you mean the jobs themselves aren't helping – Twyxz May 22 at 11:08
  • +1. If the job is for a spot in a small company, its entirely possible that the "IT Admin" is going to be responsible for the SQL database, the network config, and making tweaks to the web page. Because they don't have the finances to hire an IT staff of 30+ people. – Kevin Jun 13 at 20:54
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In my opinion there's no need for IT Technicians to interact with SQL databases

Well, in the opinion of the person doing the hiring, there is. Whose opinion matters more if you want that job?

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As an administrator, you may have to dump, restore or configure the database (e.g. for replication), and may have to perform other maintenance tasks such as creating users, database, and manage access. It may be, in some organizations, also be the system administrator role to write migration scripts, which in this case plainly require SQL knowledge. This is especially true in organizations too small to have a dedicated DBA.

As with all job requirements, you may be good with a partial knowledge. Probably that advanced query manipulation and optimization is out of the scope, but basic skills like setting up and maintenance are likely to be required.

  • I think you are mixing IT Admin and DBA, they are very different things. You wouldn't be creating any databases as an IT admin... – fireshark519 May 22 at 8:55
  • I did. It depends where you work. – Keith Loughnane May 22 at 8:56
  • IT admin is broader than DBA, and in many organizations you don't have both. I'll clarify this – Arthur Havlicek May 22 at 8:56
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After working as an Application Support Analyst, IT Admin is a very broad job title.

You might be asked to run reports that have not been built to be ran from a report platform, instead you just run the SQL queries to get the data for the reports. You may be tasked with ensuring that any jobs on the servers run smoothly and if any of them isn't working, either alert the DBA or debug (depending on the job that is running).

You may be asked to help out with non-critical report creation, as Devs might be busy with bigger (or more important) projects...

You are just a guy that knows computers and wants to learn more about them, that is the IT Admin...and honestly, SQL isn't difficult at all, I went from not knowing SQL to doing BI development with SQL in less than a year...

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Because those roles all interact with databases in some way.

IT Admin - Can be required to fix something database-related, and thus have to interact with databases directly.

IT Ops - Most non-static websites use a form of database, usually SQL, to store data on the server. If you're interacting with this data in any way (adding, removing, modifying, even simply retrieving), you need to know how to SQL.

Networking - You need to know the basics of how SQL works in order to a) set up connectivity and b) diagnose any network-related errors where the SQL server may be involved.

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This is tough because all job titles are relative. There’s no ISO standard job description for “IT admin” that all employers everywhere will adhere to.

I’ve been a mainframe operator, a “computer officer”, an IT technician, an IT systems engineer, a Senior IT systems engineer, an “IT solutions engineer and an infrastructure manager.

I didn’t need SQL skills for the first two jobs, but I’ve needed varying degrees of SQL knowledge for all the others, to support apps that use SQL, to administer SQL servers, and to extract and use data that was stored in an SQL database.

I understand that in your opinion this should not be necessary and that’s fine, but my experience over 30 years doesn’t seem to agree with you.

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