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Structured Query Language (SQL) is used for querying, retrieving, and extracting data from relational databases. In addition, SQL is used in the definition and creation of relational database structures such as tables and views (Microsoft, 2012). The demand for SQL skills is increasing because of the portable nature of the language. A person equipped with SQL skills can work in various relational database platforms such as Oracle, Microsoft® Access, Microsoft SQL, FoxPro, and My SQL. In addition, SQL skills are applicable in numerous fields such as database development, report writing, business analysis, web development, data analysis, and computer programming. This paper discusses the advantages of learning SQL and whether the knowledge of SQL is a requirement for working with Microsoft® Access.

The first significant advantage of learning SQL is that it offers opportunities for diverse career paths such as data warehousing and analysis, data base development and administration, SQL development, and database mining. Opportunities for SQL professionals are increasing because numerous enterprises are embarking on the storage and analysis of their corporate data and indication that the demand for SQL professionals is likely to increase. The second advantage of knowing SQL is that it enhances reliability in the sense that one can extract the required answers from the database without depending on other people who have data interpretation and writing skills. In addition, learning SQL enhances productivity through eliminating the need for the organization to acquire extra resources. The fourth advantage of learning SQL is that it facilitates the development of portable skills that can be deployed in numerous disciplines and solving business problems. Other notable advantages of SQL includes its block structure, procedural language capability, better performance, and error handling capabilities; these qualities of SQL facilitate the development of a powerful database (Microsoft, 2012).

SQL is a fundamental requirement when working with Access and is mainly used for interaction with the data present in the database. Access makes use of SQL for a number of tasks such as running queries, whereby SQL is primarily used for filtering the data, gathering the data to be displayed, and offering an Access form for displaying the data. In addition, Access makes use of SQL for performing the data functions found in the Query Design Tool, which includes actions such as Make Table, Delete, and Update. Additionally, SQL can be used to facilitate the process of Query Design in Excel. Despite the fact that SQL is integrated in Access, learning SQL can facilitate better and powerful database building (Microsoft, 2012).

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