You might think Oracle is second-fiddle to Redmond’s SQL Server market presence and popular certification programs. Oracle is no fool.
Although Microsoft SQL Server is the most popular database for small businesses, Oracle databases are preferred by large corporations and government agencies. Don’t let the sheer number of Oracle’s customers fool you.
Oracle is fundamentally the same as SQL Server and all other relational databases systems. It operates with SQL (Structured Query Language) and Oracle’s own PL/SQL extensions. It is relatively easy to learn, provided you are familiar with Linux and SQL.
You can learn Oracle databases if you already know SQL Server. Oracle is not necessarily more difficult to learn than Microsoft SQL Server. It’s just different.
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Learn Linux to Learn Oracle
Relative ease: Moderate
The biggest challenge: Oracle runs a custom Linux distribution. It will be close but not as popular as Debian, Ubuntu, or Redhat.
Oracle can be run on both Linux and UNIX versions, unlike SQL Server. In many corporate environments, the combination of the Oracle database and Linux operating system is common. Linux is a great starting point if you don’t know Linux or UNIX.
Take our Linux Essentials course to get started. This will prepare you to take the LPI Linux Essentials exam.
The CompTIA Linux+ Prep 4.0 course and LPI Linux LPIC-1 could help you reach Linux Administrator (LPIC-1) certification. CompTIA and LPI have teamed up to offer the LPIC-1 certification. This means you get two for the cost of one.
Learn Oracle Databases
Relative ease: It’s easy to learn
The biggest challenge is deciding whether to start with 11g and 12c.
After you have learned Linux, the next step is to learn how to use Oracle Database by taking our new Oracle Database Course. This training prepares for the Oracle Database 12c SQL 1Z0-071 certification test.
This exam is the prerequisite course to two Oracle Certified Associate certifications. It gives you a lot of flexibility.
Oracle Database 11g Administrator Certified Associates
Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Associates

Note about Linux: You don’t have to learn Linux first or vice versa. While you can learn Oracle in tandem, you will only be able to acquire a narrow, prescribed Linux toolbox.
Learn SQL, then PL/SQL
Relative ease: Easy-to-learn; difficult to master
Biggest challenge: Although PL/SQL may not be as complex as SQL initially, PL/SQL offers advanced applications that require patience to master.
Oracle uses their own PL/SQL version, which is different from regular SQL and T-SQL. Standard SQL is used to select and modify data. However, PL/SQL extensions allow administrators and developers to create apps.
We’ve already talked about some of the many creative ways that you can learn SQL. Oracle also offers a wealth of resources to help you learn SQL and PL/SQL.
Find PL/SQL and Oracle projects to put into practice
Relative ease varies
The biggest challenge: Oracle is the sweetheart for giant corporations, so it will be difficult to find work on freelance websites to master your craft.
You can only learn by doing. It will give you the confidence and cement your knowledge. How can you practice your PL/SQL skills with Oracle as a beginner? You may need to be creative and assertive to gain Oracle experience.
You can create your own live environment. Oracle offers a live Oracle database environment where you can practice setting up schemas and writing SQL and PL/SQL commands. Oracle Live SQL is the name of the site. You can also use the SPOTO Virtual labs in the OCA11g training.
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