7
$\begingroup$

I have been looking at analyst job postings and one of the most common requirement is experience of SAS.

  • Unless your organisation currently uses SAS, how can you train as a SAS user?
  • What programming language would be equivalent to SAS that employers might be happy to accept?
$\endgroup$
5
$\begingroup$

I would recommend going through a self-study course such as the UCLA website and specifically the SAS Starter Kit. If you learn better within an interactive environment, I would suggest checking out online course offerings such as the World Campus SAS courses offered at Penn State University (Stat 480, 481, & 482).

Update: Sorry should've read more carefully, I agree with @Christoper.Aden that there aren't really any equivalent languages with SAS. You can learn R to perform statistical calculations, but if you need to use SAS, then learning R will only be a small step in the right direction (general programming knowledge - the two languages are incredibly different in practice).

I would recommend getting an academic discount version of SAS if you enroll in a program like I mentioned above - Penn State currently sells a 1yr licensed copy of SAS for $30 (only to students).

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ I've heard about World Programming System (WPS), j.mp/9GjesM. Don't know how comparable it is, though. There was an old GNU project, called Dap (j.mp/955DqP), but it never reaches a mature state. In biomedical research, SAS is still considered as THE reference software, although FDA is on her way to (progressively) accept R-based analyses for clinical trials. $\endgroup$ – chl Oct 11 '10 at 17:57
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting. I've never heard of WPS. I'll check it out - it mentions the ability to read SAS datasets... $\endgroup$ – M. Tibbits Oct 11 '10 at 18:01
4
$\begingroup$

As far as SAS goes, getting certified is resume gold. The SAS Institute offers classes and exams to receive the certification. There are also books you can use if you are self-motivated.

Getting SAS is quite difficult if your company does not have it. I'm on a college campus, and they offer academic discounts on student liscenses and the campus labs have it installed on some machines. If you want something a little similar, but cheaper, give JMP a try. It's probably the closest thing to the SAS feel.

For similar languages, it would probably depend on your field. The social sciences would probably be more receptive to seeing SPSS on your resume than would the economics-related work.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Is getting certified actually gold? I've heard lots of mixed reports about the impact of technical certifications in general, but I don't know how that applies to SAS. Can you expand on that a little bit? $\endgroup$ – Matt Parker Oct 11 '10 at 18:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I've also heard mixed reports -- I taught the SAS class at PSU for 4 semesters, had a bunch of student report that companies were happy that they'd simply had exposure to SAS. Several students mentioned being drilled on which Procs they knew during interviews, but mostly the feeling I got was that employer want a familiarity with SAS and accept that you'll need to learn specific procedures or methods after you've been hired. Within the programming community, employer will sometimes view Certs as a red flag -- a waste of time, or a book knowledge over practical/experience-oriented info. $\endgroup$ – M. Tibbits Oct 11 '10 at 18:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Here's a link to a certification discussion over on Not Programming Related -- also a Stack Exchange website. $\endgroup$ – M. Tibbits Oct 11 '10 at 18:21
  • $\begingroup$ I suppose my comment was stated with little backing evidence, and in retrospect, cannot be backed fully. I have seen a few jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area that, in the qualifications section, ask that the individual be familiar with using a data analytics package, and add that SAS Certification is recommended or highly recommended. It's very likely they are instead just looking for some way for you to show you are comfortable with SAS and not just putting it on your resume because it is "one of the most common requirement is experience of SAS". $\endgroup$ – Christopher Aden Oct 12 '10 at 5:52
1
$\begingroup$

The programming language most similar to SAS is... SAS. Which you can interpret using WPS, which will run SAS code and evidently costs substantially less than a SAS license and has a 30 day free trial. I haven't used it myself, but it should get you started programming in the SAS language.

As M. Tibbits suggests, I don't think that experience with R would be helpful in most corporate settings. I also don't think that SPSS experience will be all that helpful, either, and my sense is that it has a less than stellar reputation outside of the social sciences.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think it's wrong to say that R would not be helpfull in most corporate settings. Knowing R won't really help you learn SAS if that's what you're stuck on, but that's like saying you need a hammer when faced with a box of screws..... $\endgroup$ – PaulHurleyuk Oct 14 '10 at 8:34
  • $\begingroup$ Let me rephrase: I don't think R will help anyone get a SAS programming position in most corporate settings, primarily because I doubt most people in corporate SAS shops even know what R is. $\endgroup$ – Matt Parker Oct 14 '10 at 13:20
0
$\begingroup$

when i joined analytics industry( just out of my own interest) after serving software for 5 yrs..I didnt know SAS either..I got some version from somewhere and started writing codes on my own. Yes, I had programming background before that..I knew SQL, I knew general programming. I would suggest you visit tutorials and start writing codes yourself. The version is something you should get first but. Read SQL. Know everything from select * to joins to merge..tommorow if some interviewer gives you a loop or a join(left,right, full)..or some function like 1) contains 2) coalesce 3) sum, min, max, average 4) merge( in=a) (in=b) ..bla bla..you should be in decent condition that you are gonna ace it. These are just some bits from my side..apart from this you could also focus on reading things like regression analysis, MLE and OLS methods..this would show the interviewer that though this guy didnt have SAS facility he is good on general concepts..All I am preaching here is what i practiced.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ I had experience with SQL. I learned myself the rest and got a base certification. Not sure it will be any benefit to get the advanced from an employers perspective. $\endgroup$ – Ηλίας May 20 '11 at 8:33
  • $\begingroup$ Ok..then whats the problem ? I reckon that this post was long back..may be your problem got solved by now.Isnt it ? $\endgroup$ – ayush biyani May 20 '11 at 9:02
  • $\begingroup$ exactly this was a long time ago - I took the advice given here! Hope it helps others as well. $\endgroup$ – Ηλίας May 20 '11 at 11:18
0
$\begingroup$

SAS University Edition is a great place to start!

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.