How to land a job as a SAS professional

Would you like to know the secret of how I landed my job at SAS? Since I’m asked this question so frequently, I thought it might be useful to share my tips.

1.       Know yourself

Are you a people person? Or are you an analytical person who enjoys the rush you get while working with logic and numbers? Or are you a combination person? What do you like to do? What are your skills? Take the time to understand your likes. You really need to know yourself to start positioning your resume in the right manner for a SAS job. I suggest taking a personality test. Here are a few you could try:

My tip - If you have time for only one, Myers Briggs is typically considered a reliable indicator of personality type. If you come out strongly analytic, then you are a shoe in for many SAS jobs that require analytical skills. I tossed in a couple of other tests that are more detailed analytical type tests.

2.       Know your industry

Have you taken the time to understand industry trends before trying to find a job using SAS? Research what areas of industry are hot and what companies are hiring. Here are some companies to research:

My tip - Look to the health industry which is always looking to recruit SAS professionals.

3.       Network

Take every opportunity to meet other SAS users.  Speaking from experience, user group committees are usually short-staffed and love to get an extra hand. Whether you are skilled at organizing, presenting, compiling evaluations, or putting up content on the user group website there’s usually a skill waiting to be used at your local user group.

My tip - Join your local SAS user group. Not only will networking help the community, but it also helps you figure out where the jobs are in your research for your dream technology job.

4.       Make the fit

Understand the organization you are seeking. As an example, my organization SAS is a socially responsible company that believes in giving back to the community. I loved volunteering before joining SAS and was able to continue after starting the job. Thanks to SAS, I was able to teach yoga (check out this video) to these junior kindergarten kids at a neighborhood school. Make an effort to understand the vision and mission of an organization and see if what you’re doing in your life lines up with what the company stands for.

My tip - Read up and ask others working in the organization you have your eye on what it’s like to work there.

5.       Test your SAS skills

How good is your SAS knowledge and experience? You do need solid SAS skills to nail that SAS job. If you haven’t already, take a look at our top 10 course list to get a sense of what SAS users out there gravitate to the most. Take the SAS certification exam if you’re not sure. You’ll definitely be sure once you pass the exam.

My tip: Try the SAS practice exam for a self-test.

It’s easy to understand why so many people ask me about landing a SAS job. This recent article says SAS is the #1 skill to add to land a bigger paycheck.

At SAS Institute, we’re always happy to provide you guidance on what training you need to take. However, you do have to know yourself and your industry so that we can provide you the best options.  Good luck on your search.

tags: career, certification, jobs

56 Comments

  1. Geet
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Charu thank you very much for such a useful article. I'm a biological science graduate with some statistics training and am trying to break into SAS for career. Can I get in touch with you to ask a few more questions?

    • Charu Shankar Charu Shankar
      Posted July 31, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Certainly Geet, feel free to send along your questions. I'm taking all the questions to write a followup post to this one.

      • Geet
        Posted August 3, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for your reply! I have used SAS during my graduate studies, have fair knowledge of statistics and am working toward Base SAS certification. I do not know any other programming language but have started to learn SQL. I wanted to ask whether Base SAS can help one enter into this field or one needs to know other programming skills too? Most companies ask for 2-5 year of SAS experience, I wonder how do people start. Btw I'm already in touch with local SAS user group and going to meet them soon. Thanks for your valuable suggestions :)

  2. Posted July 27, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I clicked on the link, " SAS is the #1 skill". The article I got says people with SAS skills make $52,500. I don't know this figure was derived. I am assuming the article meant people with only Base SAS skills with no other IT skills.

    I can tell you people with SAS skills along with relational database or "Big Data" expertise make over $100,000.

    • Charu Shankar Charu Shankar
      Posted July 31, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      I knew SAS was a much wanted skill, but didn't realize the stakes were so high. thanks for sharing industry salary statistics Divyesh. SAS is clearly a #1 skill for anyone wishing to tap into the analytics market. Watch for my followup post..

  3. Ankit Kumar
    Posted October 1, 2012 at 4:26 am | Permalink

    Hi Charu,
    I want to break into a career in SAS. I am a bit confused about what to choose in SAS course content. To get into SAS will Base SAS certification be enough. I have done Btech(CSE), please let me know is their any prerequisites before learning SAS. Can I get in touch with you to ask few more questions about SAS?

    Regards
    Ankit

  4. Krisha
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Hi Charu,
    I want to start new career in SAS programming. Can you please help me with any good Training and placement services in USA? If you know any ....

    Thanks in Advance

    • Charu Shankar Charu Shankar
      Posted February 1, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for your note Krisha.. Feel free to get in touch with me via Linkedin. I post any job requests I receive on my page for others to benefit from.

  5. AnudeepSrivastav
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Hi Charu,

    Thanks for providing such a precise information, I just want to ask you my perception of getting into SAS Domain jobs and question is :

    I am currently working in India for a Product Development company which uses Big Data and Analytics technologies leverage them into Solutions for Retail Customers across Globe, My role is Reporting in this product and have good Business Knowledge of Analytics in retail Industyr Domain.
    Currently I am thinking of getting SAS , VB training from one of the famous training institutes in India and then Apply for Jobs of SAS as Data Analyst profile, Will this work out like this way (or)Should I do in a different way .
    Please Suggest me I am in a great confusion.

    Thanks.

    • Posted July 30, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Hi Anudeep, I'd be happy to suggest some ideas. If I were you, I would first reach out to SAS India at this link http://www.sas.com/offices/asiapacific/india/training/. They would be the best place to suggest the right training. As far as industry needs go, it can be very specific to region. In Canada we have a SAS training & Career development group where we offer individuals advice by providing links to resources. You may need to do industry research for your region by exploring where job postings occur most frequently. Please also continue to read blogs such as this one where we continue to share knowledge on SAS best practices.

  6. NITIN
    Posted July 30, 2013 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    hi
    i am new to this blog.I am MBA in marketing and having 3 years of marketing experience from UK in retail market.I want to do SAS certification as i want to pursue my career in business development and analyst.I want to know it is beneficial in Indian market and hows the job prospects in this case
    Thanks
    Regards
    nitin

    • Posted July 30, 2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Hi Nitin, thanks for your enquiry. Please review my response to Anudeep. Job needs vary by industry & region so its best to reach out to SAS office in India to get your training needs sorted out & then research jobs in the region. Good luck with your search.

  7. Sukant
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Dear Charu,

    Nicely written and structured blog on the topic. I am sure many would benefit from the inputs. I had been following the same approach and after reading your blog I am sure of its results.

    Best regards,
    Sukant

  8. esha
    Posted August 18, 2013 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    hie charu,
    thanks for ur valuable inputs on SAS ..although m lil confused as to how much will it be relevent to me..i am a banking professional with 3.5 years of experience in banking industry ..have fair amount of knowledge of banking processes and products...my job comprises of both sales and operations..wanna stick around banking but switch to a different profile...pls guide me if SAS will be a viable option as my research says that a number of banks use this technology ...and which module will be right pick for me to switch to different profile...i am a graduate in commerce and MBA in Mktg and Finance and followed up this with a diploma in retail bnkg mgt...kindly suggest.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Esha

    • Posted March 7, 2014 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Hi Esha
      thanks for your interest in SAS. Yes, you're right! Relevance of SAS skills to your workplace environment is very important. At SAS institute we help our customers understand how their SAS learning will fit into their work environment. This varies country to country. Please feel free to contact your SAS country contact directly so that they are better able to assist you with your training needs. Best regards, Charu

  9. Gaurav
    Posted August 27, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Hi Charu,
    I have been working on Data Warehousing projects for past 2 years and my expertise lies in ETL tools. Have worked with clients in different domains.

    I am willing to move to Business Analyst/Data Analyst job (as I want to work more with data that technicalities of tool), but I see it is difficult to even apply for most of the Analytic jobs with my current profile and experience, as most of of the Job Description have SAS as the prerequisite.

    Can you please let me know if it will be possible for me to learn SAS in a short span so that at least I can get a job in Analytics and actually start working on the tool (Also) will I have any advantages in learning SAS with my current experience of data warehouses.

    Thanks in advance for your help. (Sorry for the long writeup :) )
    Regards,
    Gaurav

  10. Jason
    Posted August 29, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Charu,
    I live in Cary NC and have a heard great things about SAS as a company and have met a few people who work at the Cary facility. I have been a teacher and for the past 13 years, I have worked for Pearson Education (a large global textbook and educational software) in varying roles as a consultant, trainer, and project and people manager. I have an MBA with a focus in project management and a Masters in Educational Leadership. I have recently started learning about SAS in the educational industry in the hopes of eventually landing employment, should there be a position that fits my skill set. Do you have any advice, or any contacts within SAS as it relates to their involvement in the education industry? Thanks for any guidance.

    • Gavy Bachher
      Posted November 1, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jason,
      Since no one has replied to your post, I decided to go ahead and do the honors.
      I live in Cary, NC and yes, it is a great place to live. SAS is a wonderful company to work with,well, that's what I've heard too. I switched careers recently- from Education to Analytics. Got Base and Advanced SAS certified. And now looking for suitable jobs in the Triangle. Suggest you to join:
      Research Triangle SAS users group at http://www.rtsug.org/
      South East SAS users group at http://www.sesug.org/
      and other groups which you might like to discover on your own.
      Hope this helps.

      Gavy

  11. Saurav
    Posted September 11, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Hi Charu
    I am commerce graduate working in the field of sales operations supporting sales leaders globally with various analysis as part of my job. I am a sales management advisor but in the actual sense do not advice anything to the sales leaders.Only provide them with various views/dashboard/analysis since they are so busy.I only know excel and have user knowledge for cognos, hyperion ,TM1 and some other tools. I already have ten years of experience in other fields.(banking operations).How useful will it be for me to learn SAS and how will I practice it even after learning since my daily work in office is totally different. Can I apply SAS knowledge to my domain for various purposes like forecasting and business intelligence?My reason to learn SAS is my analytical bent of mind rather than managing people and also better remuneration.Need your advice.

  12. kamal
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Hi Charu,

    I worked as life science research scientist mostly in cancer field in USA. I am now interested in SAS clinical training and placement. I have knowledge on basic concepts and simple programming in SAS.9.3. Can you guide me in selecting good training and placement institute in USA?

    Thank you

  13. Nitin
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Hi Charu,
    I am Nitin a Post graduate in Industrial mathematics with Computer science , I am good in Statistics concepts. since last one and half years I am working as a Test Automation Engineer ( Rational Functional Tester java) , But as Statistics is a area of my interest so I am planning switch my career in SAS .
    Need your help in choosing one of the best career out of following.
    ( which one of the following is equivalent to SAP functional Consultant. )
    SAS PROGRAMMER
    DATA ANALYST
    DATA MANAGER
    REPORT WRITER
    BUSINESS ANALYST
    STATISTICAL ANALYST
    OPERATIONS RESEARCHER
    FORECASTER
    MARKET RESEARCHER
    DATA MINER
    STATISTICIAN
    DATA INTEGRATION DEVELOPER
    PLATFORM ADMINISTRATOR
    BUSINESS USER
    BI applications DEVELOPER

  14. Posted September 30, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    HI everyone, thanks so much for your overwhelming response to this post. Sounds like it touched a chord for many of you. Yes, SAS is a great tool to learn and very marketable as those of you who have done searches are well aware of. Please bear with me, while we explore options to provide each of you the best answers to your individual questions. best regards, Charu

  15. Jagdish
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Hi,

    I have recently done certifications in base and advanced SAS 9.3 programming. I am looking for job but without experience in SAS programming i am finding it hard to get any job. I am located in Michigan, US. Can somebody help me?

    Thank you
    Jagdish

    • Charu Shankar Charu Shankar
      Posted October 16, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jagdish, great to hear you're a certified base & advanced SAS programmer. Have you checked out the Michigan SAS users group. They have a jobs site http://www.misug.org/jobs.html and they're also meeting on october 24th. It would be a great networking opportunity for you to connect with other SAS users & learn about potential job opportunities..

      • Jagdish
        Posted November 9, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        Hi Charu,
        Thank you so much for you reply. I really appreciate it.
        I was away and missed that October 24 meeting.

  16. Mike E
    Posted November 11, 2013 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Hi Charu,

    I am looking to be come certified in SAS Certified Base Programming. I have an MA in economics with some experience using R during some of my courses. I've been doing political research since graduating in 2011, and I am now looking to make a career change into analytics. I want to add SAS to my skill set to market to potential employers, but have some questions. I understand SAS is a very in demand skill. Would it be beneficial to get certified even though I may not have any recent statistical experience? What advice would you have for someone looking to break into this field?

  17. Ram
    Posted November 15, 2013 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Hi charu,
    I am Ram ,A science graduate in biology and chemistry.Currently i'm working in a Pharmasutical industry,as a Quality assurance guy.I want change my career into SAS.
    Am i suitable person to learn this certification course.? because i'm new to statestics.
    Please help me out from my confusion ..

    thanks,

  18. Nitish Bhalla
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Hello charu,

    I am Btech in ECE and right now i am doing job in HCL as data analyst..I want to know if SAS will give me career growth.

  19. Sujoy Ghosh
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Hi Charu,

    I am a Clinical SAS programmer currently working in India with around 4+ years of experience and also Base SAS certified.I want to migrate to Europe/Australia/UK/US. Can you please suggest me which is the best place to migrate. Keeping in mind the visa constrains.

    Any kind of comments will be really helpful.

    Kind Regards

  20. Posted November 30, 2013 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    hi, i completed my sas training ,is any job oppourtunities

  21. Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    Hi

    Greetings.I am corporate trainer in Oracle Application development and admin.Kindly advice me how SAS can suit me to be a Certified SAS trainer and how good is the market for the SAS trainers

    Bala

  22. chandrakala
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    hi

    Iam chandrakala having M.Sc chemistry with 4 years experience in pharma industry, but now iam interest in SAS . is there good career . pls reply me

  23. Ramya
    Posted January 20, 2014 at 4:44 am | Permalink

    Hi charu,
    This is Ramya sree. I am intersted in doing SAS course.
    I am a B.tech (EEE) graduate(2010 passed out) and have 1year 8months experience in BPO.

    I have a couple of questions.
    1. Am I eligible for doing SAS course??
    2. After completing my course, will i get a job without showing any fake experiences???
    Please reply with your valuable suggestions.

    Regards,
    Ramya sree.

  24. parthiv patel
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    hey i am an engg student from IT dept and interested in SAS. Should i opt for it?
    how much pay can i expect after doing SAS(with no experience)?
    how easy or difficult is to find a job?

  25. Sheeba
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Hi Charu,

    I am a base and advanced certified SAS developer with 7+ years of experience and is looking for openings based on california. I would like to apply for job as a technical consultant in SAS institute as I have heard about the great work culture and the new learning opportunities. It will be great if you can let me know what are the prerequisites/qualifications required for a job as sas technical support professional.

    Thanks in advance,

  26. Prasad Marathe
    Posted February 8, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Hi Charu,
    Hope you are keeping well. I enjoyed reading your post above. It gives info about networking, SAS skills assessment etc. I am a graduate student is industrial engineering with specialization in statistics. I've had course work in design of experiments, regression analysis, statistical data mining and times series forecasting. I am currently pursuing BASE/SAS 9.3 certification.I am currently in Arizona and would soon send an e-mail to the local SAS user group for membership. I am currently looking for entry level positions in SAS in the US. I am also sending you a linkedin request to connect with you on linkedin :-) Thanks

  27. Rakesh Kumar
    Posted March 5, 2014 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Hi Charu. I have done my MBA in Marketing and IT and currently working at a leading private bank in sales profile since last one year. I always wanted to pursue a career in analytics.
    I enquire at one of the institutes for SAS and they advised me to go for Base SAS, Business Intelligence, Business Analytics modules. I request your openion on the same. Is it advisable to go for the mentioned modules?? Thanks in advance.

  28. shilpa
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    Hi charu, am a postgraduate in Biotechnology and have 2 years of experience in biotech company in india. I am intrested in SAS Clincal research and start my career in clinical research in USA. Could you please help me where do i have to start?

    • Posted March 7, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Hi everyone,
      thanks for your overwhelming response to my post. Yes, SAS is a highly valued skill in the job market. However job markets vary from country to country and region to region. Your best bet as aspiring SAS professionals would be to reach out to your SAS country contact person. They will be best be able to guide you based on your specific industry & job performance roles. Best wishes on landing a SAS job.. charu

      • shilpa
        Posted March 13, 2014 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        Thanq very much charu

  29. Gaurang Karmakar
    Posted March 7, 2014 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Hi Charu,

    I have done my MS in Mathematical Sciences from the Univ. of West Florida (2012), but I am an Indian national who will be returning to India shortly. I have Maths/Stat background. I would like to have a career as a SAS programmer. I understand I should go for the SAS Certified Base Programmer and probably the SAS Certified Advanced Programmer. What then must I do afterwards and how do I network for jobs in India and the US? Please help.

  30. amit
    Posted March 23, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    hi charu sir,

    I am a student of MBA Finance in mumbai. how can SAS be useful for me in getting a job of business analyst profile during my campus placements ? which modules of SAS should i learn?
    please help. thanks in advance.

  31. pragatheesh
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Hi,
    Thanks a lot for your information. I am working on base and advanced sas. I have work exp of 3yrs. 3yrs. I really love working in sas. Could you please help me out what would the best thing to know along with sas. I mean what are the other knowledge I should gain if I know Sas.

  32. raghava
    Posted April 22, 2014 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Clinical domain openings is there?please

  33. Gowtham
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Hi Chaaru,

    I'm from Pharma(finished M.Pharmacy) Background. Currently I'm in USA, am not eligible to do job as pharmacist as standards have changed in US. So I'm thinking of taking Clinical SAS as my career. But no idea how the market is for Clinical SAS. Could you please suggest me.

    Thanks in Advance...

  34. shivangi
    Posted May 18, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Hi I am SAS base advance and BI certified but I don't have experience that is creating problem landing a job. I am currently in USA and doing my MBA in Management Information and Technology. Plz guide me on how to start to get into real world and start working with SAS

  35. Pratyush Gupta
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    HI Charu,

    I am Pratyush. I am base SAS and Adv SAS certified. I am free in summer. So, i wanted to go for any course which will add to my expertise in resume. Kindly let me know if there is any online course which i can pursue like Hadoop or Python or any thing elese, which will enhance my chances of getting job in SAS.

    Please suggest me

    Pratyush Gupta

  36. kartheekkada
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Hi charu,
    I am currently working in financial domain. I would like to know whether companies may consider SAS freshers with domain exp.

  37. mallica
    Posted June 26, 2014 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Hi charu...I m an assistant working in SBI....will have to take a break to look after my new born for almost an year...my question is 1.can I go for SAS ccertification both base n advanced.
    2.if yes which module will be fit for me...
    3.what package I can expect after doing it.
    I have done BCA and MBA in banking from SMU(distance learning course).my exp in bank is almost 3 years..my 12th was from science...
    pls suggest...a quick reply wud be highly appreciated.

  38. FRAM
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    hello Charu,
    This is Foram. i have studied Bsc Biochemistry and MBA Marketing also while my stay in usa for 6 years i have come accross with SAS. i have used base sas during some learning for my thesis for my M.S..I was wondering in case you can help me..! could you please help me to get entry level position in sas ? i have been trying to get in to sas at entry level positions as i have used SAS 9.0 SAS 9.1 SAS 9.3 AND SAS ENTERPRISE GUIDE. although i have some knowledge of sas for 6-7 months OF REPORT/TABLES/FIGURS GENERATING AND CREATING DATASETS but, i am planning to get training for BASE & ADVANCE sas for my career shift to complete SAS. in any case will you able to guide me? i was in usa for 6 yrs but i was not happy with the work satisfaction but when i enjoyed working with SAS and Enterprise Guide. i want to enjoy the work with SAS. Coule you please help me to take a right choice for my path. Bcoz ihave moved back to INDIA. N again i want to start my career as working n independent lady. thankyou for taking time to read this. Hopping for your favorable reply. Best Wishes

  39. Mini
    Posted July 7, 2014 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Hi Charu,

    Your blog is wonderful.I need some more information. I hope you can help me. I have a degree in Finance but I don't have any work experience. Could you please help me to understand how SAS training would help me? How easy is it to get a job after certifying in basic SAS course?

  40. NARESH.K
    Posted August 6, 2014 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    hi'

    i am naresh . i did m.b.a, hospital management i want to do s a s certification course for bright career i don't like to do job at hospital field as i have no proper leaves and good salary please tell how will my career if i do it .

  41. Joydeep
    Posted August 11, 2014 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Good day Charu,

    My name is Joydeep and I am working with UK based company in India. I am assistant manager and I am into MIS and Management support team.

    I have good knowledge in Advance Excel, Macro and other codding related to it.

    My colleagues to me to add one more course on your skills that is SAS. So my question to you is whether this will help me in my future run and carrier.

    whether I will get job offer after doing this course and there are my levels on this course and which will be suitable for me.

  42. sony
    Posted August 26, 2014 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Dear,

    i need a small information, about sas i joined recently in a institute for sas base,
    im a B.sc biotech, MBA Finance graduate

    which path suits to me Business analytics, Business intelligence, or Clinical

    email: harikasony001@gmail.com

    Thanks,

  43. ashwini
    Posted September 11, 2014 at 3:08 am | Permalink

    hai,iam btech with ece,is it possible to get the a job as clinical sas programmer.

    iam eligible or not,plz advice

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