Given the emphasis on SAS Software, and specifically on Base SAS Programming, KSU students – both graduate and undergraduate – develop very strong SAS skills as a function of their studies in Statistics. Many of the Fortune 500 companies in the Metropolitan Atlanta area have large SAS Infrastructures – including Delta Airlines, The Southern Company, Equifax, The Home Depot, The Centers for Disease Control, CompuCredit and many others. Many of these companies have expressed difficulty and frustration regarding the inability to find people who have strong analytical skills and can program in SAS, for a reasonable salary.
In 2007, during the inaugural academic year for Statistics at Kennesaw State University, Jennifer Priestley, Associate Professor of
Statistics, contacted the SAS institute regarding the intersection of this “supply issue” (Kennesaw State University students with strong analytical and SAS programming skills looking for jobs) and this “demand issue” (local companies looking for reasonably priced individuals with strong analytical and SAS programming skills). The solution to these issues eventually evolved into “SAS Day at KSU”.
In 2012, we celebrated our fifth annual SAS Day event, attended by Coca-Cola, InterContinental Hotels, Southern Company, AT&T, Chick-Fil-A, Turner Broadcasting, SunTrust, Chase Bank, and several consulting firms, including Accenture. Total attendance of external guests this year surpassed 100. The event has become a truly “reverse” career fair – where students set up booths with poster presentations of their research (all SAS based), and local recruiters from around the area come and meet with the students and learn about their skills and their studies. Many of whom recruit our students as a result of the event. In addition to full time positions, several companies use this event to screen students for internships and project based work. It has truly become our annual flagship event.