Not long ago, the well-equipped student entering the job market would only need a degree on their resume. Now, certifications and other advanced skills developed outside of a degree program are becoming essential. In response to growing market demands and the increased importance of analytics, data science, and big data skills at top organizations around the world, students who want to get ahead of the game are wise to include SAS as part of their education. Fortunately, SAS provides learning tools at no cost for individuals who are looking to advance or grow these valuable analytical skills.
The free tools that SAS provides include SAS University Edition, which bundles access to both SAS Studio and Jupyter Notebook, SAS e-Learning courses and complete online tutorials.
You might find yourself asking, “where do I start if I want to gain SAS skills?” Well, in order to learn the knowledge to begin programming in SAS, you can take both the e-Learning Statistics 1 and Programming 1: Essentials courses. Both are available on the SAS website at no cost. The Statistics 1 course focuses on t-tests, ANOVA, linear regression and logistic regression, while the Programming 1: Essentials course focuses on navigating the SAS environment, reading various types of data into SAS data sets, creating SAS variables and subset data and creating and enhancing listing and summary reports. These courses will give you a good foundation as you begin your journey with SAS programming.
SAS University Edition
If you need access to SAS Software, check out SAS University Edition. Because it runs on your local machine, it is one of the easiest ways to practice SAS on your own. No internet access is required, making it mobile and convenient. SAS Studio, the web application used with SAS University Edition, is a powerful interface that comes with dozens of built-in tasks including filtering, transposing and sorting data.
Jupyter Notebook, which is now included in SAS University Edition, is a web application that allows you to create and share documents that contain live code, equations, visualizations and explanatory text. The notebook supports over 40 programming languages, including SAS, so now you can write SAS programs using the Jupyter Notebook interface that you may already be familiar with.
If you want a formal way to let the world know you have worked hard to gain SAS skills, you should consider earning a SAS Certification. A number of certifications are offered, but the first, most essential one is the SAS Certified Base Programmer for SAS 9. The free e-Learning courses mentioned above will be extremely helpful in passing this certification exam. You may also wish to consider purchasing the Programming 2 e-Learning course to complete your preparation. The combination of hands-on experience programming SAS and a SAS certification on your resume will give you the credibility and competitive advantage needed in today’s demanding job market. Although exams are not free, they are available at a 50% discounts to individuals in academia.
Putting it all together
In this blog, we’ve given you the motive for developing SAS skills, an overview of the tools available, and some pointers to round out your learning experience. Being a successful student of any discipline involves focused time spent studying. If your goal is to become skilled in SAS and thereby increase your ability to analyze big data, you now have a low-cost route to your destination.