Rank and file


When I applied for a job at SAS over 15 years ago, I didn't even know what the company did. [Insert dummy joke here.] Most of what I knew about the company came from colleagues at my former workplace who, perhaps in an effort to make themselves feel better, described SAS as a place that offered cushy benefits but really boring jobs that you would be stuck doing forever.

SAS has been on the Fortune Magazine "best workplace" list since the list began, debuting at number 3 and reaching as high as number 2. I had the good fortune of working closely with Dr. Goodnight (in proximity, at least) shortly before the list came out again around 2001. CNN had sent a team out to do a piece about SAS, and Dr. Goodnight speculated that maybe we were going to take the number 1 spot. When SAS was listed as number 3, I almost felt like I should offer condolences to the big guy.

(Side notes: the CNN piece highlighted SAS' "free massages" for employees. In fact, while you can get a massage here, it's not free. It's reasonably priced though, and convenient! Also, I think it was a requirement that every television news story that features SAS' workplace include a clip of Eddie filling the M&M containers in the break room.)

I think that SAS' staying power on the list says much more than the actual rank. There is no question that SAS has set a great example for other companies to follow, and as a result the field has become more crowded. Yet thanks to SAS' financial success, we've enjoyed a consistent repeat appearance on the list. After all, you have to stay in business and have a place to work in order to be a great workplace.

SAS has a reputation for caring about its employees, but the truth is, a company cannot care. People can care, and the people who make decisions at SAS do care: about their customers, their employees, and their communities.


About Author

Chris Hemedinger

Director, SAS User Engagement

+Chris Hemedinger is the Director of SAS User Engagement, which includes our SAS Communities and SAS User Groups. Since 1993, Chris has worked for SAS as an author, a software developer, an R&D manager and a consultant. Inexplicably, Chris is still coasting on the limited fame he earned as an author of SAS For Dummies


  1. I've been recently looking for employment in the tenous job market as an analyst and programmer. I cannot say enough how many companies require skills in SAS in their potential employees. Luckily, I found a wonderful, and very flexible SAS training program at Knowledge Systems Institute, a small hidden gem of a school. I urge everyone to check out http://www.ksi.edu/train_sas.html.

  2. And just to set the record straight - while SAS does have great benefits, it also has *great jobs* (i.e. *not* the boring jobs Chris' "Before SAS" workmates described). So, while I do have a sweet tooth, it's the work and the people ("cake") that has kept me here for (just under) 20 years, not the benefits ("the icing on the") .

  3. Pingback: Numero Uno - The SAS Dummy

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