Learning in the middle of the night - or whenever

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Learning in the middle of the night - or whenever

w/my "not-so-little-anymore" kids

Sometimes life is just too busy, and I bet many of you feel the same way. If you’re like me, you’re playing a number of roles: employee, spouse, parent, community leader, coach and so on. With all the craziness, it’s likely we’re shortchanging another role that’s critically important to our success: lifelong learner.

Unfortunately, being a lifelong learner in today’s world doesn’t always mean you get to learn in traditional ways. Instead of taking a few days off work to sit in a classroom listening to an instructor, my guess is you’re stealing moments to learn whenever and wherever you can. I do the same. For example, I’ll ask my wife to handle the driving when we go on trips so I can read that article I bookmarked, and I’m almost always trading Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” for that career-builder podcast when I work out. Sometimes, though, we have to get really creative to tend to our professional development.

On three different occasions during my young adult life, in fact, I’d set my alarm for some time during the middle of night, rouse myself from sleep, grab one of the many books on my nightstand, and read a chapter or two before climbing back in bed. Now before you get too impressed with my dedication, you should know that my “alarm clock” wasn’t a traditional one, but a screaming, hungry infant. Because my wife handled more than her share of feedings during the day, I committed to the middle of the night ones. It was actually pretty great. I’d get to spend some special moments with my son or daughter and then grab a few minutes post-feeding to knock out a few pages of the book du jour.

Luckily, you don’t need to get up in the middle of the night if you want to expand your SAS® knowledge or prepare for a career-boosting SAS certification – unless you want to, of course! SAS e-learning is available 24/7, making it easy to learn whenever and wherever you are.

If you’re just getting started on your SAS journey, we offer several of our most popular e-learning courses and a library of nearly 300 how-to-tutorials completely free. SAS Programming 1 is perfect for anyone who wants to learn the basics of writing SAS programs. The course is a prerequisite for many other SAS courses, and one of the courses that can help you prepare for the SAS Base Programming for SAS®9 certification. Statistics 1 is also free and the perfect introductory course for users who perform statistical analysis using SAS/STAT® software. The course can help you prepare for a number of SAS certifications as well, including the SAS Statistical Business Analyst credential. Recently, we expanded our library of free e-learning to include a number of additional courses, including SAS Programming for R Users, SAS Platform Administration: Getting Started and SAS® Viya™ Enablement.

Of course, we also have a full curriculum of e-learning options for experienced SAS users as well. You’ll find courses in just about every SAS technology imaginable, including SAS programming, SAS® Enterprise Guide®, advanced analytics, business intelligence, data management, administration and more. You can find out more about all these courses on our e-learning homepage.

For those of us with busy lives, e-learning really is the perfect way to learn. It’s definitely the best way for me to learn SAS, since my wife has made it perfectly clear we’re done having kids!


This article originally appeared in the September issue of the SAS Learning Report. For the latest SAS training and certification news, subscribe today.

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About Author

Larry LaRusso

Principal Communications Specialist at SAS

Larry LaRusso is the editor of the SAS Tech Report and SAS Learning Report newsletters and the SAS Users, Learning Post and Analytics U blogs. He has worked at SAS since 2000 in marketing, communications, customer experience and management roles for both the Education Division and External Communications. You can follow him on Twitter @lalaru102.

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