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SAS Certification: Bang for the Buck

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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 129

SAS Certification: Bang for the Buck

Ok, I have to ask this question that is sooo relevant and yet is not the typical comfy "please help me understand this SAS procedure" question.

 

I have learned extensively from the book "Learning SAS by Example". I feel that I know SAS enough now to use it, at least for typical uses.  I come from a background in chemistry, toxicology, and public health. There are some jobs within this field that require SAS knowledge, particularly in epidemiology and biostats. That has been my initial motivation for learning SAS, although if job opportunities branch out beyond that, that would be fine.

 

Now I come to the question of certification. I can spend the time and money to get as many certs as I need. I learn quickly and given the proper resources can pass most tests. However, it has become apparent to me that getting a base SAS cert in and of itself may only marginally improve my marketability. While I think it is worth it, I do not feel it is enough. Then the question becomes, what would add more to this in terms of supply demand economics. The best thing to have is umpteen + years of experience in SAS programming, but, well, that takes umpteen years and you have to start somewhere. So, I am asking, based on the experience of SAS programmers here, what, in their experience, lands marketability from the perspective of SAS certs. Advanced programming? I have read that SAS Certified Predictive Modeler Using SAS Enterprise Miner 7 opens up doors. Is this accurate?

 

These are very relevant questions. In today's job market it is not enough to just learn skills. You need to really focus on where the bang for the buck is, or you risk spending a lot of time (and perhaps money) chasing marginal returns. The goal of the SAS forum is to encourage people to learn and use SAS, as this maintains SAS as a viable and important platform, hence benefiting the SAS institute. So, with that said, any advice and/or insight would be greatly appreciated and is very much within the mission of this forum. Thank you.

Super User
Posts: 23,681

Re: SAS Certification: Bang for the Buck

Posted in reply to ManitobaMoose

 

Personally, anyone who has the CAP designation is someone I would consider. That's an intense certification that looks pretty useful. 

https://www.certifiedanalytics.org/

Super User
Posts: 23,681

Re: SAS Certification: Bang for the Buck

Posted in reply to ManitobaMoose
I've been burned by the SAS certification so I don't trust it as much anymore. Had a few analysts who are certified but cannot solve a problem. If I tell them exactly what to code they're fine but actually realizing they need a PROC FREQ wasn't a skill they had. That's problematic. It means they know how to use the tool, but not when.
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 129

Re: SAS Certification: Bang for the Buck

Hi Reeza,

 

Thank you so much for your input. It is really valuable to hear this from a person who does hire SAS programmers. In regards to people who can pass the test but not know how to work in a real environment, I can certainly understand that happening, especially with the preponderance of SAS test data dumps.

 

In my case, I always ask why and how and would really have little problem adapting to a real life situation, especially with my science background, which is built upon asking how and when to interpret data. It seems that being able to demonstrate writing code may be more valuable in certain cases than the cert. I did apply to a job that asked me to submit SAS code from a previous job. Unfortunately, I have not yet had a job that uses SAS. It is the chicken or the egg phenomenon. I guess what might be helpful would be if I could find example work assignments in which I would have to write the code from scratch. Does this exist? That might be helpful in terms of proving that I can write SAS code using my brain, rather than memorizing code rules. Any thoughts would be fantastic. Thanks!

Super User
Posts: 23,681

Re: SAS Certification: Bang for the Buck

[ Edited ]
Posted in reply to ManitobaMoose

PM me and I'll send you an example of what I use when hiring - the tests.

 

Here's the source actually, this is what I use to test, but a slightly more complex data set. I need to be able to test that a person understand the concept of the difference between a data set with single record per person and multiple records per person and how to deal with those. I've used this quite a bit and none of the answers are the same so far...and some really interesting responses. 

 

http://tcbanalytics.com/2016/01/29/how-to-hire-and-test-for-data-skills-a-one-size-fits-all-intervie...

 

 

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