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Mechanical Engineer background to SAS career-data Analyst?

Occasional Contributor
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Mechanical Engineer background to SAS career-data Analyst?

My background is Mechanical Engineering - In my Engineering degree, I took a course Engineering Data Analysis, where I learned about all the statistical Analysis: descriptive and inferential statistics(T, ANOVA, regression equations, logistic regressions).

I found it interesting to analyze data and come up with solutions to a business problem.

So recently, I  took training on SAS Base, Advanced and predictive modeling and the first step is I am taking SAS base exam certification after a week.  

I want to have a job as a SAS programmer at first and grow along with to move into data analyst career. How difficult is it to get a job as SAS programmer while having Mechanical Engineering background. If there is anyone who came from this background can share and give an opinion I would appreciate.

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Re: Mechanical Engineer background to SAS career-data Analyst?

Having met a lot of SAS users, I can confirm that their backgrounds are as varied as the personalities themselves.  And your mechanical engineering analytical skills should transfer nicely to other fields where data is abundant and analytical rigor is required.


But as I work for SAS, my view might be optimistic and biased -- I'd like to hear what others say!

Posts: 40

Re: Mechanical Engineer background to SAS career-data Analyst?

[ Edited ]
Posted in reply to ChrisHemedinger

I am also from  Engineering stream . Had done substantial work on mathematical modeling and simulation for design both at Masters and Doctoral level and had a passion for programming (C/C++ and Linux / Linux Admin). I wrote my own code in C for statistical analysis (most of us did then ) and used GNUPLOT for visualization. 

I  moved into SAS and obtained Certifications (Admin and advanced programming). For those with prior experience in a procedural language (Fortran / C /PASCAL/QBASIC and also SQL ) SAS would be pretty easy to learn. The advantage of engineering education is that extensive numerical computation is done  as part of academic work. This is an advantage if you have an engineering education. (Other disciplines too have their own merits)  This coupled with my experience of programming and  Linux administration made me feel comfortable with SAS administration and programming. 

It is good that you have started with certification. That helps a lot .(There are people in business who remark that certification does not add value. But don't care for them. They don't know what they are speaking). One also need to have a good grasp of shell programming particularly Korn shell. Large corporations still have ksh88 on AIX.  Knowledge of SQL is also essential.

Data Analysis is in my opinion more business focused then programming is. Many business use other tools (Microsoft tools particularly- Excell, Power BI, Access etc at the front end with their specific requirements such as DAX/SQL etc) and RDBMS systems at back end.

 But  the real challenge is finding a job particularly the one  that suits your interest, passion and where you are better cultural fit. Competition is intense. 

 My best wishes and welcome to the wonderful world of SAS.

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5

Re: Mechanical Engineer background to SAS career-data Analyst?

Posted in reply to thesasuser
thank you for sharing the information
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