02-11-2013 04:39 PM
In the analytics group that I work in, we require everybody to have the Base 9 Certification within 90 days of joining the team. We are also encouraging the team members to get the Advanced Certification. The base certification at least sets a level of knowledge. I am also seeing more students taking it prior to graduation.
04-04-2013 10:57 AM
'It depends' is probably the answer to your question! If you are don't have much SAS experience, and are competing with people who have years of on-the-job SAS experience but no certificate, they may have the edge based on their background. However, if you are competing with other candidates with an otherwise similar resume to yours, it may give you the edge. If you have no background in SAS and want to work somewhere that relies on it, the certification is probably a good way to go. Anyone can take the SAS classes and put them on their resume, but it doesn't mean they know how to use SAS. Certification theoretically shows you can apply what you learned.
From my experience, anything I learned in SAS classes is forgotten in a few weeks if I don't use it regularly on the job. Heck, I don't remember half the stuff I DO use... but I do remember where to look it up online or in reference guides, or where my stored example program is... So I am actually pursuing certification just to help fill in the gaps in my own knowledge even though my employer doesn't care and I have no active plans to change jobs anytime soon.
04-04-2013 11:35 AM
I almost forgot to mention... SAS is running an awesome deal to take the live web SAS Base certification review class for free Apr 22-25 if you sign up to take the certification exam. The details are here:
Epic winning deal since the class normally costs over $1000!
04-04-2013 11:17 AM
Whether you are looking for full-time employment or work as a contractor, in today's SAS market SAS certification is definitely a plus and puts you ahead of the pack. Where that is not unique among applicants, then experience is the deciding factor. Regardless of the type of specific data function you are looking at, as data mining in your case, the achievement of a SAS certification - at least BASE - is not a waste of time nor is it a worthless piece of paper. Even if your prospective or current employer does not require it, the knowledge you will gain through the process can save you months - even years - of trial-and-error. It is true, as Michelle said, that one can get by using the excellent SAS documentation - especially on-line - and after 30 years in the business I still use it almost daily in refreshing myself on various options or functional syntax. I got BASE and ADVANCE certifications in 1980 - when all it required was attending a SAS-led class. I am currently pursuing BASE and ADVANCE certifications under the new process. I hope to achieve them this year. GO FOR IT - you won't regret it.