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Base SAS certificaiton entry level jobs

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5

Base SAS certificaiton entry level jobs

[ Edited ]

If I were to obtain the Base SAS certificaiton, how much would that enhance my chances at getting interviews/jobs? What else should/must I do to get a job as a SAS programmer? Many of the jobs I see on Indeed . com job board require much more than the Base SAS cert. Many jobs are in the pharmaceutical area it looks like, but I do not mind working in a different area.


Base SAS I do know is just the fundamentals and there is a lot more involved on the job.



I also have a B.S. in Accounting from Rutgers University (I know, very unrelated ) and I am located in NJ in USA.


Posts: 1,836

Re: Base SAS certificaiton entry level jobs

The response by @Reeza and @ballardw  on this thread   are amazing. I learned something from those responses. IMHO, perhaps with "just base SAS" you could try batch file processing/production support. But why would a well accomplished accountant end up doing prod support jobs after all and the chances are they will be moved offshore anyway.

Super User
Posts: 23,776

Re: Base SAS certificaiton entry level jobs

Certification gets you in the door but that's it. It probably won't even help you pass an exam from the company, definitely not if it's my exam Smiley Happy


Experience and practice will help more, regardless if you pass the certification exam. 


I would personally, learn VBA, SAS and how SAS is used for accounting and financial reports. For example, can you take a data set and make a professional looking report out of it? If so that helps because you can automate reporting and checks which are likely. You're also likely to be dealing with time series data so understanding the basics of forecasting. VBA is because so many people in the financial world are still using Excel and you can try and fight it...but it's a battle I've long given up on. 


I would probably consider using your University network, reaching out to some alumni in those fields and ask them what skills you should be building. 

New Contributor
Posts: 3

Re: Base SAS certificaiton entry level jobs

  1. SAS and accounting are not unrelated, it’s an excellent combination. One complements the other.
  2. You first need to get SAS certification and then sell yourself as a package.
  3. SAS is a tool that an accountant can use to provide information to management in their decision making.
  4. Here is a list of things a SAS base programmer with accounting knowledge can do for a company.
    1. Variance reports month over month year over year.
    2. Independently verify reports from financial packages, COBOL programs.
    3. On demand reports not just in detail but create XL or power point slides.
    4. Bring data to a common platform from DB2, ORACLE, XL, IMS etc.
    5. Use your accounting knowledge to find gaps in the information and how you can add value to the company.
  5. I have been programming in SAS since 1987 and I don't have SAS certification. I have looked at questions in SAS certification and my judgment is that I will not pass the test without preparation. I learnt SAS by doing every example in SAS5 manual. Today one do the same by just trying SAS examples from the internet. There are thousands of them.
  6. I work for a retail chain in NJ, we have 7 SAS programmers working only with SAS base, PROC report, PROC SQL, DB2, Unix and JavaScript. Our team is a profit center for the company. Because we create reports to our vendors who want to know how and when their products sell within the retail chain. They pay top dollar for this information.
  7. My suggestion is learn Base SAS, PROC SQL, PROC REPORT, SQL, basic UNIX, Create XL spread sheets by SAS ODS.
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5

Re: Base SAS certificaiton entry level jobs


Good information!

I have a BS degree and  basic computer programming knowledge.

I am preparing for Base SAS certification.

I am looking for a career in Clinical SAS can you please suggest me what additional skills I should have to start career in Pharmaceutical industry?


Thank you.

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