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Free SAS Learning Resources

Started ‎01-06-2018 by
Modified ‎08-04-2021 by
Views 6,099

If you're just starting out with SAS one of the most common questions is how to get a free copy of SAS followed by how to find free learning resources. 


I'm going to list a few here, in no particular order with my thoughts on the them. 


1. SAS e-Course - Programming Essentials

    This is a pretty basic course, but it will teach you the fundamentals of SAS so that when you're asking questions on the forum or else where, at least we're all speaking the same language. The statistical course is also free and is a good introduction to Statistics in SAS.



    A bit newer, but this resource contains a lot of short video tutorials on how to accomplish common tasks in SAS. If you're more of the type of person who wants to do specific tasks rather than learn via a course, this is a great resource. 


3. UCLA SAS Tutorials

    These can be a bit outdated, but they've been revamping them lately and they're highly useful to learn how to accomplish something specific in SAS. There's a wide range of topics on this site covering everything from how to read in data, to how to interpret your statistical results and/or which statistical test you should use. For non-statistical users, this site likely has the majority of issues covered that you'll encounter.



    Once you've covered the basics, you sometimes want to do a deep dive into a specific topic. has the proceedings from may of the user conferences across North America, and the Global SAS conference. However, these are user written papers, so the quality of the paper can vary. And they do go back decades so you do want to make sure the paper you're reading is relevant today, using a newer paper on the topic is highly suggested. 


4. RTM (Read the Manual)

    Seriously, the SAS documentation has paid employee's who've been updating and revamping these for decades. Literally. Use     them. The example section is quite thorough at providing fully worked examples that you can run on your own machine to verify the results. 



    Well, you're here already so you know it's a resource :). One suggestion is to search well. You can do this by first narrowing down your key words for your question and/or searching only specific boards. Note that because, the content is user driven, not all questions get posted in the correct board, so first search specific boards and if you don't find what you're looking for, search the entire forum.  If you're a beginner, odds are your question has been asked and answered before, so you can likely save yourself a lot of time if you search before posting a new question. And if you can't find an answer, you can still post a question :). 


6. Little SAS Book

    This has been in print for a while, and although I don't have a copy, I've seen it highly recommended over and over. It seems to cover a lot of the basics that programmers need.


7. Computer Science Illuminated

    If you've never programmed before, it's highly helpful if you understand some basic concepts first, such as recursion, loops, boolean logic and how computers store numbers. These techniques and approaches don't change with the programming language, exactly how you implement them will, but the general idea is the same. These are becoming less necessary with the advances in computer science, but it's still worth understanding some of the basics. It will accelerate your learning process. 

And learning how to pseudo-code speeds up your process a lot. 


Hope this was helpful, if you have other suggestions that you think are particularly relevant please include them in the comments below. 





PS. I didn't include links to sites or books because they have a tendency to change over time. Most of these are easily found via your favourite search engine. 


Great list @Reeza! Definitely helpful to put a list of useful resources together. Some other resources I'd suggest to look at also are:

While you mention the SAS documentation, in 4. RTM above, going to the main page one can step into the SAS documentation, technical support, training and community resources and links. Its a great landing page.

One of my favourite resources are the SAS blogs. There are a variety of business and technical blog posts that you can subscribe to. If you click on the Blog Directory you can focus in the blog posts of interest ie/ analytics, data visualization, tips etc


User Community

Agree that is a fabulous online resource with supportive members. It is a great place to ask, learn and share online with SAS users across the globe in a 24x7 environment. There are also local, regional, virtual and global SAS user communities which help with meeting people face to face and networking & learning with SAS users and partners in your community. Attending a user group meeting can also be helpful if you are looking for someone to fill a role or looking for work. To find out more go to and select the country of interest (from the top banner). The User Group link is found at the bottom banner and may redirect to the US User Group page.


social media

Also one of my favourite resources is connecting/learning/sharing with people in social media. SAS Software (rather than SAS the airline) has a presence in LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. It's also a great way to learn and interact with SAS experts in real-time (or near real-time) and to also find out when there are new blog posts, articles, e-books, webinars, events, discount training etc. It's also a fabulous way to "meet" people before meeting them in person... isn't it Reeza? I remember how excited I was to finally meet you for the first time at SAS Global Forum!


Kind Regards,


Thanks for the great post, @Reeza! I hadn't know about Computer Science Illuminated, so I'll have to check that out. The Art of Computer Programming is also a fantastic reference by one of the greats of computer science.


I'd also like to through in a shout-out to Daily tips are worth at least a quick read, and there are many advantages of a wiki, including links between pages, categories, and the fact that all the content is contributed by the community.

While it's in the process of being decommissioned, it seems likely that the site will still be available for perusal for some time (and is preserved in the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine). Plus, is an excellent blog aggregator that has helped me find some great things to read.

This won't apply to everyone, but SAS is also very supportive of the military and their spouses. They offer free e-learning and certification to those who have served. Additionally, they give a 50% discount to classroom training, Live Web, SAS Academy for Data Science, and SAS books.

I've already posted my SGF slides online, where you can find a chronological review of all the best places to get support with SAS - just click here.


A great option (as @MichelleHomes mentions) are SAS meetups.  They are a fantastic (and nearly always free) way to learn about SAS from your fellow peers.   If you don't have one in your area - you can always start one!


The UK & Ireland user group was only set up last year:



The Belgium User Group is even more recent (just a few weeks old):


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