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Best way to Learn SAS?

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Best way to Learn SAS?


I could not find any relevent Board to post this topic, so apolozies if i am posting in wrong board.

I work in Finance/Banking Industry and an MBA in Finance, coding in SAS is part of my New Job, am not pro in SAS.

I need to learn SAS coding so we can automate lot of our processess.

- May someone suggest me what is the best way to learn SAS?
- Do i need to go through some SAS certification course?
- What is the best Book to use while Learning SAS?

It will be great if someone could guide on above questions.

Valued Guide
Posts: 2,111

Re: Best way to Learn SAS?

First, you could search the forums for as this question has come up a number of times before.

The "best" way to learn SAS is a function of your learning style. Many people find that taking an in person course (or three) is most effective. Some do better a web courses and some books.

SAS offers a number of courses (in person, live web, and recorded web) that are quite good.

Since you posted this to the EGuide forum, there are a coupls of books to recommend for EGuide specifically. "SAS for Dummies" and "the little SAS book for Enterprise Guide" are both good ways to get started. The search I listed above will yield a lot of other books.

Personally, I don't think that SAS certification is a necessary condition for someone whose primary career is different from SAS programming. You may wish to consider it eventually, but it is not the place to start.

Doc Muhlbaier
SAS Employee
Posts: 2

Re: Best way to Learn SAS?

Hello sasgeek,

I agree that SAS certification may not be the way to go at first.

I went through the Base Programming certification process last year. There are 2 classes that correspond to the Base Programming Certification Exam - SAS Programming 1: Essentials & SAS Programming 2: Data Manipulation Techniques. The classes were very helpful and gave an introduction to a lot of topics. I learn best in a classroom setting so this was the way for me to go.

However, depending on what all is involved in the work you are going to do, you may not need that breadth of knowledge, but rather to focus on a specific topic or 2.

The book I used to prepare for the exam was the SAS Certification Prep Guide: Base Programming for SAS 9. It is listed on Amazon and you can take a look at the table of contents to see the topics it covers. This will give you an idea of what you would learn in the classes. And if you learn well from reading, you can get a lot of the material from this resource without attending a class. Even though it is set up more like a textbook (with chapter summaries and questions at the end of each topic), it is still my go-to resource for SAS programming questions. And if you decide to go for certification, it is invaluable when studying for it.

The certification itself is probably not necessary in your case, but if you do take the courses or learn all the material in that prep book, you might as well sit for the exam.

Hope that helps
Super Contributor
Super Contributor
Posts: 365

Re: Best way to Learn SAS?

Hello SASgeek,

I agree with all previous posts and can add that the course on MACRO PROGRAMMING is necessary too.

New Contributor
Posts: 3

Re: Best way to Learn SAS?

[ Edited ]

This is an old thread. However, people tend to google this thread for help so I decided to post. In the old days, there weren't many choices. You almost always ended up using the Little SAS Book or Learning SAS by Example. These two books were published by SAS and are considered to be classics. They are great books if you already have some knowledge of SAS (perhaps through your school or your coworker). In recent years, more beginner level SAS tutorial books were published by non SAS publishing houses. I can recommend three books.


One is SAS Essentials: A Guide to Mastering SAS for Research.


Another is Beginning SAS Programming: a true beginner's guide for learning SAS. This is my book. Sorry for the self promotion. You can download free chapters at


The third is SAS for Data Analysis: Intermediate Statistical Methods (Statistics and Computing). All these three books are available at amazon.


In addition, the SAS institute has published free SAS video tutorials at


What's more, the SAS institute offers a free e-course for any adult learners. If you sign up with SAS On Demand (e.g. SAS in the cloud, which is free for any adult learners for the purpose of learning SAS) at, you'll get a free elearning course. This free course used to cost several hundred dollars, which is completely free now. Anyway, you have lot of choices if you want to learn SAS.

New Contributor
Posts: 3

Re: Best way to Learn SAS?

[ Edited ]

Somehow, the previous link I posted to my book wasn't working. Here's the correct link


Here's the book at amazon:


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