SAS as a university began it journey for a research project North Carolina State University and later become a full-fledged software and services company by 1976. SAS has started developing a solid customer base in the banking and pharmaceutical industries, as well as in academia and at numerous agencies at all levels of government. Today, SAS has line share in the analytics industry by having 55% + share in the industry of data warehousing and data mining.
Since inception, the senior management team from SAS has to lead the organization not just producing best products but to make the company the best place to work with an emphasis on culture that balances work and personal life, and encourages employees to take leadership. This was noticed by many organizations such as Fortune and the Great Place to Work Institute and they named SAS as the best place to work, also SAS got the fourth rank in Fortune magazine's top 10 list of best companies to work for in 2015. The company's low employee turnover rate is a proof of the above reorganizations & company’s commitment to its employees and, indirectly, to its customers as well. From top 100 Fortune Global 500 companies, 91 are SAS customers. SAS customers span the globe with more than 80,000 instances installed in 148 countries.
What is SAS Certification Program
SAS has awarded over 80000 certifications since the program's introduction in 1999.
The SAS Global Certification Program currently offers eleven credentials across five categories:
- Foundation Tools
- Advanced Analytics
- Business Intelligence and Analytics
- Data Management
The details of SAS certifications, exams, and costs, are described in more details in the following sections. Although experience levels aren't specifically indicated for each certification, a good rule of thumb is a minimum of eight months of experience on the base SAS system for Base Programmers and two to three years of relevant, hands-on experience for all other certifications before attempting the exams. All exams are administered by Pearson VUE or an SAS-sponsored certification exam session (typically in conjunction with training courses).
Why Get SAS Certified?
A quick search for "SAS programmer" on the major job posting sites will return hundreds, if not thousands of open positions across the United States alone, most with starting salaries in a range from $80,000 to $120,000 USD. More specialized certifications, especially those involving statistics and modeling, can drive the annual salary to over $150,000.
Suffice it to say, an SAS certification can pay off quickly. Couple that with an outstanding company culture, achieving an SAS credential and working for SAS is a smart career move for anyone with programming chops and a desire for longevity with a single company.
SAS Foundational Certifications
The Foundational certifications are aimed at analysts, data managers, programmers and the like whose work days revolve around writing and managing SAS programs. The Clinical Trials Programmer credential is more specialized to programmers who generate clinical trial reports. The following are brief descriptions of SAS Foundational certifications:
SAS Certified Specialist - Base Programming Using SAS 9.4: The Base Programming knows how to query databases and perform analyses, including importing and exporting raw data files, manipulating data, combining SAS data sets and creating reports. Certification exam fees for SAS Base Programming is $180 (US), and there is no prerequisites in terms of certificate
SAS Certified Professional - Advanced Programming Using SAS 9.4: The Advanced Programming must be skilled in writing advanced DATA step programming statements and solving complex problems, as well as interpreting SAS SQL code and writing SAS macros. Advanced Programming’s certification exam cost is also $180 (US), however, the candidate should be holding SAS Base programming certification.
SAS Certified Clinical Trials Programmer Using SAS 9: This programmer works exclusively with clinical trials data, transforming raw data into polished, validated reports. The exam cost for Clinical Trials Programmer is also $180 (US), however, the candidate should be holding SAS Base programmer certification.
SAS Advanced Analytics Certifications
The Advanced Analytics credentials are designed for technical analysts, statisticians, data scientists and the like who gather, manipulate and analyze big data using SAS tools, run reports and make business recommendations based on complex models. The certifications in this category include:
SAS Certified Predictive Modeler Using SAS Enterprise Miner 13: A Predictive Modeler prepares data, and then builds, assesses and implements predictive models. Exam cost for Predictive Modeler is $250 (US)
SAS Certified Statistical Business Analyst Using SAS 9 Regression and Modeling: The Statistical Business Analyst uses SAS software to perform statistical analyses and predictive modeling, including linear and logistic regression, variance analysis and model performance measurements. Exam cost is $180 (US)
There are two new certifications are available now, one for data scientist and another for advanced analytics.
The SAS Certified Data Scientist Using SAS 9 credential targets professionals who manipulate big data using open source and SAS tools, make recommendations and deploy in SAS environments. To obtain the credential, candidates must earn both the SAS Certified Big Data Professional Using SAS 9 and SAS Certified Advanced Analytics Professional Using SAS 9 credentials.
SAS Certified Advanced Analytics Professional Using SAS 9 credential targets IT professionals using predictive modeling and statistical analysis to analyze big data. To earn the credential, candidates will need to pass three exams: Predictive Modeling Using SAS Enterprise Miner 13, SAS Advanced Predictive Modeling (A00-225) and SAS Text Analytics, Time Series, Experimentation and Optimization (A00-226).
SAS Business Intelligence And Analytics Certifications
The Business Intelligence and Analytics credentials are geared for content developers and analysts who create interfaces and reports for SAS 9 or who use SAS Visual Analytics routinely. There are two certifications in this category:
SAS Certified BI Content Developer for SAS 9: The BI Content Developer focuses mainly on creating, implementing and customizing SAS interface applications (such as reporting applications), including data management and dashboard creation. The certification exam for BI Content Developer is $180 (US)
SAS Certified Visual Business Analyst: Exploration and Design Using SAS Visual Analytics: This credential targets analysts who use SAS Visual Analytics, Visual Analytics Explorer, and Visual Analytics Designer to add, manipulate, and explore data, and create reports. Cost of the certificate exam is $180 (US)
SAS Data Management Certifications
Analysts, programmers and data managers gravitate to Data Management credentials if their workdays (or career aspirations) revolve more around managing data and platforms rather than deep statistics, analysis and modeling. The following describe certifications in this category:
SAS Certified Big Data Professional Using SAS 9: The Big Data credential is designed for professionals conducting statistical analysis using SAS and open source data management tools. Cost of the certificate exam is $180 (US)
SAS Certified Data Integration Developer for SAS 9: The Data Integration Developer works with data to prepare it for analysis and reporting. This role must also know how to define the platform architecture for SAS Business Analytics, as well as create metadata, transform data and tables and run jobs. Cost of the certificate exam is $180 (US)
SAS Certified Data Quality Steward for SAS 9: The Data Quality Steward validates skills of professionals using the DataFlux Data Management Studio. Cost of the certificate exam is $180 (US)
SAS Administration Certifications
The Administration category has a single credential:
SAS Certified Platform Administrator for SAS 9: designed for professionals who are responsible for supporting the SAS Business Analytics platform, from installation through day-to-day maintenance. This role must know how to set up folders, manage user accounts, monitor system performance, apply security techniques, perform backups and complete other administrative tasks. Cost of the certificate exam is $180 (US)
Since you know all about the SAS certificates, in my next article, I would try to concentrate why it is important to get certified and how to get certified with SAS.