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Analytics skills demand propels record SAS® Certification growth

With analytics and data science careers exploding, it’s no wonder SAS® Certified applicants have a leg up in a highly competitive job market. LinkedIn’s recent analysis of the Global Top Skills of 2016 revealed that statistical analysis and data mining was the #2 most demanded skill globally by employers last year. In many countries, including the UK, Canada and the Netherlands, it was ranked #1.

Launched in 1999 to validate SAS skills and knowledge, the SAS Global Certification programme has seen certifications double in just three and a half years. SAS issued the 100,000th credential in July.

SAS has long been the standard for industries like banking and pharma; today, demand for SAS skills spans all industries. Aran Canes holds three SAS certifications, and has transferred his skills from the US government to state government to the health care industry. At a state Medicaid office, Canes used SAS Analytics to increase the quality of care for Medicaid recipients. He now works as a senior analytic consultant for a major health insurer, using SAS to improve the overall health and well-being of pharmacy customers.

“Earning SAS Certification has helped me immensely in my career,” said Canes. “I’ve presented at conferences and lectured at universities on a variety of analytics topics. Most importantly, I have a job which satisfies my intellectual curiosity and pays the bills for my family.”

Five consecutive years of double-digit growth in SAS Certifications has been largely fueled by international workers and university students. More than half of credentials have been awarded in 107 countries outside the US. Approximately one-third of SAS exam takers were college students. Dr. Yu-Wang Chen, Senior Lecturer in Decision Sciences at the University of Manchester, said: “As part of our MSc Business Analytics course we run a core module on Data Analytics using SAS software. We’ve had very positive feedback in the past couple of years as to how valuable this is given the current job market and the variety of data mining techniques taught. In fact, in the previous academic year 2015/16, the course achieved a PTES (Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey - the only UK higher education sector-wide survey for postgraduate students) overall satisfaction score of 97 per cent, which is almost unprecedented and compares to a Manchester University average of 83 per cent. I believe that use of SAS was one of the important contributing factors.”

With SAS in place at more than 80,000 business, government and university sites around the world, opportunities abound for students entering the workforce with a SAS Certification.

“The next generation of SAS experts is entering the workforce at an opportune time,” said Geoffrey Taylor, Head of Academic Programmes at SAS UK & Ireland. “Unsurprisingly there is a huge demand for people with the skills to find the all-important needle within this mountainous and ever-growing data haystack. A SAS Certification assures employers are accessing superior analytical talent, who are able to take varying data sources and extract actionable business insights.”

Get on the road to SAS certification

The SAS Global Certification programme offers a wide variety of SAS training options to help people reach career goals. But there are many ways people can learn SAS, including some no-cost options. SAS University Edition provides free access to SAS software quickly and easily for anyone to learn quantitative analysis. In addition, free e-learning resources and online tutorials are available to help users get started or to get help with specific tasks in SAS.

No-cost, cloud-based SAS OnDemand for Academics enables professors to include the latest versions of SAS technologies in their curriculum, helping students hone the skills in high demand by employers. In addition, SAS partners with traditional and nontraditional graduate and undergraduate programmes around the world to create degree and certificate programmes that generate the analytical talent organisations need to make the most of big data.

New data science credentials

The SAS Global Certification programme continues to expand with a suite of new Data Science credentials introduced this year. The SAS Academy for Data Science imparts skills in big data management, advanced analytics, machine learning and data visualisation, along with the essential communication skills today’s data scientists need.

This immersive programme consists of two levels and three industry-recognised credentials. Each level combines classroom instruction, a hands-on case study or team project, access to the related SAS software and a coach to help guide learners. Upon successfully passing certification exams, students can become a SAS Certified Big Data Professional, SAS Certified Advanced Analytics Professional or SAS Certified Data Scientist.

SAS is the leader in analytics. Through innovative analytics, business intelligence and data management software and services, SAS helps customers at more than 83,000 sites make better decisions faster. Since 1976, SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®.