Overview of SAS Certificate Programs
SAS, originally Statistical Analysis System, is a data analysis software package applicable across diverse industries that deal with large amounts of data. Many schools throughout the country offer SAS certificate programs to interested students. These programs are usually not intended to be taken alone but can be earned while pursuing a bachelor's degree, typically in areas closely involving statistics. Students in the program can expect to study a wide range of statistical concepts and learn the ins and outs of SAS programming. Here we discuss some of the common admission requirements, courses and career opportunities for those in SAS certificate programs.
Admission Requirements for SAS Certificate Programs
Typically an SAS certificate program is not intended to be a stand-alone diploma or degree, and therefore admission requirements vary based on a student's bachelor's degree program. Some SAS certificate programs may require a separate application or require students to have an associate's degree, but most certificates can be earned by taking the appropriate coursework in conjunction with a bachelor's degree program. When taken with a bachelor's degree program, students will likely need to contact the department that offers the certificate. Most bachelor's degree programs require students to at least have a high school diploma or GED and may require students to have a particular GPA and/or test scores.
Common Coursework for SAS Certificate Programs
Much of the coursework for an SAS certificate program consists of statistics courses as SAS is a program/language designed to analyze data. Here are some of the more common courses found in SAS certificate programs.
SAS programming courses are usually introductory courses to help students familiarize themselves with the SAS programming language. Students in the course study different data analysis tools of SAS and learn to interpret results using the corresponding graphics. Different statistical concepts are also covered as students develop their programming skills.
Analysis of Variance
Students in this course discuss the analysis of variance as a part of the scientific method and how it must be applied to the designing of experiments and data collection. The course usually covers a wide range of statistical concepts, like ANOVA, sample size and power. Students also cover topics in nesting, blocking, confounding and other variance components.
Courses in regression cover different forms of regression, such as logistic regression as well as transformations. Students explore residuals, correlations and time series. They also discuss variable selection and model identification.
This course often involves more advanced programming skills in SAS as students explore various statistical methods to analyze data. Students learn about probability models, estimation techniques, and experimental design. Topics in this course may also include various simulations, statistical graphics, macros, and database programming.
Applied programming courses are typically advanced programming courses in SAS. Students learn how to use the data step in SAS to run simulations. Such topics may include bootstrap sampling, linear modeling, basic Procs and ODS.
How to Choose a SAS Certificate Program
There are several factors to think about when searching for the right SAS certificate program. Students should look for institutions that partner with the SAS Institute. Since most programs are offered in conjunction with a bachelor's degree they can usually be taken on campus, but some SAS certificate programs may be available online. Another factor to consider is searching for a program with a specific emphasis, for example, an SAS Data Science Certificate versus an SAS Programming and Data Analysis Certificate. Graduates may be prepared to pursue professional certifications through the SAS website; different levels and types of certification are available, and each requires passing an exam.
Career Options for a SAS Certificate
Many graduates with an SAS certificate go on to work as SAS programmers. According to Payscale.com, these professionals made a median salary of $76,750 as of December 2017. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the number of jobs for all computer programmers from 2016 to 2026 is expected to decline 8% due to global outsourcing. Additional professionals that can utilize SAS and may hold an SAS certificate are listed below.