Do You Want to Learn SAS Data Analysis?

How to Find a Well Paying Job?
How to Find a Well Paying Job?

What do you do when you apply for a job and realize that you don’t have all the software skills listed on the job posting?

You may decide to stop your job search and get training or certifications in all the software packages listed on the job posting.

But what if these are enterprise software packages costing thousands of dollars to learn, then what?

And what if you are talking about not just one but multiple software packages?

Responding to job postings requiring multiple software skills, some of which are expensive to learn, is one of the more difficult challenges facing IT Professionals.

In this post, I will discuss real-life, practical strategies for finding jobs requiring expensive, enterprise software skills or background.

What Is The Cost of SAS Training?

One of my readers living in Australia, wants to learn SAS in preparation for the Data Analyst / Statistical Job Market. And here is my answer to that.

SAS is an enterprise statistical / data analysis software package. Keep in mind that while SAS Data Analysts or Programmers are well paid, learning SAS is much more expensive than learning other frequently used data analysis tools like Microsoft Excel, SQL or even open-source software packages like WEKA.

So start by doing a cost-benefit analysis so that you can be sure that investing in SAS training is the best option for your career.

To help you with this cost-benefit analysis, here is some interesting information on SAS training costs. SAS Training costs ranges from $2595 (USD) for SAS Base Programming Certification Training to $3270 (USD) for SAS Advanced Programming Certification Training.

In addition to these two (2) SAS Certification Exam Training costs, you will need to get your hands on licensed SAS Software, which is priced at about $1000 for a SAS Learning Edition Software License to $7000 for a one (1) user Enterprise License with a yearly renewable license.

And finally, factor in the cost of purchasing SAS textbooks. So learning SAS will cost you anywhere from $7000 to $14000!

With this pricing information in mind, I would like to help you review some of the more affordable options for finding data analyst jobs before you spend $7000 to $14000 on SAS Training.

Broaden your Data Analyst Job Search

Approach the data analyst job market with a broad or ore open mindset. Do not start by assuming that SAS software skills is required for every data analyst job.

Rather, start by remembering that you are a statistician / data analyst and as such, you don’t need the endorsement of a specific statistical software vendor … especially when that vendor’s training is expensive.

Open up your mind and see the opportunities available to you. Many statistical / data analysis jobs would hire data analysts skilled in more affordable statistical stools like Excel and SQL.

Remember that you still have the right to apply for any data analysis job regardless of the software skills listed on the job posting.

So, apply for jobs that require SAS software skills and sell yourself at the job interview by drawing attention to your core statistical / data analysis background.

What I am saying is that you should be solution minded and not vendor minded.

If the cost of learning any enterprise software package (not just SAS) is prohibitive, pitch that vendor’s software and learn a more affordable alternative so that you don’t get stalled in your job search.

Teach Yourself SAS Data Analysis / Programming.

Don’t forget that you also have the option of buying the SAS Learning / Limited Edition Software which is about $1000, purchasing SAS textbooks and learning SAS by yourself at home without!

As a principle, you can learn an enterprise software package through their limited edition, trial licenses and textbooks.

With the knowledge you glean from studying SAS textbooks, you can apply to SAS jobs and sell yourself to hiring managers as a data analyst or statistician who is passionate about learning SAS.

And if you have a good personality and you come out as being knowledgeable at the job interview, you will either make a favorable impression or get hired.

Keep in mind that some employers are going to be interested in hiring you because the cost of employing SAS professionals is much higher than the cost of hiring someone like yourself who is still learning SAS and then training you on the job.

How To Learn Any Enterprise Software Package

I have been talking about the cost of SAS training and the options for learning SAS. However the challenges that you will face with learning SAS are similar to that of learning many other enterprise software packages!

Enterprise software packages are typically expensive for the individual trying to learn them without an employer paying for the training.

The cost of software licenses and vendor sponsored training for some enterprise software packages is so high that some employers cannot afford to run their businesses on these software products or pay for their training or consulting costs.

Another reason why enterprise software training is not for everyone is the difficulty or complexity involved in installing or learning them.

These software packages have a high learning curve, meaning that you may not be able to master them quickly enough for use on your job search.

Having said that, here are some principles for finding jobs that require enterprise software skills and training.

  1. Become Solution Minded and not Vendor Minded:

    Focus on selling your knowledge of data analysis at the job interview and explain to hiring managers that you can learn any specialized software packages on the job.

  2. Broaden Your Job Search:

    Don’t fixate on SAS as if it is the only data analysis software. Knowledge of Excel, SQL and other data analysis packages especially open-source pacakages like WEKA will also help you.

  3. Refine your Job Search:

    Learn how to use other job search terms that would trigger the profiles of other employers interested in hiring statisticians / data analysts (and not just SAS employers).

    Widen your job search using phrases like: “excel data analyst“, “SQL Data Analyst“, “Data Analyst“, instead of “SAS Analyst”, so that you will reach employers interested in hiring non-SAS Data Analysts.

  4. Learn by Yourself:

    If are determined to be a SAS Programmer / Analyst, invest in buying the best SAS textbooks on based on their customer reviews.

    You can learn SAS or any enterprise software package at home or by yourself using the same techniques that we practice and use at our bootcamps. Click here for more information..

5 Responses to "Do You Want to Learn SAS Data Analysis?"

  1. Akhil   April 4, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    I have just started my career as an analyst in Ernst & Young.

    I am pretty good in working with ACL for the audit purposes, but i want to learn advanced statistics with the help of R for doing the non-audit works.

  2. Rajendra Kumar   April 4, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Is SPSS tool the best tool for data analysis or is there any other tool.

    Will six sigma certification be helpful in data analysis?

  3. Richard Caasi   February 18, 2012 at 5:56 pm


    I’ve heard that Data Analyst jobs typically require a masters degree or PhD in statistics.

    I would not be able to go to graduate school to get a masters or PhD.

    Since that is the case, then is it true that I would not be considered for many or most Data Analyst positions?


  4. Robert   November 6, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    I have an Administrative/Marketing background!

    Do you think that switching my career to IT would be worthwhile??!!

    Since administrative/marketing field is getting lesser demand these days in job market.

    Also tell me the demand & future scope of SAP ECC6.0 & also SQL Server these days in the job market!!

    Also compare these two & please tell me which one has more scope in the market?

    One of my friend had a marketing background(where he had no IT background at all and he switched into IT(SAP)
    and after 3-4 months training he was placed!!

    Chicago, Illinois, USA

    • ITCareerCoach   December 5, 2011 at 6:06 pm

      Switching your career to Information Technology (IT) is worthwhile of course.

      However, going for SAP skills based on your friends story is a gamble.

      For one, you are not your friend. You are two completely different people with different energy levels, drive, motivation, study skills, etc.

      But then, there is no harm in trying for a SAP job by following your friends footsteps.

      The other thing you may want to do is to compare the market demand for the skills you are interested in (SAP) to their Learning Curve.

      The learning curve is an indication of how expensive / difficult it is to learn a specific skill.

      There are probably other skills that have a lower learning curve and a comparable market demand to SAP.

      Let me know how it goes


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