In which Ajay talks about learning the SAS language and ensuring you have a job in a recession.
The SAS language has been in existence since the last 4 decades, and it is increasingly looking like that learning the SAS language will be a part of analytics for the next couple of decades as well. The reason for this is quite simply quantitative-SAS language has the largest number of books available for training and the number of jobs with SAS skills is still the largest .
(For a more elaborate view of relative software popularity see https://sites.google.com/site/r4statistics/popularity)
So why is SAS language still relevant? R is considered more statistically popular now, and unlike the past Business Analytics rivals to SAS language creator SAS Institute include the much more larger companies like Oracle (which is coming out with it’s own version of R) and IBM ( which bought SPSS) and SAP.
The answer for that is SAS Training is still the most in demand training for getting a job in Analytics, the SAS Institute certification program is the best analytics certification program among all analytics companies, and SAS Publishing still comes out with the more books on SAS than other publishers do on non-SAS books. This integrated approach of training, certification, publishing has ensured a robust and comfortable safety net for enterprise users of business analytics. There is always support available, trained resources available and contextual case studies available for using SAS language, and business analytics users including software, telecom, financial services, healthcare and offshoring companies feel much more secure to hand over the precious business data to SAS practitioners.
Unlike the SAS certification program, the IBM SPSS program is much much younger in existence, and there are almost no or very few industry recognized certifications in R.
Similarly for getting relevant case studies and papers in R or SPSS, the conferences and attendees of these produce much lesser output and definitely much lesser business relevant case studies than SAS Institute and the combined global SAS user community does in it’s epic annual user conference. SAS training is thus having a well defined historical lead over other forms of training in other analytics platforms and this has resulted in SAS jobs having much more demand than jobs based on any other analytics keywords.
If you plan to go in for analytics training and need help in making up your mind between SAS language and other languages- consider how important getting a job in analytics is to you versus the number of journal papers published- and you will find yourself settling for SAS training that gives you a long productive and happy life in your analytics endeavours.
A brief list of resources on learning the SAS language has been discussed at http://analyticstraining.com/2011/top-learning-resources-to-mastering-the-sas-language/
They are summarized as-
1) Books by SAS Press and SAS Institute Certification
2) SAS-L Email group
3) Classroom Training by Institutes and Companies using SAS
4) SAS community website and Blogs at SAS.com
5) MS Analytics Courses in Universities
SAS training is also important in helping you learn the elements of programming, introducing you to the concept of decision management and decision support by reporting and summary statistics, and teaching you basics of automation using the Macro Language. An side benefit of learning SAS language is that you will end up learning basics of SQL as well, thanks to the integrated Proc SQL. Thus SAS training is the only analytics training that has a robust ecosystem to feed it, a robust demand for its learners, and multiple benefits in cross platform training.