SAS Certifications - What are they?

Gaurav Vohra | August 20,2012 09:58 am IST

The SAS Foundation has been offering various certifications in SAS based analytics for many years now. Till date, the SAS certifications are the most recognised credential in analytics.

There are many different SAS certifications on offer.

We will examine the different SAS certifications and how a new-comer to analytics should approach these.

Let us start with the most popular of all SAS certifications
The Base Programmer certification
This certification is usually (and arguably) considered to be a good way to enter the analytics industry. For more details on the Base SAS certification, read here.

The Advanced Programmer certification
The advanced certification is for experienced and proficient programmers who have a high degree of command over the SAS language. The advanced certification (like the Base certification) requires a knowledge of SAS 9.2. Further, the candidate must currently hold a SAS Certified Base Programmer for SAS 9 credential. The exam tests your knowledge on SQL, SAS Macros and advanced programming techniques. Note, that even the advanced certification does not test your knowledge on modelling techniques and methodology.

The fee for the advanced certification is the same as that of Base certification ($180).

Predictive modeler certification
This is a relatively newer certification that is fast becoming popular. Unlike the base and advanced programmer certifications, this one focuses on the modelling methodology

  • How to prepare data for modelling
  • Various modelling techniques
  • Assess and Validate the models
  • Score new data
  • Implement models


The cost for this certification is $250.


Unlike the previous two certifications, the predictive modeler certification requires knowledge of SAS Enterprise miner ver 6.

SAS Enterprise miner is a GUI based tool and is therefore easier to learn than Base SAS or SAS 9 which is a code-based tool.

However, SAS e-miner licenses are very expensive (To read about pricing of various tools, click here). And consequently not too many companies can afford this tool and so the demand for E-Miner trained professionals is not as high. This unfortunate fact tremendously reduces the effectiveness of what could have been a great certification.

SAS Certified Statistical Business Analyst
The SAS Foundation has probably realized that the SAS 9 software is a lot more popular than e-miner. Hence they are coming up with this new certification. This certification is similar to the predictive modeler certification but it is based on SAS 9 instead of the much more expensive E-miner.

The test covers ANOVA as well as linear and logistic regression. Currently, the certification has not been released fully to the public.

SAS is conducting a beta exam from June 28th to July 20th. The entry to the beta exam is by invitation only.

The pricing for this exam has not been made public yet. The beta exam is complementary.

SAS Certified Clinical Trials Programmer
SAS also has a specialized certification for clinical trials. This credential is appropriate for programmers who use SAS software to analyze clinical trials data to produce regulatory reports.
The pricing for this exam is $180.

Other Certifications
SAS offers 3 other certifications that focus on data warehousing, technology and Business intelligence.

So, these are the various SAS certifications on offer currently. Now which one of these is the best for you?

If you are a novice in analytics, the Base programmer certification should still be your starting point. However, the upcoming Statistical Business analyst certification is the one to watch out for. This certification is likely to become popular in the future as it targets the skills that are in high demand from todays employers.

The Statistical Business analyst SAS certification promises to be the most exciting of all SAS certifications so far. and






Gaurav is an IIM alumnus with over 10 years of experience in the field of analytics and has worked across multiple verticals including financial services, retail, FMCG, telecom, pharmaceuticals and leisur...