Date: Sun, 12 Jul 2009 10:35:07 -0700
Reply-To: VirtualSUG <sfbay0001@AOL.COM>
Sender: "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: VirtualSUG <sfbay0001@AOL.COM>
Subject: Re: SAS certification necessary?
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Allow me to please share my 14.56 cents on this topic.
I have no doubt that some hiring authorities in some organizations are
using "SAS Certication" (or the lack thereof) as a "weed out" tool to
winnow down the number of candidates they might consider for a job.
This is probably true for employment agencies and at internal HR
departments who are tasked to apply a "first pass screen and flush" of
applicants for a job.
In the current economic malaise there is probably more "SAS talent out
on the street" than in better times. Even good candidates might find
themselves out of consideration for jobs for which they are otherwise
well qualified if the resume scanning software or human assigned to
the "first look" of resumes is trained to "flush" or "delete" those
where some variant of "SAS Certified" is not found.
In past SAS-L posts I have shared my thoughts on what I feel are the
many limitations and drawbacks of the SAS Certified Professional
program, and it's not necessary to repeat them here, except to say
that hiring authorities who insist on "SAS Certification" as an
employment requriement (or even a requirement for an interview) are
probably overlooking otherwise highly qualified canddiates for jobs.
At the same time, however, I can sympathize with hiring managers and
others who want to hire people who already have the SAS experience
appropriate for the position they want to fill. As the number and
range of SAS products increases, the definition of a "SAS user" is
likewise changing. There is a big difference between somone who
solely uses, say, the Enterprise Miner or Enterprise Guide, versus a
candidate with many years of SAS data step and procedure step
programming experience. The EM or EG user would probably not be well-
qualified for a job where knowledge of "SAS coding" was required.
One of the big frustrations I've had expressed to me by non-technical
(or just non-SAS-savvy) managers is trying to figure out what a
candidate means when they say they "know SAS." From a purely
intellectual level, no one person has a complete knowledge of all
aspects/features of SAS (although I know a few people who probably
come pretty close!) But, I have seen folks hired in to jobs on the
strength of their assertion that they "used SAS in graduate school" or
they "know SAS," only to fail miserably on the job because what they
do know of the SAS System is not adequate or appropriate for the tasks
at hand. It's not uncommon, for example, for folks who said they
"learned SAS in graduate school" by running some analytic procedure
steps to have no, or scant, knowlege of SAS programming features.
An obvious solution to this problem would be for hiring managers to
devise their own assessment tools that test a candidate's knowledge of
those aspects of SAS needed for a particular job. But, that process
might be time consuming, and would be ineffective if the hiring
authorities don't have a clue themselves what the job entails from a
SAS Software tools perspective.
But, candidates (a/k/a "talent," in the parlance of the recruiting
business) need to understand the benefits of networking and creating
their own opportunities for "face time" with hiring managers outside
the standard rubric of applying for publically advertised jobs. Just
sending in resumes in response to postings on sites like DICE and
MONSTER are probably not going to do the trick for you.
Thanks for taking my thoughts in to consideration...
Sierra Information Services
Virtual SAS Users Group
On Jul 11, 1:18�am, shellp <coolchic...@sympatico.ca> wrote:
> Just thought I'd reply that the Healthcare Analyst being certified may
> not mean they are (or need to be) certified in SAS. �I work in the
> Healthcare Field and certification may mean in terms of Health Records
> data and being certified for that through AHIMA.
> Of course having SAS experience is helpful for the many databases
> available to hospital/Ministry (I live in Canada) personnel.