How to land that perfect SAS job

Of late we have many students asking how to land a job in SAS. Interestingly, landing a job that sets you off on a SAS career path requires a slightly different roadmap than most jobs.

To begin with, know yourself.

Are you an analytical person who likes to works with stats and logic? Or has programming caught your fancy? Does the business side of client interaction excite you? Have you additional skill sets or qualifications that can be leveraged for specific industries? SAS skills are required mostly for in-house hiring by all industry verticals, besides the regular IT and pure-play analytics firms. So you can actually select the industry of your choice to kick-start your SAS career path.

Although an earlier IVY blog details the SAS career scope, broadly speaking, your answer to the above self-queries would decide the SAS job you aim for. As an analytical kind of person, you would prefer to look for jobs that belong to the analytics domain – which require SAS skill sets. To be a SAS programmer, you would obviously need to have expertise in computer programming, with a background in science and mathematics. (Look out for an upcoming blog on how to be a SAS programmer!)  If client dealing and the business side is more up your sleeve, job titles of Business Analyst, BI Analyst, SAS Analyst is what you want.

If like Vrinda, you have an aptitude for actuarial science and working with figures, you are lucky as there are plenty of jobs in the BFSI sector and Risk management domain that carry a SAS proficiency tag.

Be aware

Often the best way is to read financial papers, visit analytics websites, read blogs and the latest issues of Analytics India magazine and the information-rich the sascom magazine to know more about industry trends.  The SAS portal also provides guidance free of charges. You can check out their weekly live Q & A sessions where SAS experts answer queries specific to SAS Visual Analytics. And of course, browsing through older blogs at IVY would be the best place to start : )

Take a self-test

You need to check out how SAS-adept you are, in order to pitch for the right job. Take the SAS practice exam to build your confidence and know where you stand. It is chargeable, about Rs 4000/-  : (  but if you are confident and want to land a super job with say, the SAS Institute, this maybe something you will want to look at, as this is a global certification from the Institute itself! To be a SAS Programmer or make a lateral job shift, here are some other SAS certifications.

Be prepared

These are some excellent resources that list actual SAS Technical interview questions with some additional inputs.

Begin your job hunt

Look up the major hiring engines as SAS jobs are likely to be listed only on major job sites. Apply for the job that you think best suits your aptitude, skill sets, qualification and experience. Check out career openings with SAS-India or make direct enquiries with your details. Healthcare, Credit, Risk are some sectors that actively hire SAS professionals through the year.

Network, Network, Network

Join the SAS user group. Networking helps you figure out where the jobs lie. Join Linkedin. Create a professional profile, with essential keywords that identify you with SAS proficiency, your certifications and soft skills. Follow SAS. Check out SAS jobs > India at Linkedin. Sign up, leverage your professional network, and get hired. Create an email alert for SAS jobs. New SAS jobs are added daily at Linkedin.

Create a twitter account with the SAS keyword. Follow industry news, @SASsoftware, SAS jobs information, re-tweet good reads, use SAS / analytics / related hashtags and do everything possible to direct the right people to you as a potential SAS professional.

Wait! Here is some great news for SAS career aspirants.The SAS company trolls Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and the Web for potential recruits. “It also involves hiring managers, recruiters and other partners beyond its HR staff to seek out new talent”. So networking can be extremely valuable to carve a career in SAS. However SAS stresses on team spirit. So you can expect hiring managers to delve beyond your qualifications to your soft skills and ingenuity in handling situations. If you are intent on a SAS career keep up with your networking and updates. Focused networking never goes futile.

While you wait to hear about your job, sharpen your SAS learning curve with free tutorials, catch up on some IT / database management / risk certifications and work on your soft skills.

So go ahead and set in motion your SAS job hunt with a solid profile, social media presence and belief in your SAS skills! And let us know how you fared, what issues you faced and your takeaways.

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