SAS Programming Course for Absolute Beginners (Part 1)

A jargon-free, easy-to-learn SAS programming course that is tailor-made for students with no prior programming experience. You will learn the five major SAS topics, which include SAS Functions, SAS Variables, Data Manipulation, Data Analysis and Statistical Analysis. This is the right course for you if you want to become a highly efficient SAS programmer within two months!

SAS Programming Course for Absolute Beginners (Part 1)

Access: Free

The SAS Programming Course for Absolute Beginners (Part 1) is a jargon-free, easy-to-learn SAS base course that is tailor-made for students with no prior programming experience.

It enables students to easily learn SAS from scratch by using our step-by-step tutorials and applying what they learn in our real-time exercises.

Upon completion, students are able to perform simple data set creation and data import/export using SAS.

This course is a flagship course that has been taken by more than 5,000 students since its launch in 2012.

It was refreshed in early 2021 with updated content, enabling students to easily learn SAS using SAS OnDemand for Academics.

Note: this is Part 1 of the SAS Programming Course for Absolute Beginners. For Part 2, please click here


Below are the six lessons covered in this course:


Lesson 1: Introduction to SAS
This introductory lesson gives you an overview of the SAS software. It covers navigation of the SAS interface, coding and Log area, Results Viewer, SAS libraries, data set creation and navigation, creating numeric and character variables, data sets with multiple observations, subsetting a data set using a conditional statement, accessing data from external sources, and exporting data to Excel, CSV and text files. This is a very rich lesson tailor-made for students who have absolutely no SAS background.

Lesson 2: SAS Functions
SAS functions are essential to SAS programming. They allow you to manipulate data any way you want it. This lesson covers the most commonly used SAS functions such as Sum, Min, Max, Mean, mathematical operators, Rand, Round, Floor, Substr, Length, Trim, Cat, Catt, Index, Indexc, Upcase, Lowcase, Propcase, Rename/Keep/Drop statements, as well as the If-then-else statement. Upon completion of the lesson, you will be capable of performing many common data manipulation tasks required of a SAS programmer.

Lesson 3: Variable Attributes
Each SAS variable has six attributes. Understanding these attributes is crucial when manipulating data. In this lesson, you will learn the six attributes, which are Name, Label, Type, Length, Format and Informat. You will also learn how to view the descriptor portion of the data set using the CONTENTS procedure. Using common formats such as W.D, Comma and Dollar to change the display of the data is also covered. Lastly, you will learn how to handle date values in SAS, which is crucial when dealing with real-life data.

Lesson 4: Data Manipulations
Data manipulation tasks will take up, on average, 60% of your SAS program code. It is therefore essential to have the key data manipulation skills when dealing with data. In this lesson, you will learn to perform tasks such as data set sorting, concatenation and merging data sets, removing duplicate records, flagging extreme values, transposing data sets and using the (+) expression to perform summary statistics. Upon completion of this lesson, you will be a highly efficient SAS programmer.

Lesson 5: Data Analysis
SAS is designed for data analysis tasks, and provides many data analytics techniques that allow you to perform all kinds of analysis, as well as inspecting the results. In this lesson, you will learn how to perform simple data analysis using the MEANS, FREQ and UNIVARIATE procedures. You will also learn how to perform a normality test, analyze results from different segments and classification variables, plotting histograms, and n-way cross-tabulation tables. By the end of the lesson, you will have learned all the preliminary data analytics techniques required to understand your data.

Lesson 6: Statistical Analysis
Advanced statistical testing allows you to draw conclusions about your data. In this lesson, you will learn how to perform a one-sample t-test, paired t-test, two-sample t-test, chi-square test, Fisher exact test, correlation analysis and regression analysis. You will be able to analyze your data at a deeper level and make business decisions based on the statistical analysis results.

This course is based on SAS OnDemand for Academics, which is free to download.

Important! This is a coding-oriented course. You must set up the training page as instructed below:

  • Students who would like a SAS analyst role in the job market.

  • Career professionals who want to change to a career that requires SAS.

Question 1: Is this course free?

Part 1 of the Ultimate SAS Base Certification Course is free. Part 2 of the course is available for SASCrunch members only. 


Question 2: What will I learn in this course?

In this course, you will learn the six major topics of SAS programming:

  • Introduction to SAS
  • SAS functions
  • SAS variables
  • Data manipulation
  • Data analysis
  • Statistical analysis

This course will teach you, step-by-step, how to build a basic SAS data set from scratch. You will understand how to use the most common SAS functions and data manipulation techniques. You will have a deep understanding of SAS variables, which is essential when dealing with data in SAS. Last, but not least, you will understand how to analyze data using the various analytics techniques available in SAS.

Upon completion of the course, you will be a highly efficient SAS programmer.


Question 3: How will it help with my job search?

This course will help you with your job search in a number of ways. 

First, this course will teach you, in depth, how to use SAS in day-to-day data related tasks. You will be able to answer all kinds of SAS questions that you may encounter during a typical SAS related job interview. 

Second, this course will help you to prepare for the SAS Base Certification Exam. In fact, this course is part of our Ultimate SAS Base Certification Training Program. It will help you tackle the performance-based short-answer questions that are usually tricky to answer.

When you complete the course, you will be able to walk into an interview with confidence knowing that you have the programming skills to perform the job.


Question 4: How long does it take to complete this course?

This full course takes about 20 hours to complete.


Question 5: Do you offer certification?

No, we do not offer certification. However, this course will prepare you for the SAS Base Certification Exam, which is recognized globally. 


Question 6: What is the pre-requisite?

You do not need any prior background before taking this course. 

Ratings and Reviews

Avg. Rating
27 Ratings
What's your experience? We'd love to know!
Manishkumar Patel
Posted 2 weeks ago
Perfect to learn

Perfect tool to learn and practice

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Posted 3 weeks ago
read, practice, read, practice,...

Pro: simple enough examples to retain in my memory Con: proc import process was not reviewed which was in the project. However, I should have known it.

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Rin Jay
Posted 4 weeks ago

but not with this course. seriously. they do better than themselves do. i'm doing an O2O program for military spouses offered to study under a free program to dive into programming and i was so stuck for MONTHS. I am in the process of trying to take my certification. however, all my anxiety and worries just weren't in this course. I actually understood, i was able to pay attention... YES!

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Shruti PM Kulkarni
Posted 1 month ago
basics clear

great course

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Ajit Patni
Posted 2 months ago

its very helpfull for me

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Rinaldi Albert
Posted 2 months ago

Good Explanation

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Posted 2 months ago
Simple approach. Great value.

I completed the first free lessons. By far, one of the best and easiest SAS course I have ever taken. I really like the simple and yet very detailed. It takes the user into the SAS world step by step. The easy way and the practicing makes it a perfect blend to get into the mood easily. I will pursue the rest of the course. I highly recommend to anyone who seeks to master SAS.

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Josheili Y Llavona Ortiz
Posted 2 months ago
Simple steps to start off!

It certainly helps one have a basic idea of how to get around the program. The step-by-step instructions and examples keep you motivated and interested in learning more. Great job, SAS Crunch!

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Sambit Sarkar
Posted 2 months ago
Starter Pack 101

Simple yet fascinating is it's own way!

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Posted 2 months ago
SAS is highly on demand

I like this session and it is very useful for every beginner of SAS learnings. It made me to learn all the concept very much easy.

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