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How we Helped a Total SAS Newbie Learn SAS and Get Certified in 6 Weeks

Here’s some good news – for you and for us.

Good news for us: Katie has passed the SAS base certification after studying SAS for just 6 weeks. She started off as a total newbie who couldn’t even write a proper data step without getting errors.

Good news for you: Katie has kindly allowed us to describe how she did it – with a focus on the techniques that you can follow and achieve the same goal.


Katie has an undergraduate degree in physics, and she has always wanted to get into healthcare analytics.

Clinical trials is a tough industry to get into, where SAS programmers make an average of US$73,000 a year. 

Katie quickly learned that SAS is the industry standard for data handling and visualization for companies within the pharmaceutical sector and contract research organizations (CRO).

There was no opportunity for her to learn SAS within her university course.

She had to strike out on her own in order to pad her resume with the skills she needed for her future career.

What Katie was looking for is simple:

  • She wanted something geared toward total beginners.
  • It needed to be 100% online.
  • She wanted to learn at her own pace, so she actually preferred reading coursework, as opposed to video or audio lessons.

And most importantly, it needed to impart the skills she needed to become fluent in SAS quickly, effectively, and without a steep learning curve. 

The internet does not lack SAS tutorials or training programs. 

There are many SAS tutorials available on YouTube or via Google search.

What is lacking is a SAS training program designed for beginners. 

When Katie went through the free tutorial online, she found that the lessons were too technical to understand.

She also found that other tutorials were too theoretical, and she couldn’t apply what she learned.

After spending days studying, she couldn’t even start writing the simplest SAS code.

Enter SASCrunch Training

At SASCrunch, we are determined to build SAS training programs that are easy to understand, even for beginners.

We also ensure that students get to practice the concepts they learned by solving real-life data analytics problems.

Here’s how we did it.

Interactive SAS Learning Design

Building a SAS training program for total beginners is not an easy task.

Prudently, we borrowed the interactive learning concept from Data Camp and Codecademy, where students can learn the software while practicing writing the code.

Data Camp and Codecademy are two very popular coding education websites with millions of students.

We modeled their platform when we built our split-screen training system:​

The split-screen design is unique to SASCrunch, and it allows students to easily visualize the results from the coding techniques that they learned.

It cut the time required for Katie to learn SAS by at least half.

The code was able to be copy-pasted from the lesson to her SAS Studio, forming a very useful bridge from education to application. 

Katie remembers the entire course as having flown by: “It seemed like I was just starting, and then I was done. I didn’t feel like I was getting stuck in technicalities.”

Real-life Data Analytics Projects

When going through the SASCrunch training modules, Katie didn’t just learn the theoretical concepts of SAS programming work.

She was also able to practice what she learned in each module.

The exercises in the training program include:

  • Data set creation
  • Applications of 20+ SAS functions
  • Variable attributes
  • Data Manipulation techniques
  • Data analysis and simple statistical modeling
  • Five real-life data analytics projects

And last, ​but not least, a complete clinical project that includes the creation of SDTM, ADAM data sets and statistical tables, listings and figures. 

She now has a great command of the software, and was able to pass the challenging SAS Base Certification exam after studying for just six weeks.

Katie has always thrived academically, but she often takes longer with more technical concepts than her peers. She didn’t mind putting in more effort, even if she had to review some topics three or four times.

But with SASCrunch training program, the intuitive pace and the tutorials made reviewing unnecessary.​

“SASCrunch was exactly what I needed,” she remembers fondly. “Now I finally have the tools to advance my career, and even though it was one of the more technical parts of my education, it was honestly one of the easiest. I’d be totally comfortable using SAS in a professional environment.”

Katie now has the skills and qualifications she needs for her career in data analytics, all done in just 6 weeks.

Are you next?

Go to SASCrunch Training and start learning SAS using the best platform online!


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