Is SAS certification worthwhile?

#1
Is SAS certification worth having?

I am a software developer experienced in writing small data management, conversion and reporting applications in MS Access VBA for the investment banking industry. I have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and am currently earning a master’s degree in general mathematics. I’d like to move into statistical programming as a career, but finding a first statistical programming job has proven difficult, especially one that will pay well compared with what I’m already earning.

A look at the job market suggests that SAS jobs greatly outnumber statistical programming jobs in other languages, at least in my area. So I’m thinking of taking a break from my graduate studies next year in order to take some SAS programming courses offered at a nearby university. Would having SAS certification be useful on the job market?
 
#2
I'd recomend finishing your grad studies first if you're already half way there. Are there no SAS courses you can take at your current university?

Often what they want is SAS experience vs some certificate (I know of no official ones issued by the SAS corporation, you should definately look for yourself though.)
 

vinux

Dark Knight
#3
I'd recomend finishing your grad studies first if you're already half way there. Are there no SAS courses you can take at your current university?
I also suggest the same. Most of the companies expect basic knowledge of SAS from a fresher ( i guess you are a fresher). And if your university is reputed then certification will not add much value in the qualifications.
 
#4
Is SAS certification worth having?

I am a software developer experienced in writing small data management, conversion and reporting applications in MS Access VBA for the investment banking industry. I have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and am currently earning a master’s degree in general mathematics.
If you have a B.S. and VBA experience, then I don't see why you should "take a break" from anything to learn SAS. As a programming language, SAS is much simpler than VBA, so you can master it on your own time. Of course, I am not talking about SAS components (SAS/STAT, ETS and so on) that require one to have an M.S. - level background in Statistics.

As for certification, you have to understand how the employer thinks. If there are 30 applications to a single job slot, he is not going to interview 30 people. Certification is a fast way to reduce the initial pool of entry-level candidates to a manageable size. Therefore, the employer is likely to dump 20 people who do not have certification and proceed with the other 10. It may be that the dumped candidates had an equally good grasp of SAS, but, from the employer's perspective, it's irrelevant as long as the reduced pool still contains enough good applicants. In the end, he needs only one.