CARY, N.C., Sept. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The demand for people with analytics and data science skills continues to outpace supply – and SAS® skills are among the most prized. Major companies in banking, insurance, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and government agencies around the world use SAS to optimize operations with AI, machine learning, cloud and IoT. The new SAS Academic Specialization gives higher education institutions more options for generating the SAS talent employers are seeking.
Last year, nearly 220,000 job postings listed SAS as a desired skill, according to Emsi, an aggregator of labor market data. To help its students seize these opportunities, the University of South Florida (USF) worked with SAS to launch a Tier 3 SAS Academic Specialization in Healthcare Analytics. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust the importance of reliable health data and analysis into the spotlight, according to Sakis Tsalatsanis, Associate Professor at the USF Morsani College of Medicine.
"Data analytics skills are critical to fighting COVID-19," said Tsalatsanis. "Our commitment to producing new diagnostics and treatments quickly and effectively emphasizes the need for trained professionals who collect, manage, analyze and report health data meaningfully and systematically."
USF joins other early adopters of the SAS Academic Specialization, including Texas A&M University, Colorado State University-Global Campus and Stonehill College. Stonehill adopted the Tier 3 SAS Academic Specialization as part of the College's Data Analytics Master of Professional Studies Degree Program. It is the highest level of credential that SAS offers its academic partners.
"Our students consistently tell us that having SAS skills on their resume, or mentioning their work with SAS in the classroom, has made a big difference during the hiring process," said Debra Salvucci, Dean of the Meehan School of Business at Stonehill. "Preparing our business students for jobs in a data-driven economy is one of our most important missions at Meehan."
Helping programs grow and validating SAS skills
The SAS Academic Specialization features three tiers representing various levels of engagement with SAS. With greater SAS integration comes more benefits for the participating program and students, including exclusive certification exam preparation and discounts, SAS workshops and/or speakers, and priority access to SAS customers for talent connections, and more.
Successful completion of a SAS Academic Specialization gives students a competitive advantage in the job market. They also earn a co-branded digital badge that allows them to share their achievement online and on social media in a way that is simple, trusted, and can be easily verified by employers. The digital image contains verified metadata that describes the students' qualifications and the process they went through to earn the badge, providing employers and peers concrete evidence of their SAS skills.
Building on more than 40 years in academia
SAS grew out of North Carolina State University in 1976, marking the beginning of a strong relationship with academia. SAS collaborates with more than 300 academic programs worldwide to help bridge the gap between supply and demand for analytical talent across industries. SAS works closely with institutions to evaluate program curriculum and integrate SAS software in ways that allow students to develop skills in applying analytical concepts to current business problems using real-world data.
The SAS Academic Specialization allows colleges and universities to grow their programs over time. It adds structure and consistency to degree and certificate programs, ensuring a solid foundation in SAS skills. Regardless of the tier a college chooses, students exit their programs with significant opportunities across industries.
"From rapid vaccine development to fraud fighting to conservation, the exciting careers of today and tomorrow are in data and analytics," said Lynn Letukas, Director of SAS Global Academic Programs. "With the SAS Academic Specialization, students are working with real-world data to understand and address real challenges. They will leave their institution ready to turn data into information to grow businesses, power research and improve society."
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