A conversation with SAS Canada

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Sheridan has partnered with SAS Canada, the leader in analytics, to offer the SAS Base Programming and SAS Platform Administration programs through its Faculty of Continuing and Professional Studies.

We spoke with Mark Morreale, Academic Program Lead for Canada, to learn more about the Sheridan-SAS Canada partnership, and how Sheridan students can become prepared for an exciting analytics career.

Q: Can you tell me about SAS’s educational program?
Mark Morreale: SAS recognizes the relationship between innovation and education. SAS was a research project in 1974 that was converted into a company. The founding CEO and other founders were very interested in reinvesting in education because of that. We’re very interested in leading the way around integrating technology with education. So we’ve partnered with close to 70 universities and colleges across the country and we’re trying to empower students so they can really understand analytics.
Q: What are the objectives for the Sheridan-SAS partnership?
Mark Morreale: The Sheridan-SAS partnership has two objectives: to create users, but also to reward students with opportunities for leading edge positions and jobs. So we regularly connect students with our customers and graduates of all our courses.

Q: Why did you think that Sheridan would be a good partner?
Mark Morreale: We were very willing to partner with Sheridan for several reasons. Sheridan has a great IT background and pedigree, and they were also very interested in an aspect of analytics that’s not taught a lot in Canada, which is around SAS platform administration. Not only will these students learn analytics, they’ll also learn how to manage the platform that your analytics process will be running on. So it’s both a technical and methodological combination that is really great and very unique to Sheridan.

Q: What do you think would be the benefits for students of taking their SAS courses at Sheridan?
Mark Morreale: When you integrate into the curriculum of a program, it’s a richer environment for the students. They’re really learning the methods intuitively. With the technology, they’re not just learning the technology, which is really important, they’re also learning the methods of analytics and they’re using SAS as part of it.

The relationship with Sheridan is also ongoing and the investment is not just with software. The investment is with the teachers and instructors. We work with them to ensure their skills are up to date. We’re going to be working with them to ensure the students get business problems that are current and applicable. We’re working to make it a very rich educational experience for the students.
In addition, the Sheridan program will be the first program in Canada to offer courses in both analytics and SAS Platform Administration.

As analytics has become part of the fabric of business, government and academia, we continue to partner and launch a range of programs to meet growing talent deficits. It’s estimated that by 2018, the U.S. will face a deficit of 140,000 to 190,000 employees with deep analytical skills—those who drive strategy—and 1.5 million analysts to interpret and use those findings. The Canadian Big Data Consortium estimates Canada’s deep skills gap at as much as 19,000, and a gap of 150,000 in the analyst roles. This program will help fill that void for Canada.

Q: So with this upcoming skills deficit, it’s really important to keep educating students to fill that gap.
Mark Morreale: Correct. In fact, a recent LinkedIn post listed statistics and analytics as being the #1 advertised skill you need in Canada. And according to MONEY and Payscale.com, SAS is the most valuable career skill you can have. So we’re investing, we feel it’s a great investment in the students and in their future.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Mark Morreale: If students want to pursue an analytics career, this is a great opportunity for them. We’ve talked about the massive skills gap, but we’ve also talked about how it’s the #1 job skill that’s required.
SAS is the leading analytics provider on the market and SAS Certification qualifies graduates for the Canadian and Global job markets. We’re also seeing results with higher pay scales and these kinds of things. Monster states that people with SAS skills are paid 17% more than their counterparts.

Sheridan’s Faculty of Continuing and Professional Studies (FCAPS) offers the SAS Base Programming and SAS Platform Administration programs. Visit https://caps.sheridancollege.ca/products/sas-base-programming.aspx and https://caps.sheridancollege.ca/products/sas-platform-adminstration.aspx for more information on how Sheridan can help you on the path to a successful analytics career.

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