From Non-SAS Programmer to SAS Programmer

SAS Programmers come from many different educational backgrounds. Many have started their careers as a Data Manager in a CRO environment and then later became a SAS programmer. Others have gone through college and pursued degrees in math, statistics and computer science degrees.

Do you have SAS Skills? First, you need to find out more about statistical programming desire skills and start to slowly learn what SAS Programmers and Statisticians do in the pharmaceutical industry. It is also important to understand the Drug Development and Regulatory process so that you have a better understanding of the industry as a whole as well as the drug approval process.

In addition, I have personally attended several workshop on Statistics for Non-Statistician provided by several of my past employers/clients (e.g. GSK, Sanofi-Aventis, etc) so I could have a greater understanding of statistics role within the pharmaceutical industry. I am personally leaning towards the EDC development within the Clinical Research than becoming a Biostatistician but these are just some of the few steps you could take to grow your career as a SAS programmer.

Practice, Practice, Practice!

To begin learning how to actually program in SAS, it would be a good idea to enroll to a SAS course provided by the SAS Institute near you or via eLearning. I have taken the course SAS Programming 1: Essentials and I would recommend. You could also join SUGI conferences and other user groups near your city/country. Seek every opportunity to help you gain further understanding on how to efficiently program in the pharmaceutical industry. It could well land you a Junior SAS programming position.

Transitioning to a SAS Programming role:

Now that you have gotten your first SAS programming job, you will need to continue your professional development and attend additional training, workshops, and seminars and study team meetings.

The SAS Institute provides a second level, more advance course Programming II: Manipulating Data with the Data Step, SAS Macro Language and SAS macro Programming Advanced topics.

There are also SAS certifications courses available to help you prepare to become a SAS certified programmer.

The light you see at the end of the tunnel is your career – Advance!

Your ongoing development will be very exciting and challenging. Continued attending SAS classes as needed and attending industry related conferences such as PharmaSUG to gain more knowledge and insight on how to do your job more effectively and efficiently.

As you can see, it is possible to ‘grow’ a SAS programmer from a non-programming background to an experience programmer. All of the classes, training, and projects you will work on are crucial in expanding your SAS knowledge and will allow you to have a very exciting career opportunity ahead of you.