Salary Survey Extra is a series of dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our annual Salary Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.
Data analytics firm SAS, based in North Carolina, has been at the forefront of the Big Data revolution for more than four decades. With its industry leading data science solutions, SAS has quite a lot to offer to anyone pursuing a Big Data career path.
The SAS Certified Specialist: Base Programming Using SAS 9.4 credential (No. 63 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list) is a mid-tier benchmark, sandwiched between an associate-level programming cert and an advanced-level programming cert, so individuals planning to attempt the specialist exam probably need some background in SAS programming.
Here's what the salary picture looks like for SAS Certified Specialist: Base Programming holders who responded to the Salary Survey:
All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $99,920
Median Annual Salary: $102,500
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 17.4 percent
Very Satisfied: 34.8 percent
Satisfied: 30.4 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 13 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 4.3 percent
SAS has a global footprint, but all but a bare handful of the SAS Certified Specialist: Base Programming holders who responded to the Salary Survey live and work in the United States, so the survey data discussed here doesn't take other countries into account.
Last year's Deep Focus series didn't include any SAS certs, and we only featured a single SAS cert in 2019. That article, however, included a highly unusual data point in that two-thirds of the survey respondents featured were women — a singular rarity in the male-dominated IT sphere. And here we are again in 2021: A remarkable 61 percent of the SAS Certified Specialist: Base Programming holders who responded to the survey are women. The age of respondents is also striking, with nearly half of them (47.1 percent) between the ages of 25 and 34, or notably younger than is commonplace in IT. The rest are more representative of the norm, with 11.8 percent of those surveyed between the ages of 35 and 44, 23.5 percent between the ages of 45 and 54, and 17.6 percent between the ages of 55 and 64.
More than 85 percent of SAS Certified Specialist: Base Programming holders who responded to the survey have an educational background that includes time spent at a college or university. The highest level of education completed by most SAS Certified Specialist: Base Programming holders is either an master's degree (an impressive 64.7 percent of those surveyed), bachelor's degree (17.6 percent), or doctorate (5.9 percent). The outliers are the 6.5 percent of survey respondents who rounded out their formal education years by completing some level of post-high school technical training and the 5.3 percent who exited the realm of formal education after completing high school.
A potent 96.8 percent of SAS Certified Specialist: Base Programming holders who participated in the survey have full-time jobs, with the other 3.2 percent employed part-time. Among those who have full-time jobs, most are at work either for the standard 40 hours per week (44.4 percent of respondents) or put in between 41 and 50 hours (50 percent). The rest (5.6 percent of those surveyed) are at work between 31 and 39 hours per week.
Even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it had gradually become somewhat common in the IT industry to work from home. Now everyone is doing it, even among certified IT professionals whose jobs are typically more workplace-bound: A whopping 90 percent of SAS Certified Specialist: Base Programming holders who responded to the survey work entirely from home, putting in either more than 40 hours per week (56.1 percent) or the standard 40 hours per week (33.9 percent) without walking out the front door. The remaining 10 percent are still spending almost all of their weekly work schedule outside of a traditional office setting, working from home for between 31 and 39 hours per week.
In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of SAS Certified Specialist: Base Programming holders we heard from are employed at the senior specialist level (47.4 percent). The rest, in descending order, are either rank-and-file employees (36.9 percent of respondents), specialists (10.5 percent), or managers (5.3 percent).
Slightly more than one-fourth of the SAS Certified Specialist: Base Programming holders who responded to the survey —26.3 percent of them are IT veterans, having worked in a role that directly utilizes one or more of their certified skills for more than a decade. The rest have been plying their certified skills for either between zero years (1 to 11 months) and two years (15.8 percent of respondents), between 3 and 5 years (31.6 percent of respondents), between than 6 and 8 years (21 percent), or between 9 and 10 years (5.3 percent).
Finally, here's the view of SAS Certified Specialist: Base Programming holders on key questions from the survey about how certification impacts job performance:
At my current job I use skills learned or enhanced through certification:
Several times a day: 31.6 percent
Several times a week: 26.3 percent
Several times a month: 11.1 percent
Occasionally: 21 percent
Rarely: 10 percent
Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills.
Strongly agree: 32.1 percent
Agree: 36.3 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 26.3 percent
Disagree: 5.3 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]
Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 21.5 percent
Agree: 53.2 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 23.4 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: 1.9 percent
Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 21.1 percent
Agree: 57.9 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 16.3 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: 4.7 percent
PAST SAS CERTIFIED SPECIALIST DEEP FOCUS FEATURES
Certification titles change periodically. The current SAS Certified Specialist: Base Programming Using SAS 9.4 appears to have replaced SAS Certified Base Programmer, which was the subject of two prior Deep Focus features: