The data science job market is changing as more people enter the field

Obtaining a formal education and earning certifications from a respected brand are key to getting ahead


Francisco Domínguez Sagarena

Mexico City, Mexico

Current position:
Analytics & Automation Director, Grupo Salinas

SAS® Certifications:

  • Advanced Analytics Professional Using SAS®9
  • Data Scientist Using SAS®9
  • Predictive Modeler Using SAS® Enterprise Miner 14
  • Specialist: SAS Text Analytics, Time Series, Experimentation and Optimization
  • Specialist: Advanced Predictive Modeling Using SAS®9
  • Big Data Professional Using SAS®9

Take a comprehensive look at the future of the data science job market. I think the supply-demand relationship is changing. Many people have the knowledge, but not all of us have an institution that certifies it.


  • Analytics provides tools to solve problems in new and more efficient ways.
  • The reading, experimentation and practice that form a data scientist must be complemented by some formal education.
  • Learning also arises from interactions with peers and professionals working in similar circumstances.


Degree in physics
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).

Master of Science in Applied Mathematics
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Awarded through the Fulbright-García Robles Scholarship, COMEXUS – US Department of State.

First job
In his first professional role, Francisco’s passions became analytics and data science. At SURA México, he helped create analytical models using SAS in areas such as customer protection, cross-selling and customer segmentation.

Data Scientist D&A
BBVA Bancomer

Analytics Director 
Grupo Salinas

Director of Technical Customer Analysis | Data Governance Director
Grupo Financiero Banorte

Current job

Analytics & Automation Director, Grupo Salinas



Learning SAS gave Francisco a range of tools he could use to solve his day-to-day data science problems that he didn’t has prior to his apprenticeship with the SAS Academy for Data Science.

Job vacancies published in Latin America by companies looking for professionals with SAS skills in 2022.

A certified data scientist in Mexico earns, on average, almost three times more in salary than an IT postgraduate professional.

(Sources: Glassdoor and INEGI México)


For data scientists, it’s now of great importance that they prove their knowledge with a certification from an accredited institution like SAS.

Much of the most beneficial learning I received from the SAS Academy for Data Science arrived during the moments when the courses became a conversation. That feedback and interaction were invaluable. Francisco Domínguez Sagarena


Q: Francisco, can you tell us how your analytics career started?

A: My career in analytics began when I was studying toward my master’s degree in applied mathematics in the United States. In my program, I reviewed several things about analytical models, including graphs, networks, etc. It was then that I became interested in data science. I had my first job in data science at SURA, where we created several analytical models using SAS on customer retention, cross-selling and customer segmentation issues. That’s where analytics and data science really became my passion.

Q: Why did you decide to pursue a data scientist certification?

A: At first, I thought that Mexico was quite behind in data science. I think the financial industry was strongest in that area. But then two things happened. Within the financial sector, there was a lot of competition among data scientists, and also data science has taken off in Mexico in recent years. From my point of view, there were already many people who were called data scientists, but I think companies recognized the need for those roles to be performed by people who were certified. People who have formally demonstrated their expertise. For organizations, selecting talent became very complicated. I believe that these certifications really help companies choose the best talent in much more agile hiring processes. I really appreciated certification for that reason.

Read more of Francisco's story

Q: What do you consider to be the benefits of having a certification?

A: I believe that most data scientists in Mexico have perhaps an informal education when it comes to data science. We have backgrounds in mathematics, physics, actuarial statistics, and we have professional experience and some high-level diplomas. But our direct experience and knowledge come from a lot of reading, experimentation and practice. So I think a formal education helps structure that a lot. We might begin our formal education with many doubts, but at the SAS Academy for Data Science, I really appreciated learning from the conversations and discussions with experts and getting their feedback.

Q: What are the benefits of being a data scientist certified by SAS?

A:  For me, the main benefits of the SAS Academy came from the structure – the program structuring this education in a comprehensive curriculum. Additionally, I believe the interaction with classmates and the teachers were crucial. Much of my most significant learning at the Academy was when the course became a conversation rather than a series of slides to review. That feedback was very valuable. Also, one of my best friendships today in the field came from the Academy. There are few of us, I think – analytics directors or data scientists in general – and that education experience allowed me to meet several people with whom I’m still in contact today. We continue to share chats and learning and conversation and enrichment. That networking is very valuable.

Q: What do you consider to be the most important benefits of the SAS certification?

A:Specific to the SAS Academy for Data Science, I see at least two. It opened doors for me in a very clear and evident way when human resources or other companies began to look for people trained in data science, specifically in SAS, since I had the certifications. That was very obvious when it started to happen. Additionally, it gave me a range of tools I could use to solve data science problems that I had on a day-to-day basis, which I did not have prior to the SAS Academy for Data Science. It gave me tools to solve problems in different and more efficient ways.

Q: What is your advice for those interested in becoming certified?

A: I would recommend that someone considering entering the SAS Academy for Data Science takes a comprehensive look at the future of the data science job market. I think the supply-demand relationship is changing. I think that many people have the knowledge, but not all of us have an institution that certifies it. Between that and the feedback we can get from professionals who are in these same circumstances, I think it’s something worth considering for the professional development we want.

These certifications really help companies choose the best talent in much more agile processes. I really appreciated certification for that reason


SAS Academy for Data Science

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SAS Certifications

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Certification matters

Obtaining certifications made Francisco more visible to recruiters.

Even today, as a director at a major corporation, he’s confident in recruiting talent based on who has relevant certifications.

Support of a major brand

The certification of a trusted brand helps certifications to be well regarded, and at the same time, the education provides an environment where it is possible to resolve questions and truly increase knowledge.

Training as the foundation

Certifications are not just badges. There’s work and learning that goes into earning them. When receiving training, it is also essential to be part of an open environment with exchange and collaboration.

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