Free SAS® software and e-Learning sees rapid growth

Driven by rapidly increasing employer demand for business analytics talent, more than 2,500 students and teachers across Australia and New Zealand have taken advantage of FREE access to SAS software since SAS University Edition was launched just four months ago.

This is hardly surprising, given that the importance of an ability to work with business analytics is now widely accepted, while there are nowhere near enough skilled people to meet the demand. In addition to accessing the free software, students across the ANZ region are up-skilling with more than 700 downloads over the past three months of two fundamental e-Learning courses, Programming 1 and Statistics 1.

This skills gap is both local and worldwide. The McKinsey Global Institute predicts that by 2018, the United States could face a shortage of 1.5 million managers and analysts who understand know how to analyse big data to make effective business decisions; McKinsey also anticipates a shortage of up to 190,00 experts with deep analytical skills.

To narrow the gap, SAS launched SAS Analytics U – A broad education initiative which includes university partnerships and engaging user communities that support the next generation of SAS users. In the first half of 2014, more than 250 teachers – university professors, lecturers and others – have attended SAS workshops in Australia and New Zealand.

Worldwide, SAS skills are now taught at more than 3,000 higher education institutions. In Australia, these include the University of Sydney, University of South Australia and Melbourne’s RMIT University.

Dr Olivera Marjanovic at the University of Sydney said, “Employers that I’m speaking with want graduates equipped with ‘thinking tools’. They want them to learn how to gain a competitive advantage, not only by solving current problems and finding answers to the existing questions, but by asking brand new questions and using data and analytics to deal with complex problems, in a holistic and ethical way. This is the future of business education.”

David Bowie, managing director of SAS Australia and New Zealand, said it was no surprise that the take up of the software in higher education was on the increase. “The skills gap we hear about is very real and without a concerted emphasis on training at every level – from hands on at the raw data level though to managers acting on insights at decision making level – organisations will inevitably find themselves falling behind.”


About SAS

SAS is the leader in analytics. Through innovative analytics, business intelligence and data management software and services, SAS helps customers at more than 83,000 sites make better decisions faster. Since 1976, SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®.

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