Earn Your SAS Credentials from the School of Economics 

New SAS Academic Badges in the School of Economics

Posted August 3, 2022

The School of Economics is launching a new Statistical Analytics Software (SAS) certification program for undergraduate and master’s students, the first of its kind at Georgia Tech.  

Starting in Fall 2022, Georgia Tech students of all majors can earn SAS badges for their resume, LinkedIn, and other social media profiles to show off their SAS economic data analysis and programming skills to potential employers. By taking the one-credit-hour SAS courses and exams through the School of Economics, students also save money versus paying for them on their own.  


Setting students up for success 

Academic Professional Aselia Urmanbetova was instrumental in the School’s partnership with SAS Institute, the company that makes the eponymously named software analytics tool used on more than 80,000 business, government, and university sites.  

“Data and business analytics fields are growing rapidly, especially here in Atlanta as large companies like Microsoft and Airbnb move in,” Urmanbetova said. “We’re always looking for ways to make our students more competitive, and proficiency in such a widely used tool as SAS helps set them up for success when they graduate.” 

Previously, economics students could learn SAS through the School but did not receive the academic badge for their profiles. Graduate student Amy He took advantage of the opportunity in Urmanbetova’s class during her master’s studies. 

“I learned how to write SAS code scripts, use SAS to visualize data, and promote my analytical results,” He said. “As a result of my exposure to SAS, a potential recruiter reached out to me via LinkedIn and my SAS coursework convinced them of my ability to write SAS code and analyze data.” 


How to earn the SAS academic badges 

Students interested in economic data analysis can earn the SAS badges by completing up to three of the classes offered by the School of Economics. (Though they are currently listed as Special Topics courses, the names will be updated to those below in the 2023 –2024 academic year).  

Undergraduate and graduate students can obtain the Tier 1 Academic Specialization in Basic Data Coding for Economics through the fall course Coding and Analytics for Economics I: SAS Base Programming. This badge affirms a student’s ability to “leverage SAS tools for programming, data cleaning, and management.”  

To level up to the Tier 2 badge, students will have two choices in the spring semester. They can build on Tier 1 with Coding and Analytics for Economics II: SAS Advanced Programming or Coding and Analytics for Economics III: Regression and Modeling.  

The former earns students the Tier 2 Academic Specialization in Advanced Data Coding for Economics, while the latter culminates in the Tier 2 Academic Specialization in Coding and Data Analytics for Economics. Both courses focus on programming and data management, but the former also teaches data manipulation, while the latter emphasizes statistical analysis and econometric modeling. 

Finally, students who complete all three classes earn the Tier 3 Academic Specialization in Advanced Coding and Data Analytics for Economics badge, confirming their ability “to use SAS tools for programming, data management and manipulation, statistical analysis, and econometric modeling.” 

Master’s student John Elmore did just that, completing all three of the SAS courses during his graduate studies. 

“Employers know that earning a SAS credential is expensive and takes an investment of time and effort,” he said. “Getting the training and credential exams as part of the Economics program for essentially the cost of one to three hours of tuition is a bargain.”  


Using Data for Good 

The courses are affiliated with the Georgia Tech Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain (SLS), a campus-wide sustainability initiative for the Georgia Tech community. Through the SLS partnership, students can complete a data project aligned with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and Data for Good movement in each class.  

“The School of Economics strives to graduate well-rounded students in their work and in their lives,” said Professor and School Chair Laura Taylor. “By combining the hard SAS skills with social justice applications such as the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and Data for Good, our students are ready to take on the world’s most pressing challenges when they graduate.” 

The undergraduate classes are offered as ECON 4811 – Special Topics in Economics in the fall and spring this year and will be updated to 4001, 4002, and 4003 in the 2023 – 2024 academic year. The graduate classes are listed as ECON 8801 – Special Topics this year and will be listed as 6001, 6002, and 6003 in the 2023 – 2024 academic year. The first class is offered in the fall semester and the second two (II and III) are offered in the spring semester.

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Academic Professional Aselia Urmanbetova