Study Programmes 2017-2018
SAS certification
Duration :
15h Th, 25h Mon. WS
Number of credits :
Master in data science (120 ECTS)5
Master in data science and engineering (120 ECTS)5
Master in mathematics (120 ECTS)4
Master in mathematics (60 ECTS)4
Lecturer :
Michael Schyns
Language(s) of instruction :
English language
Organisation and examination :
Teaching in the second semester
Units courses prerequisite and corequisite :
Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program
Learning unit contents :
Become a certified Business Analyst / Data Scientist!  This is the job of the future!
Nowadays, a company must be able to collect, analyze and handle huge volume of data in order to answer managerial questions and/or offer new top value services.  Amazon, Google, Facebook  are obvious successful stories confirming the importance of data management.  The main question is:  "How to transform raw "stupid" data into valuable "actionable" information?"  This is the job of the Data Scientist. 
In order to achieve such a result, the Data Scientist needs powerful tools.  SAS Base and SAS Enterprise Guideare the platforms used by leading companies.   In this course, you will not learn new data analysis techniques but you'll become familiar with data manipulation and SAS programming language, the cornerstone of all SAS platforms, to be able to write your own SAS data analysis codes.   You'll be able to write your own code to:
  • Import and export raw data files
  • Manipulate and transform data
  • Combines SAS datasets
  • Create basic detail and summary reports using SAS procedures
  • Identify and correct data, syntax and programming logic errors
Moreover, this course aims to prepare you for the official external certification SAS Certified Base Programmer. Many companies use SAS for their internal analysis, which makes this certification an undeniable added-value to your CV and helps you to secure jobs. 
"The demand for SAS knowledge and expertise significantly exceeds the number of skilled people available in the Belux region. As an answer to this market demand for Data Scientists, SAS offers a program to help make up the shortage by organizing the Sas Certified Young Potentials (SCYP) program"  (see
Learning outcomes of the learning unit :
Prerequisite knowledge and skills :
There is no prerequisite in computer programming needed for this course: indeed, the program walks you through the steps of learning to write code, which could also help for other courses.  But, obviously, you have to be a minimum  computer enthusiast to get the best of it.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods :
This course is based on the SCYP program.  The SCYP program (organized by SAS) offers you the opportunity of getting the SAS Certified Base Programmer for FREE, as well as FREE access to all documents to prepare this certification. You'll have to complete online and at your own pace two e-courses.  Each chapter covers one specific question and includes:
  • Videos to explain the topics and how to solve some small problems
  • Access to a SAS system to experiment by yourself the commands
  • Multiple choice questions to (freely) test your understanding.
  • Data analysis exercises to practice.
A detailed syllabus is provided.
You have to know that the preparation for this hard certification requires a lot of homework, but this is also what makes this certification a real added value on the job market.
The main differences between the 'pure' out of cursus SCYP program and this course is first an increased level of support:
  • You don't need to go to the three trainings in Bruxelles : three lectures are organized at ULg. Moreover, the first session exam will be held in HEC-ULg instead of Tervuren.
  • We are there to help you and we will provide extra exercises.
  • During the lectures, the most important topics to master for the certification will be highlighted.
  • During the third lecture, you will have the opportunity to prepare for the certification through a mock exam
  • The certification is quite theoretical, however, during the third lecture, we propose you to put your SAS skills in practice through the analysis of a real data set.
Mode of delivery (face-to-face ; distance-learning) :
You'll have to complete online and at your own pace two e-courses ( Three additional lectures are organized in a computer room.
Recommended or required readings :
Assessment methods and criteria :
A  SAS certification exam will be organized by SAS in HEC.
The exam is a theoretical one (multiple choice questions).  The exam is tough.  You get the certification if your score is larger or equal to 70%.
For the course, the mark will be your score at the SAS exam:
  • plus one point (over twenty) if your score is larger or equal to 50%.
  • plus one additional point if you obtain the certification
Thus, you need to obtain at least 50% at the certification to obtain your credits for the course.
Warning: the SAS exam is free the first time, but it costs 50EUR for a second chance.  If you fail the exam during the first session, you'll have the choice to either sit again the certification exam organized by SAS (50EUR), or to sit a local ULg exam for free but without the SAS certification.
Work placement(s) :
Organizational remarks :
Contacts :
Prof.: M. Schyns - - HEC, Rue Louvrex Teaching Assistant (TD): S. Aerts - - HEC and FS-Math Dept.