Education and Workforce Workforce Spotlight: SAS CEO Jim Goodnight

This week’s #WorkforceWednesday features Jim Goodnight, CEO of SAS — a company whose training programs and academic partnerships are increasing skills and opportunities for workers in the high-demand fields of analytics and data science.

Jim Goodnight explains:

“Closing the skills gap in data analytics and other STEM-related fields is essential to preserve America’s global leadership in innovation. Through our cutting-edge academic programs and higher education partnerships, SAS is helping students, workers and employers gain the analytics capabilities they need to not only keep up with competition but raise the bar.”

Here’s a look at a few ongoing workforce development initiatives led by SAS and CEO Jim Goodnight. Additional information can be found here.

The Problem

By 2024, the U.S. economy could be short as many as 250,000 data scientists, according to a McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) study. This can prevent organizations and businesses from using data to improve operations, enhance competitiveness and increase innovation.

The Programs

SAS has worked with countless universities, colleges and community colleges to integrate SAS software into teaching and learning. The company’s efforts include:

  • Partnering with graduate and undergraduate programs around the world to create degree and certificate programs that help develop talented analytics professionals.
  • Providing training to thousands of professors, at no cost, to help them incorporate SAS technologies into their teaching.
  • Offering free software for research and to help people teach and learn valuable analytics skills needed to successfully land a job and build a career.

Beyond higher education, SAS partners with K–12 institutions and organizations representing minorities, women, veterans and the disabled to open up more opportunities for more people. And to keep SAS workers skilled up, all SAS training courses are free to employees.

The Progress

SAS Academic Programs continue to help people develop the analytics and data skills that are in high demand by organizations around the world. A few key outcomes and results include:

  • To date, SAS has helped launch 73 master’s and undergraduate degrees and 171 certificate programs in analytics and related disciplines, including the master of science in analytics at North Carolina State University — the nation’s first analytics master’s degree.
  • SAS has awarded more than 125,000 SAS credentials, which validate for employers about an employee’s or candidate’s strong data expertise.
  • Since 2016, SAS free e-learning resources have been accessed more than 800,000 times, providing valuable experience with industry-leading analytics software.

To learn more about workforce development initiatives led by SAS and other Business Roundtable CEO member companies, please visit:

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