It's been a month and what a month it has been! The new year is here already! One wonders where all the time has gone! I hope you also wonder on how far you have come in the process of learning and equipping yourself towards a successful career and life and take pride in it! This 'present' day's effort will grant you the 'gift' of future!

When we last communicated, we spoke of where to start and how to master different languages such as SAS, R and Python. Now that this crucial decision is made ( I hope this is the case ), the next important step is to identify the Industry you want to work in. I encourage you to identify industries that you are interested in- this interest will take you a long way as you will begin to enjoy work. The list of industries is a wide range from Banking and Finance, to Insurance and healthcare, to something as interesting and diverse as Retail and Media. For those of you interested in Clinical, please note that it is a good place for Biostatistics or Pharmaceutical majors.

Once you narrow down at least two industries, look for how analytics and SAS are used in those industries - what major work is done using SAS or any other analytics tools such as R and Python. Doing similar projects in your school based on these findings, will take you a long way and help you in stabilising your career in the chosen industry. I can already sense your next question,- " How will I know what project to choose?... Where can I find data?"

Nothing worthwhile in life comes easy! And this struggle / hard work is what builds that mettle in us! Your best friend in finding data is Google. Start with typing SAS+ Retail or SAS + Health care or SAS + Banking— and bingo! you're engine has fired up. Refer to relevant books / data / material available, and most importantly, start working on it as a team or take help from your professor. Do whatever is required but be thorough and well-versed with the terminology of your chosen industries ( Google to the rescue again!- key word: Retail Terminology/ Healthcare Terminology etc.) and work on some project/ data and 'familiarize' ( and by this I mean master) yourself with that industry. The job market is a cruelly competitive place where knowledge and hard work alone set you apart from the others.

Use your Google skills for information and group study for speedy learning

For the smart kid, the above information more than suffices and I know you are smart! My mantra has always been this -" Don't hand me a fish...teach me how to fish and I am good for life!" Wish you all a successful new year. I leave you with the below thought for this month!

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