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Re: st: Stata vs SPSS

From   "Tim Wade" <>
Subject   Re: st: Stata vs SPSS
Date   Sun, 15 Oct 2006 10:18:18 -0400

Here is some practical advice for those getting into fields that
require data analysis skills: learn SAS (preferably, IMHO) or SPSS to
get a job, and Stata to do the work!  Hopefully you can convince your
management that you will be much more efficient and productive with
Stata (because it is superior in many ways and more detailed in this
thread) and since the license is so reasonable and it is perpetual,
they will get it for you. This is what I did.  Although I do sometimes
have to use SAS to produce reports (the output delivery system in SAS
is quite advanced), when the time comes that Stata can produce top
quality reports as easily as SAS, I won't have to use it anymore!


On 10/13/06, Clive Nicholas <> wrote:
Joseph Coveney replied to Raphael Fraser:

> Let them discover on their own.  They choose the package, and you choose
> the problem sets.  Stata is easy enough that if they decide to switch
> midway through, they won't be long in catching up on their own.
> In all fairness to the students, who will be looking for work soon enough,
> take a look at the job postings page on the UCLA ATA Stat Computing
> website (URL at the bottom of this posting):
> Posting #1 "expected to have experience applying a wide variety of
> multivariate statistical methods to health or substance abuse research
> data, managing large databases, and using statistical software including
> SAS and SPSS "
> Posting #2 "At least one year of SAS programming/analysis experience. "
> Posting #3 "Good working knowledge of SAS and/or SPSS required. "
> Posting #4 "Extensive experience with statistical programming (such as SAS
> and Stata [finally!]). Knowledge with SUDAAN and SPSS."

I second this vociferously: this is exactly how it is right now in the
commercial-sector UK job market: it's knowledge of SPSS, SAS or MS Excel
that counts; knowledge of anything else counts for very little if anything
at all. I've yet to come across a job advert that asks for knowledge of
Stata outside of the university sector, and that's very depressing given
Stata's all-round strengths.

Perhaps Stata isn't marketed as aggressively towards business users as it
ought to be? Should it be? Well, that's what SPSS has been doing in recent
years, and they've been very successful, but it's coming at the cost of
making SPSS _much_ less comprehensive in its suite of commands than Stata,
LIMDEP and one or two other packages that offer a much broader range of
commands at very competitive prices.

CLIVE NICHOLAS        |t: 0(044)7903 397793
Politics              |e:
Newcastle University  |

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