Truth about Career in SAP

Sunday, March 15, 20092comments

There are so many is people wishing to break into the SAP world for no reason other than 'money', or just because they want to change there IT domain. There are also so many people those who doesnt have SAP expierence, but want to become consultant and keep asking which module should i go for?.

This is practically the same as a student who has not even start medical school asking the question of 'how do I avoid an entry level residency and all the schooling and go straight to a doctor?'

Here i want to say that anyone seeking to break into SAP needs to and must start with a company who is willing to train them and help them gain SAP experience under their belt before becoming a consultant. I have also seen many post in SAP forum peolpe keep asking 'hello I have a totally different background and want to get into SAP, what module to go for?' . Many of these people dont get proper guidance on those forum. They are suggested by many go for this module or that module. Suggestion given by people should show honesty and bluntness, for most of the people seeking an SAP career in this forum do it for the wrong reasons, or automatically think a certification course or some third party weak training gives them the project experience they need. Trust me, people who tell it like it is save many of these people time and money...both of which are just as important as the other in today's economy.

Everybody should need to understand that there is also a significant difference between a professional consultant and a professional user of SAP, regardless of module. A user may know only a few transactions (up to about 25 max.) but doesn't understand how to configure the application and adjust settings for data import and export. A consultant may not know all of the transactions in a module (few do), but knows how to configure SAP to support a business process or multiple processes. Advanced users can often become effective consultants once their understanding of end-to-end processes are restored.

The key to a successful consulting career is to be able to take experience in a series of correlated business processes and be able to craft a solution for a client that solves a business problem. This is not easily done by anyone with little business process experience. I won't say it is impossible, but it is difficult.

So, if you are comfortable dealing with real-world problems, understand how to decompose those problems to basic elements, can overlay the SAP transactions and business flows to address the identified problems within a process, understand what SAP can and more important CANNOT do, then you can be a consultant. The big firms such as IBM-GBS, Accenture, BearingPoint, Deloitte, and Cap-Gemini often hire "freshers" to so the most simple config. work and testing. However, the number of available slots for this technically skilled, but business unaware personnel is small these days as few organizations have not already implemented an ERP solution for ERP. Beware of taking a position that your experience has not equipped you to handle. If you ignore this advise, then you'll find yourself in more trouble career-wise than you can possibly imagine.

Go first to will give you an overview how all the SAP environment fits together. However, if you are NOT currently a consultant, I'd recommend doing at least 2 years with a company that uses SAP while taking a broader look at the product, its structure, master data requirements, and how the integration works. This will prepare you for the challenges of consulting. Remember that most competent consultants also know some of the technical side of Basis and ABAP/4 development. This is essential for working with R/3 and still useful in the ECC environment.
At the end i would like to say that please be realistic before choosing career in SAP. To make a start now in SAP you would have to throw away all experience gained and start at the bottom, on a beginner's salary and work for several years to gain some relevant experience. Then you MIGHT be able to break into the SAP market in 4 or 5 years. I am sure that is not what you want or expect to hear, but that is how it is.
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