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Is SAP a good career option? Does SAP certification help get a quick break?
Fellow from The Institute of Cost Accountants of India (2014)
This was one of the questions on our FB Group (FI-CO). I am reproducing my answer for the benefit of others who may have wondered the same anytime. While the answer was essentially for budding Finance professional, it applies equally well to othe Functional areas, like MM, SD, PP, QM, PS, etc.
“Guys, you will understand nothing in SAP unless you have 2-3 yrs of work experience… either in Book-keeping (for FI) or in Costing, MIS (for CO). Thereafter as well, if you were to take any SAP course… then be prepared to be a clerical support to lead Consultants for at least 2 projects before anyone can give you real config assignment.
Certification costs about Rs 3L for a 4-week x 8-hr classroom program (or on-line format @ 3-month x 2-hr). Certification matters only after u manage meaningful project experience of 2-3 yrs. Till then u would be no different from anyone who did a 40k, 3-month course from any un-authorised shady coaching class (with no real facilities). Certification can definitely get you entry into big SAP Consulting firms, later in the career. But, eventually your success depends on how well you master your Module. Don’t expect any special premium just because you were ‘certified’.
Quite frankly SAP is no fast track to employment. Take up a real job in your specialisation. Preferably with a company that already has SAP. That will give you some working access to the screens.
Think of SAP only after 2-3 yrs of work experience.
To give a simile, let me compare SAP education with a car.
If you want to learn driving, you need to get behind the Steering, learn cruise control and traffic rules. You got to drive. Get a nerve. Master the wheel. Your view is restricted to the Dash-board, but you can DRIVE the car. Then, there is a motor mechanic (or an Automobile Engineer). He would get under the hood, and can fix the engine. His view of the car will be entirely different. SAP Users (process owners) are like the Drivers with Dash-board view. SAP Consultants are like the Mechanics that got to get under the hood.
Now that most GOOD Companies already have SAP implemented in the last decade, the Industry needs more Drivers than the Mechanics. Besides, as a mechanic, you will always be under the bonnet, whereas the Driver definitely graduates from a Maruti-800 to Mercedes.
Consultant at Microsoft (2018-present)
I would say, Yes! One of my relatives first did a B. Pharma and then a post graduation in Microbiology I guess (Not sure!). After that, He didn’t get any Job in India.
Next, he decided to go to USA, Germany, etc… for Phd in similar fields (His parents could afford that! )
But instead, he somehow shifted his focus and went for a SAP Certification. This shift may be because of his elder brother who was in IT. Though SAP Certs are costly, it was not a big deal for him.
Guess What? After the certification, he got a job offer in SAP Labs and is earning 12 Lakhs per Annum now in Banglore at the age of 32 years.
Hope that helps!