Here is the list of top skill sets in SAP by open number of jobs around the world. This is by no means a comprehensive evaluation of the global SAP jobs market – local variations will be apparent – but over the years I have found my index to be a reasonably good proxy for the demand for SAP skills worldwide. Trends in technology are now global. Following the chart below, I have included a brief discussion about your prospects in each skill category.
* SAP Mgt. means “SAP Project Manager”
We’re seeing that more and more, a whole host of technical skill sets are being bucketed into the “SAP Basis ” category. Skills with the proxy server, portals, unix, and ABAP programming can all be considered as Basis. Yes, creating SAP instances, client copies, applying notes, creating users and assigning security profiles are also called “SAP Basis” … since there is such a diverse list of skills that are considered as basis, and since this is such an ambiguous term – SAP Basis remains an excellent skill to pursue for entry into the lucrative SAP market. If you have the technical chops, consider an entry move here.
SAP Project Manager
If you have some experience in SAP, even 3 to 5 years, SAP Project Management should be on your target list for Breaking into SAP. Lots of skills are being bucketed into the skillset known as “SAP Project Management.” Again, I talk about “bucketing” but what I really mean is that the skill sets for each of these categories is becoming more diverse. I think the expectation now for SAP project managers, as you would expect, is that you’ll have deep experience in one or more functional areas. Since the demand is so great and the supply of new project managers is so limited, this is one of the top areas to pursue when looking to move into SAP.
You’re seeing more and more skills required to be a SAP Project Manager, but less and less overall years in experience. These are absolutely contradictory requirements, and you would not expect an experienced SAP project manager to only have 3-5 years of experience. You’d expect 10 or maybe 15 !
But for smart job applicants, these seemingly contradictory requirements just mean opportunity for us. An uneven set of expectations, high demand, low supply – these are hallmarks of the “sweet spot” that I talk about in the Breaking into SAP course.
SAP ABAP Programmers
Still one of the best areas for those wishing to Break into SAP, and this is where I started way back in 1997! Since programmers are generally brought up to speed by a functional counterpart who writes functional or technical specifications, often a smart ABAP programmer can start on a job with almost no domain exposure and still do well. Translation – there is still plenty of demand for people who are smart and willing to learn SAP but who currently have next to no experience.
Other SAP Functional Areas
CRM stands out in the crowd as a functional area that has sufficient demand and are “new” enough to allow people to break in easily. As for the other functional areas — there is always opportunity, but we now have probably several thousand people around the world who have been working in SAP MM and SD for 20 years and you’re competing against these “grandfathers of SAP” for your contracts. Best to favor more fertile grounds.
SAP BW and HANA
I’m at the Denver airport waiting for a flight to Boston – and I think these two beauties deserve a post of their own. Stay tuned – these are great areas for Breaking into SAP.
What do you think?
Question: what are you seeing in the marketplace? It’s great to hear from my students around the world – what sort of challenges are you facing in your SAP job search? What sort of resistance are you encountering?
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