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Certified in BW but trouble finding job

With 12 years of client-server experience and SAP BW certification, one jobseeker still can't find a job. Expert Jon Reed offers advice.

I have been working on client-server technologies for over 12 years using PowerBuilder and Oracle. I have trained myself in SAP BW and got certified also. I am finding it very difficult to get a break into SAP BW. Can you suggest a way or guide me?
I'm answering your question because it's good for people to keep in mind that certification - even in a hot area like BW - is not necessarily enough to break into SAP. Ironically enough, certification tends to work better to help existing SAP consultants improve their marketability. For those with no previous SAP experience, certification can be of some help, but it's not the door opener many people think.

So, before you spend too much hard-earned money on SAP training, keep that in mind. I often say that it's a better...

use of your time researching SAP trends and marketing yourself to SAP customers. In your case, you may be able to get a good break if you stick with it. The demand for BW expertise continues to increase - in large part because BW is becoming more and more central to SAP installations. Starting with NetWeaver 2004S, BW ships with all SAP core purchases.

So what do you do if you haven't found a BW position? Not an easy question to answer. I would take a two prong strategy: first, I would continue to apply to other BW positions, seeking out entry-level positions that also involve other skills you've developed, such as PowerBuilder or Oracle. In addition to that, I would also apply to positions on SAP customer sites - even if those positions are not in BW. The fact is that it's much easier to break into SAP from inside a company running on the software. So if you can't get "instant gratification" by finding an SAP role, the next best thing is to get inside a company running on SAP. This tactic requires some patience, but I have seen plenty of folks pull this off and work their way into SAP from the inside.

This was last published in February 2007

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