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College grad seeking a job in SAP

I am planning to get a degree in Business System Analysis and Design and would like to work in an SAP-related job. Please advise how this program would help me and what steps I should take in order to obtain a SAP professional job?

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I answer questions from new college graduates from time to time, and my answer is always the same: at your age, don't limit yourself to SAP. One good reason for this: to get SAP experience, you'd have to take a full time job at a company implementing SAP, because you won't get hired by a consulting firm to be an SAP consultant these days. Your job is to go where the opportunities are. At your age, all things being equal, I would like to see you get a business process/applications consulting job of some kind, probably with a large consulting entity. The advantage of consulting is that you will get a chance to get exposure to a range of projects and industries. This will make you more marketable, and will also give you a sense of the options available to you before you decide on a career focus. It does seem to me that your degree does lend itself to junior level consulting roles. If you are just determined to go against my advice and break into SAP, I think you should go and get yourself some type of SAP training or certification. It won't come cheap, but I think the know-how would help you to get a better handle on SAP and show employers your level of interest. Another option is simply to buy and read as many SAP books as possible - there are a lot of good ones out there. As you browse through web sites like this one, remember that you are going to figure out a focus within SAP to concentrate on. Ideally, this focus should link up closely with your core business interests and skills. There's nothing wrong with targeting a career in SAP, but at your age, the best option is to choose the best job opportunity you're presented with. Experience is king. Get quality job experience, and you can worry more about getting into the SAP side of things later on.

This was first published in July 2004

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