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Hot SAP career areas: BW, portals or APO?

A few areas of the SAP job market seem to be growing fast: Portals, BW and APO. Which one is the hot spot to be for a job right now and why?

Presently I'm working as an SAP ABAP developer. I'm looking at the current SAP market, and there seem to be two areas that are growing fast.

1. portals
2. BW and APO

I have two years of experience working in HR, FI, SD and MM modules. Kindly suggest in which area I should groom myself.

You've posed a good question. However, there are two things I would disagree with, and one is that APO is hot right now. I wouldn't say that APO is a very hot area currently. I still have some hopes for the APO market, but it seems that the implementations are too complex and costly for many SAP users to dive into right now. What we see is a more selective and budget-conscious implementation of smaller supply chain projects.

I agree that BW is pretty hot, and I would add CRM and Mobile Development to the list -- not to mention the general increasing demand for NetWeaver-related technical skills. Portals are fairly hot, but it's important to keep in mind that Portals are one option for SAP users to manage certain processes and user interfaces. But, there are others. I see portals as a valuable part of a technical toolkit, but I don't like it quite so much as a skills focus.

Overall, I like your goal of expanding your skills beyond ABAP, and one of the best transition points from ABAP is into BW, so I like your thinking there. If you make it into portals, you will likely find yourself working in Java and Web-related programming areas. This would also be a nice complement to your core ABAP skills. Sometimes the best way to figure out how to "break a tie" between different areas you want to work in is to "let the market decide." And that means to go where the work is. One way to measure job demand: Check out the job section of this very Web site, and do some keyword searches on skill areas like "portals" and "BW" and see how many jobs come up and what the rates are. That may give you a better sense of demand for particular skills.

This was last published in May 2005

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