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Is certification helpful to become a consultant?

I am a SAP end user with 3 years experience in production planning. I am able to maintain material master, routing, BOM and generate/maintain production and sales orders. I have a bit of knowledge in other modules too. I am actively seeking the path to SAP consultant but it does not seem easy. Would you please give me some advice on where to start with? Do you reckon a SAP certificate would be helpful (without project experience)?

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If you read my previous columns, you know that I don't put a lot of stock in certifications. As you noted, the key is hands-on experience. The fact is you can't really become a SAP consultant anymore unless you get hands-on implementation experience from a SAP user first. You either need to elbow your way onto the project at your current company or find another company who will give you a shot. Your best chance, by far, is with your current employer -- perhaps on the next upgrade cycle. In terms of certification, I think some type of APO certification would round out your resume and help you to grasp where SAP is going with its supply chain functionality, but remember that certification would essentially guarantee nothing. It would help you feel confident in your SAP skills, but no doors will open unless you can charm a company into putting you on a project where you can gain configuration expertise.

This was first published in October 2004

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