There are two classic paths for career advancement in SAP. Generally speaking, to use SAP as a career advancement tool, you need to be willing to work as a salaried employee, either for (1) a consulting firm or (2) an SAP end-user. The career path you described is a typical advancement path for technical SAP folks who are working for an end-user – although you have left a couple of steps out. I would describe that path as: ABAP or Basis specialist, then technical team lead, then hands-on technical project manager, then hands-off SAP project manager, then IT manager, then CIO/CTO. This is how the technical advancement path could look for you. You will note that the big crossroads is when you jump from a hands-on technical project manager to an overall SAP project manager. At that point, you're leaving your hands-on SAP career behind. Once you take that step, it's hard to backtrack, as the "currency" of your technical skills will go down rapidly at that point. This is why many SAP specialists have avoided taking the leap into hands-off leadership roles. But that's a personal decision. At any rate, that is a typical SAP advancement path; but remember, these advancements won't just "happen" to you – you'll have to prove your worth and show your company you bring a lot more to the table than just technical skills. You'll need strong communication skills, deep business process knowledge, and a range of leadership skills in order to make the "SAP advancement path" work for you.
Dig deeper on SAP training and certification strategy
Related Q&A from Jon Reed, Years 2002-2008
I'm currently a Microsoft Trainer and an Desktop Support Technician looking for a new career path. I'm looking at SAP for it's good rates of pay as ...continue reading
I have seven years of IT experience and 4 years in SAP Portal (java, WebDynpro, iviews). Now I would like to update my skill set with another SAP ...continue reading
I am an SAP systems analyst at a major insurance company in the Chicago area. I have been working with the SAP FS-CD (commissions and disbursements) ...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.