I want to further my career in SAP. I'm finishing a BComm Informatics degree this year, but I have no SAP certifications. I'm a Network administrator and perform very basic SAP Basis administration and authorization functions at a company with a small SAP implementation.

An old colleague (previous Basis administrator) went on his own as an SAP consultant and he is doing very well for himself. He is looking to hire two new employees next year and has approached me to be an authorizations consultant. He has also offered to send me to the SAP Security Academy. Do you consider this as a good move? I think it will give me an opportunity to work on projects and gain more experience to get a foot in the SAP market. Is it that easy? What advice do you have for me?

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It's hard to resist the opportunity to have an old buddy put you through SAP security training and put you out on a project. However, if you read the previous editions of this column, you'll note that breaking into SAP often involves more than just training. In many cases, you are up against senior consultants with much deeper experience than you.

But, it's all about supply and demand, and recently, we've seen an uptick in the demand for SAP consultants, which may or may not affect the number of openings in your area. The bottom line is that when you make a career change, you choose the best option available. I can't tell you what to do because I don't know what your other choices are besides getting trained in SAP security. But as far as that option is concerned, if someone else is paying you a salary and footing the bill, I guess my concluding question to you would be, "what do you have to lose?"

This was first published in September 2006

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