Q

SAP certification for a recent grad

I'm a new fresh graduate in Management of IT. I would like to attend a seminar in SAP Procurement and Materials Handling on my campus. I'm interested in learning SAP. But the course fee and certification is quite expensive for a student like me. How coud I learn the basic materials by myself? How valuable is an SAP certificate? Will it make it easier to get a job?
I like your initiative looking into SAP even as you graduate. And you are right to be skeptical of certifications in terms of the financial cost. Recent graduates have to watch expenses carefully. Under no circumstances should you put an SAP certification course on a credit card, for example, like one student I heard from did. If you go into the careers section of SearchSAP and look through the jobs, you'll see that certification is just not required for many SAP jobs. The key is quality hands-on experience, which of course is not easy to get when you are trying to break into the field. True, certification may help you a bit in your goal to get into SAP, but I would argue that you could save a lot of money and get a lot of useful know-how simply by reading everything on this web site and also buying yourself some books on SAP and reading them cover to cover. As a college graduate, the key to getting SAP experience is getting hired by a company that is running on SAP. Hopefully you will be given a role that exposes you to SAP; if not, over time, you may be able to work your way into SAP from the inside. Remember, however, that right after you graduate, the most important thing is to find challenging and interesting professional work. If the job offers you get do not involve SAP, but they do involve quality technical experience, especially pertaining to web development and web services, then you should go for those opportunities. As long as you get cutting edge skills, you always have a chance of breaking into SAP at some point, because there's one thing you can count on: if it involves cutting edge technology and skills, then SAP will eventually find its way into it.
This was first published in April 2004

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