With the dot-com bust, we're seeing a lot of IT professionals out on the street. Can SAP pros expect the same...
Luckily, the answer is no. With 14,000 SAP customers and 36,000 site locations, SAP pros are always in demand. "The situation facing SAP pros is better than the situation facing typical IT professionals such as Web developers," says Bob Senatore, executive vice president with Comforce Corporation, a staffing and consulting company for the technology sector. "SAP is used mostly by larger firms, and there are over 1,000 partners. Invariably when we get requirements from a larger firm, they will have SAP embedded in there somewhere." "Even during times of downsizing," says Senatore, "When you're talking about an enterprise system like SAP, you're so vital to the future of that particular part of the company that you're not going to be affected as readily."
In addition, companies that have SAP implementations are more likely to be immune to fluctuations in the economy. "A Web developer may make a few front pages and then the firm goes out of business," says Senatore. "SAP is used by firms that have been in business for a long time, so it's more stable."
But this rosy outlook doesn't mean you should slack off on your professional education and training. The SAP environment is always changing, and SAP professionals need to stay on top of the trends to best position themselves in the market. "There is a constant evolution in today's business world, and it's happening at a really fast pace," says Bill Wohl, director of public relations for SAP America. "It absolutely requires all of us to be constantly evolving our skill sets to match these new challenges."
A wide variety of firms online provide e-learning, and courses are available through SAP University. Browse through searchSAP's best web links for training and careers at http://searchsap.techtarget.com/bestWebLinks/0,289521,sid21_tax283324,00.html
and visit the SAP Web site at http://www.sap.com/education/index.htm
for more information on education and training.
Linda Formichelli * www.twowriters.net
* Writing appearing this year in Woman's Day, Wired, Writer's Digest, Family Circle, Psychology Today *