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Is certification the way to get into SAP?

Certification is not enough to guarantee a path into the SAP field, says our SAP careers expert Jon Reed. And NetWeaver might be an easier path in than ABAP.

I currently have 1.5 years of Java/J2EE experience and I'm planning to make a career shift to SAP. Currently, I am working for a technology services company in India that doesn't focus on the technical competency of its resources -- hence, I'm moving. I would like to know if a certification would provide me the right entry into SAP. I would be going in for the most basic SAP ABAP or R/3 certification. Or would NetWeaver be best for me due to my earlier Web development experience?
Well, if you read some of my previous Q&As, you'll know that I don't think too highly of SAP certification. To put it more accurately, I like the idea of investing in SAP training, but don't think you should put all your hopes in breaking into SAP in a piece of paper. Project work is much more important than certification. But in terms of your choices, I would definitely support NetWeaver over ABAP certification. Whenever you are trying to break into a field, it's always best to go after the new stuff. There are a lot more ABAP experts out there than NetWeaver experts. I always suggest pursuing skills areas where there are less senior folks competing against you. No one has five years of NetWeaver experience, but plenty of folks have five years of ABAP. Also, it's a lot easier to learn ABAP on your own, as there are so many books and CD-ROMs that can help you on the ABAP side.

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