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Job outlook for SAP Basis and SAP CRM

Looking ahead at the job market for SAP Basis and SAP CRM, career expert Jon Reed advises an SAP professional.

I have some experience on SAP Basis, but I am also a CPIM-certified professional. Right now I am working on some non-SAP technology, but I would like to make career in SAP CRM. I read some articles that said that SAP Basis is getting outdated.

Should I make career in SAP CRM or SAP Basis?

It's true that Basis will become outdated, though it's more of a gradual process than a sudden shift. And remember that many SAP Basis job specialists will become NetWeaver experts as they upgrade their skills along with their clients' software. For you, it's possible that your own Basis skills are a bit too old to get back in on the Basis side.

It depends a little bit on which version of SAP you worked on last. CRM is certainly a tempting area for you to pursue given that you may have no particular advantage applying to Basis positions. Instead of forcing yourself to choose between CRM and Basis now, I would apply to a range of opporutinities and see how the market responds.

At this point, having been out of SAP for two years, the most important thing is getting back into SAP. From inside of SAP, you can continue to manouver closer to the areas you want to be in. So, if your Basis skills give you a chance to get back into SAP, I would follow that path for now, even if you end up later in a CRM role. A lot of times, a successful career shift involves a series of job changes or smaller promotions. Even if you can't make the leap to CRM in one step, you might still be able to make it happen if you can get back into an SAP environment running on the latest and greatest versions of SAP and "prove yourself." As you demonstrate your value to projects, good things happen, and you can shape your career path from those emerging opportunities.

This was last published in March 2006

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