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SAP certification vs. hands-on experience

I have 7+ yrs functional experience, and I would like to go for SAP Certification Programme. However, in all job advertisements it is evident that "one life cycle implementation experience" is prerequisite in short listing applicants for jobs. Are there any openings as a fresher? Is SAP certification equally treated as 'one life cycle implementation'?

If you've read my previous columns, you know that I have a pretty strong bias towards hands-on SAP experience. It's very difficult to obtain an SAP position armed only with a certification. So to answer your question, no, certification is not the equivalent of a hands-on SAP implementation. SAP certification is more useful as a long-term investment than as a "quick fix" that will land you a job right away. The way you get involved in SAP for the first time is by being in the right place at the right time. That means leveraging your existing technical or functional skills and getting a job with a company using SAP. From there, you try to work your way in from the inside. Certification helps you to capitalize on the opportunities that present themselves, but it's your current skills that get your foot in the door. Certification can't open a hiring door that is closed.

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