career selection

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I am fresh B.E graduate and my skillsets are JAVA/J2EE. I dont have any real time exposure in JAVA/J2EE though have done few projects in college. Now i am planning to start my career in the SAP world. The siemen training centre(authorized by the sapient college) suggested the SAP ABAP course for me keeping my skillset in mind. Are they right r wrong and what is the job oppurtunity for a SAP ABAP professional and the career growth? Do u need real working experience to get a job as SAP ABAP professional?

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Although I am not involved in SAP, I have worked in service delivery for many years as a trainer and consultant, helping organisations improve their call centres/help desk functionality and personnel skills. You must consider that the key elements of a successful SAP implementation are based on the customer’s business practices (or those that need to be re-engineered to work better) and so, generally speaking, to get involved in real world projects you will need a good grounding in business processes and, ideally, some real-world experience – which is always the ‘catch-22′ with any role like this – you need the experience to get the work and you need the work to get the experience! You need a good balance of theoretical disciplines (ie: training + certificates), plus practical knowledge of your field – a person who can shown on their CV that they have worked on similar projects before, or that they have undertaken a similar role in the past will generally fare batter than a person who can just list numerous bits of paper (ie: certificates) – the best mix is generally to try and find work with a business at a junior level where that business will involve you in some form of progressive training programme. If you want to stay in the academic world for a bit longer then you are looking at getting a degree-level/MBA qualification that includes a good mix of programming skills and work process/business knowledge disciplines. Good luck.

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  • Pelaez
    From a programming standpoint, I think JAVA/J2EE is more interesting than ABAP, because ABAP is proprietary and not useful outside of the SAP world. JAVA is a widespread standard. To me, SAP consulting (setup of the suite related to business needs) is a more attracting and promising career than ABAP programming. This said, programming ABAP can be a starting point to gradually move into the consulting side of SAP. To do so, it is important to be trained and gain experience in SAP functionality, even while programming ABAP. Hope this helps.
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  • Jstew65
    As far as the option of staying in school to get a Masters if you have little or no experience is concerned, this would be a big mistake. What you need is experience. If you have a four year degree, you are more than ready to step in to a Programming/Development position albeit at the Junior level. Compare this to someone who is planning on entering the business field. Hopefully, the best thing a four-year degreed individual can expect is to get into low-level management. They will tend to work low to mid-level for a number of years (from 5-10), then get an MBA. Once they get an MBA they'll typically have a great shot at getting into upper management and then hopefully to CEO down the road. One of my friends earned a BS (4 year), didn't want to take a low-level job in the IT field (this being in 2001) and decided to go back and get Masters. After she finished Masters she still could only get a low-level job (due to lack of experience) even though the economy is doing a lot better now. Also, make sure this is for sure what you want to do because it will take a high level of determination to get those jobs you want plus knowing some sales skills would be the best bonus you could ever have. Always sell an interviewer on yourself (explain their benefits of having you) and you'll land the job after a few interviews. Also, once you're there, don't stop selling yourself (try not to be annoying though -- I know, it can be a fine line). If you're into J2EE, I've no doubt you are well on your way. If you absolutely can't find a job (which I don't see why you shouldn't be able to find something in the field), take a look into SAP but never start believing you are a SAP Consultant only or even a Java Programmer only. Try to remember you are a Programmer period. Java/J2EE is only the means to an end. Good luck dude. I am pulling for you! Harlin Seritt
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