SAP Watch

Mar 28 2008   10:09AM GMT

SAP certification: not worth much?

JackDanahy Jack Danahy Profile: JackDanahy

In India, many IT newcomers, known there as “freshers,” are more eager than ever to break into the SAP market, and often turn to third-party SAP certification as a way of doing so.

Typical of the expectation that certification leads to SAP work was a post on SAP’s SDN that read, “I have a friend of mine…[who] has a functional expereince [sic] of 10 years in sales with L.I.C and he has done SAP SD Certification in the month of November, from Genovate Mumbai he has still not got placed and he is lookin for his first SAP Break.”

Anyone who follows SAP forums or mail groups will be intimately acquainted with variations on this message: Which certification will get me an SAP job? The question gets asked over and over because the answer is too unpleasant for people to accept: Only actual SAP experience is a valid qualification. For people who can’t get on an SAP team in their current position, or endure the prospect of waiting five years or more to transition to a company implementing SAP, this is a traumatic answer. Psychically, it is easier to believe that an SAP foothold can be bought instead.

This irrational optimism is part of the reason that third-party SAP training and certification companies like Genovate prosper. Genovate, which does most of its business in India, routinely charges $3,142 for single SAP courses lasting about ten days. That’s more money than the average Indian makes in a year, and the ten days of simulations are a far cry from the three years of actual experience that employers are seeking.

It’s important to note that, at least on the surface, Genovate doesn’t market itself as an SAP job placement service. Many Genovate trainees are working professionals who come for job-relevant training, a perfectly legitimate and value-added service. But many Genovate trainees are also “freshers” who think that certification will get them an SAP job. These people clearly haven’t done their research, or else they’d know that, in the SAP job market, Genovate certification (unlike actual project experience) doesn’t count for anything special.

This raises a question I’d like to ask our readers: In the end, does the SAP certification market function as a kind of tax on ignorance? Is there something shady about it, or does the fault lie entirely with the gullible freshers?

Demir Barlas, Site Editor

64  Comments on this Post

 
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  • JackDanahy
    Very interesting article. I entirely agree with the sentiment that it is (proven) experience that gives the customer confidence and not just certification. However, I have always advocated that certification (not only in SAP) can validate genuine experience - not necessarily from a prospective employer point of view, but from a personal point of view. Certification can benchmark a person's knowledge and help them to attain better understanding of the system in which they are deemed to be an expert. With regards to your specific example. I am concerned, but not surprised, that gullible "would be" consultants are attracted by the marketing of potential lucrative employment by companies such as Genovate. But unfortunately, this is not exclusive to SAP training and a symptom of the times in which we live. Kind regards Jackie
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  • JackDanahy
    I had several years ABAP experience and decided to get into BW. I took the course, got certified, and was never hired because I did not have the experience in SAP BW (I even had 5 years of Data Warehousing experience). If you are an employee, taking the course makes sense because you will then have the opportunity to use it (which is why you were taking the course in the first place). Otherwise, taking a course and hoping for a job is a waste of time. My colleagues also concur.
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  • JackDanahy
    Well Demir, its good to read your sumation about the worth or lack of, of a SAP certification instead of actual on the field experience. I might want to add that one should not berate the quest for certification by these prospects. Whatever you need to do to make you stand-out amongst many is well worth it, and certification is one and of course experience. Folks or newbies or freshers as you've called them got to start from somewhere as I am sure you also must have gotten your start from somewhere, here I am assuming you are into SAP as a profesional. In conclussion, whatever the newbies/freshers needs to do to enhance their chances is well worth it. And that includes getting certified. All the best.
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  • JackDanahy
    Yes, the whole of SAP Job market and SAP certification market is a tax on ignorance. when it comes to SAP Certification its tax on ignorance for canditates - certification is of no use without prior SAP experience. So when one has SAP experience why certify? when it comes to SAP Job market employers are ignoring the candidates with SAP certification & prior development experience and capable of taking SAP roles. Employers are also paying for their ignorance. Iam SAP Certified Development Consultant (ABAP) + 10 yrs Developemt experience. I did certification at SAP Authorised training center Siemens Hyderabad.
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  • SEE
    Very true. There is very little chance SAP implementors will hire a person without experience even with SAP certification.
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  • JackDanahy
    I agree with your opinion,experience has a weightage over certification in the real time scenario.Freshers must do some genuine research into the SAP job market before they take any expensive step. Thanks Srinivas
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  • JackDanahy
    Hi, This is exactly right. I have been making similar comments for some time on the ittoolbox sap-career forum, as a result of which I get emails full of personal insults every day. You can not blame Genovate for exploiting this niche market to make money, and, as far as I know, they do not claim to be able to place people in jobs BUT there are other so-called academies who are not so scrupulous and take lots of money and promise the earth, which of course they can not deliver. Then there are employers who are charging "freshers" moeny in exchange for experience (how good it is I do not know). There are even people who advise these "freshers" to put fake experience on their CVs, which means in turn that employers and agencies are starting to insist on references to validate this experience. That makes life harder too for experienced consultants like me, although I always say my reputation is my reference and if they don't accept that they can go away. You should post a link to this article on the sap-career forum. It might do some good there.
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  • JackDanahy
    This Certification help people those who have authentic branded experiece coupled with a deeper undertanding of business processes. Needless to say, Presentation skills are expected to be good. For these kind of profiles only, Certification gives a distinct advantage at the entry level on the platform of credibility. Normally above said profiles exist not even 10% of the whole SAP Consulting profiles. Further, its also possible to learn SAP without Certification. But in my opinion, Certification Syllabus structure and systems provided speeds up the learning at a good pace probably equivalent to 1yr dedicated learanign without following SAP structure. But, mind you learning on the Projects is more valuable than Certification alone. Realtime Exp with Certification is an authentic way of looking at a profile.
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  • JackDanahy
    Hi, I think it really depends on what sort of position you are looking for. When I first tried to get into SAP, I was hired as a junior SAP BI consultant without any prior experience in SAP though I did have a SAP BW(3.5) certificate and also a SAP FI(ECC6) certificate. I obtained both the certifications through a Masters course at university. So basically I was looking for an entry level positions and I was quite realistic in that I was not expecting a high salary or a lot of responsibility. Even though at the time this meant a big pay cut I stuck to this and was able to get a SAP BI position. Having said this I can't stress how little you actually cover in certification courses. There is a big difference between understanding concepts and actually applying them in a real environment. Given the choice between a fresh graduate with certification and a fresh graduate with 1 years experience I would take the person with experience anyday. I would also pay him more. Certification is really just a way to get your foot in the door. This also means that the types of positions you should be applying for are pretty much the entry level positions. I would not even bother applying for positions that require experienced consultants. Jack
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  • JackDanahy
    Experience is the greatest teacher. project experience and post implementation exeprience is vital. Certification is just a small part of ones CV. A business background is also very important for a well rounded Consultant. S GAjanand
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  • JackDanahy
    I attended Siemens FICO Certification in Chennai in 2006 and SEM Certirication in 2008. After about 1 month of looking I found a job as a FICO analyst and a couple months later a job as an junior implementer. The certification coupled with my MBA and consulting experience openned the door. I had never signed into SAP prior to certification. Most from my FICO class were in the same boat, most are currently working in SAP. It wasn't a magic wand, they all were public accountants and very bright and articulate, but certification is no as worthless as this article states. I am a US citizen, and true, the market here is hot and only getting hotter. Kevin D.
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  • JackDanahy
    I have got some experience (almost 1 years experience post-project) under my belt now as a CRM Functional analyst in the ICWC Public Sector scenario. I am now considering whether to go for certification, but am worried that it may be a waste of time or money as I am already generating the more-important experience. Perhaps this would also make a good discussion point? Thanks, Andrew G.
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  • JackDanahy
    This is really shocking to know that even SAP certification does not guarantees one to enter in this "Niche" area of IT. If the certified professionals has to go through such a hardship just imagine what will be the condition of people who takes SAP training in some of the non-authorised training institues in India. They have to take this risk because they cannot afford to pay the high amount of fees charged by this third-party certification bodies. I totally agree that the experience provides the best learning of SAP or any technology but the question is: what you are supposed to do when you are not given that first opportunity to make the experience? I am a Production Planning engineer in a manufacturing company at mummbai, india & holds a B.E. in Production. Parashar Jani
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  • JackDanahy
    NEED ADVICE Hi Jack I need some advice from you and others. I am currently pursuing my Masters in Business with specialisation in ERP Systems. One of the units that I have studied is Intro to BW. Our university has a tie-up with SAP and are offering Certification in BW3.5 at a comparatively low cost (Approx $1700 AUD). I am about to complete my Masters but have very little exposure to SAP (less than a year and none in BI). Most of my experience was to deal with data entry and reporting. For someone like me, do you recommend that I take up this opportunity and then try and find an entry-level job or do I first try and get some experience. And if I don't go for the certification now, what kind of entry-level jobs do I try for. Hoping for some response. cheers Madhur
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  • JackDanahy
    I have worked with SAP HR sine 1996 and have never needed or considered getting a certification. I would not even suggest someone try to get a certification as a way to get an SAP job. Don't even waste your time, learn some newer technologies, SAP is old school.
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  • JackDanahy
    >The certification coupled with my MBA and consulting experience openned the door. >I had never signed into SAP prior to certification. The comments from Kevin D. tell you the value of a SAP "certification". The "certification" isn't worth the paper it is printed on. If it helped Kevin, good for him but I would view an SAP certification as a negative not a positive. I want someone that had "done it" not some book worm.
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  • JackDanahy
    I would have to agree on the side of experience rather than certification. Having said that, almost all competitive positions here require some sort of SAP certification before they are even considered! Strange indeed...
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  • JackDanahy
    Just to give a perspective from the other side--- I have been the SAP manager for my company for the last ten years, and as such I staff our projects, both from the inside and outside. Based on my experience I would NEVER place someone without the proper hands-on experience (regardless of certification) on one of our projects. I've been severely burned by this one in the past.
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  • JackDanahy
    Folks, yes there is a whole expensive market out there for SAP education. The clever ones have the experience and the Certification, that gives you the credability with peers and prospective employers. This whole discussion can also be applied any other professional examination, whether that be PMI or some Chartered Accountancy. Experience is king, experience and Certification in any profession gives you credability. At the end of the day you can not call your self an SAP Consultant with out both experience and Certification.
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  • JackDanahy
    Getting a SAP certification is a wastage of time and money. I got a SAP certification in Netweaver Security and when one of Security Manager position became vacant in my company, I applied against that. To my horror, the hiring manager had never heard of SAP certification and did not attach much importance to it. So I was one among the many candidiates who had applied and had to compete on the basis of my experience only. Moral of the story : Don't waste your time and money in getting any SAP certification.
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  • JackDanahy
    I disagree that certification is useless, or not worthwhile even for experienced professionals. I had two years of ABAP experience, but I did my certification anyhow just to make sure I covered all the fundamentals. Learning on the job is great, and more important than certification, but certs combined with experience is a great selling point. While the experience proves you can do the job, the certification helps demonstrate that you have all the bases covered. The cert shouldn't be seen as a foot in the door, but it's still something that adds value to your skills. For a junior to intermediate consultant, I think it is of tremendous value.
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  • JackDanahy
    The point which I am trying to make is that unlike CISA or CISM or CISSP ( all security certifications) or APICS certifications ( Supply Chain) which are very well known all over, people in both HR and Business in general are ignorant of SAP certifications and this places people like me in great disadvantage. I was asked if I was having CISA/CISM/CISSP certifications too and when I replied in negative, I was simply treated as one among the equals inspite of having SAP netweaver security and the position was for SAP Security. I think SAP needs to do more in creating awareness among the business and HR folks about the covetness of their certifications.
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  • JackDanahy
    I think part of the problem is that SAP is awarding certification without without experience. Many associations require experience as part of the certification process before the certification is awarded. I believe if this was done, the value of the certification would increase. Presently the value is questionable. The customer can have applicants who have no experience, but are certified and the person can be certified but not able to get work. Not much value there.
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  • Mike
    I used to interview prospective applicants for positions on our Microsoft and Networking teams. As a Manager you must employ the best person who will get the job done. So, in essence experience was the only relevance to me when deciding who to employ. For those who had certification without much experience, I asked them to answer a 25 question quiz to establish their knowledge. Surprise, surprise, they scored badly. Some people are very good at taking exams, but poor at applying that knowledge without the appropriate experience. Certification is only relevant in a situation where you have similarly experienced people and are looking for something to help choose the best person. In boom times where there is a great shortage of experienced people, some Managers may take a chance on you if you have certification. But the main difference is that most people have not had experience of SAP in the workplace, even at a basic level. Whereas Windows is everywhere and so technically interested people will be able to 'blag' it a bit more at the interview. I would say the best way to get SAP experience is to join an IT team in your current specialty and try to cross over when the opportunity arises.
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  • JackDanahy
    I don't think that SAP certification is worth much. I hire dozens of SAP resources every year. I have found that references are by far a better indicator of ability. Case in point: I was in the Solution Manager certification class with a woman who had never worked on an SAP project in her life. She had the highest score on the certification exam and got her certification certificate. She went back to her project after the class and was unable to perform any tasks. OTOH, the best BI Solution Architect I have ever seen couldn't pass the exam.
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  • JackDanahy
    Is certification good? Without a doubt “YES”. I have over 10 years industry experience in US market and worked with so many flavors of consultants. My first hand experience is that people with certifications had much more clear concepts than people who simply had experience. People with certifications picked up things very fast compared to people with simple experience. Simply getting the experience in my opinion is just like “Keep working on patients and one day you will become a doctor”. People say, “Companies don’t look at certifications (exclude my company please); companies are interested in experienced people, so get the experience first”. My question to those folks is if they could please explain how to get the experience without getting into the market when companies are only looking at experienced people to begin with? To me, it sounds like some infinite loop “Get the experience first VS companies looking at only experienced people”. Not everyone is lucky enough to work for a company that was using SAP and luckily got their feet wet that way. I have interviewed people myself for my company and here is my experience; People with no experience but certified were smarter than people with no certification and a year or two experience. People certified with couple of years experience were smarter than people with no certification and 4, 5 years experience. Certification teaches you INS and OUTS of whatever module you get certified in. It teaches you two things about the product “HOW” and “WHY”. Non certified people with expericene take a lot more time to learn “WHY” part, but they definitely are good at “HOW” part. This is my 10 years experience, not an assumption.
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  • JackDanahy
    Also, on comment no. 20 by Ryan Paul , If your manager had never heard of the SAP certification, does not mean that certification is useless. In my humble opinion, SAP certification is not measured by your manager’s industry knowledge. Only a goldsmith would know the real value of gold, not a blacksmith.
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  • JackDanahy
    I fully Agree that the Actual Field Experience (think this is the exact word to use) gives the Good Exposure to any System (not only SAP) than the Certification. Certificaiton gives only the Knowledge to the System and not to the Process followed by any Organization. why the Person who has only the Certification, doesnt have any Field Experience (doesnt know the Process/Funcationality of an Organization) did not get any Job? An Organization looks for a person who could easily Understand and fits to the process followed by them. only the person who has some fild experience could easily fit into any kind of Process Flow in any Organization.
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  • JackDanahy
    SAP Certification combined with experience in supporting and implementing SAP is always going to be a good selling point but I agree some employers making the hiring decisions need to be educated on the value of the certification - especially the SAP ones. With regards to the "freshers" one of their biggest problems is that they sometimes aim too high expecting to get the high paying jobs because they are certified which is unrealistic. You must crawl before you walk before you run
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  • JackDanahy
    Hi, Certification wont fetch you a job.But it will be an added advantage when you are going for an interview. Regards, Abdul Hakim
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  • JackDanahy
    Hi, Looking at all the posts I think many people are getting confused on a very basic point. When you get SAP certification you are CERTIFIED, thats it. It does not make you a consultant of any sort, nor does it mean you are a subject expert, nor do you gain any practical experience. So then how do you propose to add any value ? Why should any company hire you when what they want is someone to come in and add value. I suppose the answer is that no company will hire you on your SAP skills because essentially you dont have any. If that is the case then how does one get into SAP. Many of the posts have actually already shown one way which is to get experience as a user and then make the transition. Another way is to go for positions which dont require a lot of SAP skills but pull on other strengths. For me due to my passable communication skills, I went for positions like level 0 support or BA type roles which were heavy in documentation, both of which I had done in the past. In the end I got my break but I can tell you that it wasnt an easy road. Madhur, I am assuming you are attending a well known Australian university based in Sydney. Put it this way, what does the normal SAP BI certification course cost ? I can tell you its a lot more 1700. If your ambition is to get into SAP BI then its a relatively small price to pay to get certified. Honestly how many universities out there actually give you this opportunity. Having said that, your chances on getting into the SAP world will not be based solely on whether you are certified. It might certainly help but I suppose you really need to figure out what else you can bring to the table. No one will hire you unless you can add value. Regards Jack
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  • JackDanahy
    I read this certification article and comments with great interest. I have served as the resident SAP career expert on SearchSAP since 2002, and I've been answering questions about the marketability of SAP certification since 1995.I continue to field continual questions on the value of training and certification both on SearchSAP and on my own web site, JonERP.com. Obviously from this blog, this topic remains a heated point of debate, as it should be. SAP training and certification is a significant investment for an individual SAP professional, and to this day, I feel that too many people dive headlong into that investment without weighing their options carefully. (Of course, some people are fortunate enough to get their training and/or certification paid for by their employers, in which case, it is more of a no-brainer to go ahead and do it). There is obviously no one right answer to the question of the value of SAP certification. You can find examples of those who have had success with SAP certification and at the same time, you can find plenty of examples of those who invested in SAP certification and ultimately could not land an SAP job based on that certification. I've heard from those folks and they are not a happy group. It's helpful to understand how SAP certification fits into the supply and demand of the marketplace. Back in the 1990s, it was possible to land an SAP job with "certification only" because there weren't enough experienced consultants, and "Big Six firms" on large project sites were able to field teams with plenty of junior-level consultants who did not have any hands-on SAP experience other than their classroom certifications. The power of certification in the SAP market has changed largely because most of these "entry level" consulting positions on client sites are gone forever. Most SAP customers are sophisticated enough to expect more seasoned SAP pros with actual SAP project experience. And there are fewer "big bang" type implementations where companies just open the floodgates and hire hundreds of consultants regardless of experience level. As a result, even though the SAP consulting market is very healthy, the power of SAP certification to land that all-important first project has diminished over the years, and I don't expect that power to return. Before we go further with my comments, it's helpful to understand that SAP has also been adding to its certification levels. The classic level of SAP certification is now called the "Associate" level. SAP is now rolling out the "Professional" level certification in many areas. This is a more rigorous certification program and as such, may eventually carry more weight in the marketplace, we will have to see. There is a third level of certification on the way also, called the "Master" level. It is rumored that this level will likely involve some measurement of project experience. If this comes to pass, I would not be surprised if this higher level of certification carries much more weight. Certification is interesting from the vantage point of hype. Sometimes I have found that SAP hypes its own certification, but often, I find that it's the job seekers themselves who latch onto certification and hype it for themselves. Demir is absolutely right in his post: many aspiring SAP professionals view certification as the easy (if expensive) way to open a door into the SAP field that is not always easy to open. It's hard to argue that SAP certification is an absolute waste of money and time. It all depends on how much money and time you have. But when we consider the value of certification, I think the biggest determining factor is: how many SAP jobs require certification? The answer is: only a small percentage. Project references are so much more important, as others commenting on this blog entry have noted. And even those jobs that require SAP certification also tend to require a number of years in the SAP field as well. Here's a few comments I made on a previous SearchSAP post on certification: "I will tell you that I rarely encourage SAP certification for those who are tight on costs. I feel that in many ways, a better use of time is to focus on marketing your existing skills to customers running on SAP and break into SAP from the inside. Remember that SAP consulting is really not a certification-driven market the way that some other software and hardware markets are. Project experience is the key, and investing time in books and research into companies running SAP in your field could be a better option. I'm not saying don't get certified in SAP, just be realistic that it may not be the key to landing an SAP position. I think knowing how to make your current skills appealing to SAP customers and their IT departments may be more important. One good exercise is to review current SAP jobs on sites like SearchSAP.com and see what kinds of skills are required. See how often certification is listed as required or preferred, and what other skills are needed. This will not only give you a better idea of what skills are truly hot, it will also help you to see how important certification really is (or isn't). I think you'll be surprised at how few SAP jobs actually require certification in order to apply. The key to breaking into SAP remains hard work, good overall technical and business skills, and savvy self-marketing. Certification can help too, but the other areas I just listed are more important in most cases." I don't want this blog post to get much longer, so let me try to wrap up my thoughts for now. It's not that SAP certification is a bad investment, it's just that too many people, especially "freshers," still look at SAP certification as a "career cure all." In the sense of a quick-fix solution, I see SAP certification as overrated. As a long term investment in the context of career best practices, SAP certification may be underrated. I do find that consultants who invest a portion of their earnings in self-education are always the ones to excel in the long run. But certification is only one form of self-education - there are now so many of those to consider in the SAP field: all kinds of trade shows, hundreds of affordable books, online training courses, and even interactive forums like this one and those that SAP itself runs, such as the SAP Developer Network and the SAP BPX Community. You might get a lot further networking with SAP customers at SAPPHIRE than investing in a piece of paper and framing it on your wall. The SAP market is vast, but it's still about relationships. In life, we often have maddening cases of situations where the "rich get richer," and the same is sometimes true of SAP certification. By that I mean that I find that SAP certification has been more powerfully used in recent years by experienced consultants than "freshers." For experienced SAP consultants, certifications can reinforce your project experience, and I have seen certifications serve as a tie-breaker in hiring situations where two SAP consultants were equally qualified from a project experience standpoint. I've also seen SAP veterans use certification as a way to transition into new technologies while remaining billable. Perhaps you could say that SAP certification is the icing on the cake of quality SAP project experience. Without the cake, the icing slides through your hands. In closing, I'd like to tip my hat to Demir and the SearchSAP team for raising this topic. I find that so-called "freshers" are too often tempted by the promise of SAP certification and not given ample warning that they will likely face challenges breaking into SAP with or without a certification on their resume. The SAP market can be frustrating that way: on the one hand, some consultants are thriving, others are on the outside looking in. The good news is that sites like this offer a great value in assessing your skills and coming up with a strategy for breaking into SAP and succeeding once you get there. If you want to see more of what I've written on these topics, this link should take you to my most recent batch of career questions, if I've coded the link right, and this one should take you to my most recentSearchSAP Career FAQwhich has more questions on training and cerfication. I also blog and podcast frequently on these themes on my own site, JonERP.com. I look forward to hearing other perspectives on this important topic. Good luck in your SAP pursuits. - Jon Reed -
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  • Omer
    As functional logistics consultant working on SAP for ten years now for major companies in Europe, I went trough different interviews before to be hired on projets. I just had once in my life a question about my certifications. My colleagues are in the same situation, certification was seldom or never asked. What should be the reason for that? Simply look to the internet: you find there the answers on the different SAP certfications. Besides that the questions which are asked by SAP in the certifiaction have low or no realatinship whith what companies are requesting from a consultant : besides his functional knowledge of the work, he must know the software he represents not only functionally but also technically ( must be able to debug, to run function modules, record Batch Inputs, write SAP Queries, use ECATT and so on ) , he must be also in the position to write a functional analysis which specifies up to the field what the application must do, and finally he must have good knowledge of project management. Companies are also requiring a knowledge of the software which is at the time wide and deep because they are confronted whith problems that they cannot solve themselves. In conclusion the certification is a nice paper that you can hang in your office to impress the dummies but nothing will ever replace the functional knowledge of the domain you are working in .
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  • JackDanahy
    Comments 26 & 27 above are totally erroneous. Certification does not prove a thing. I am a very senior FI-CO consultant and have never done certification and have never felt the lack of it. I quote "Certification teaches you INS and OUTS of whatever module you get certified in. It teaches you two things about the product “HOW” and “WHY”. Non certified people with expericene take a lot more time to learn “WHY” part, but they definitely are good at “HOW” part." This is complete nonsense. Are you saying that a qualified accountant and management consultant like myself is slower to learn than someone straight out of school who has done a few weeks certification with no "hands-on"? Oh, come on. That is arrant BS.
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  • JackDanahy
    Hi, It is always better to have Certification .Experiance with certification gives you the best flavour in your perticular module .Mix of both also increase the market value of the person and also best to hire in industry. But for freshers it is harder to get a foothold in this SAP market place though having certification.But i always say, certification might not give you immediate result but in long run certification is always good and worthy to get. I am not saying as long as 5 years but all i say that there is many company in india as well as world implementing SAP even if Small and medium industry also is the target of SAP business so keep your finger cross and give effort from your side . If you know your module well there is always one door is open for you. Thanks and cheers , Abhijit .......
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  • JackDanahy
    There will be no winners or losers in this discussion. I think I have not seen a single person who have done certification and not managed to get a realistic job. I give you my example I have worked as a Training Consultant in Oracle and SAP. I did not have great deal of SAP experience and did not do my homework properly before I went for certification. Now I have over all 2 + years of experience in SAP support, training and analysis. I am still struggling to find a job. I have worked in Middle East and Asia in my previous jobs however SAP market in UK is different. They are offering little money and a bag of experience i.e. 2 to 3 life cycle experience and at the same time exposure to 3 to 4 different modules. I have spoken to few consultants and they are glad that they are not in the market at this moment of time. I am hoping for the best. I think experience is very important however certification definite give you an extra edge. I would definite advice new starters to get some experience 1st if possible (do not make the same mistake like I did) and then do the certification. Your values in the market will be a lot more and SAP future is very bright. Good luck to everyone for their career in SAP.
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  • JackDanahy
    rpoIt is very much true & well said. I think I didn'tdo a proper survey before doing certification. I am one of the so called SAP certifed MM consultant with only domain procurement experience & no SAP implementation experience. After almost 6 months plus, not even a single interview. I feel the training institute are cashing in on the SAP deamnd. The institutes such as Genovate or others gives a very rosey picture about the job propects & candidates who does the certifcation without prior SAP working experience will be left out with that junk certifcate for all that huge course fee.
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  • JackDanahy
    Not to disagree with the writer and almost all of the replies above. But, the question is 'Why does SAP has certification program when it is not worth anyting? Is it just a cash grab?'
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  • Mrugank Desai
    Hi Madhur, Jack Chung, Could you please provide me with the name of the university and perhaps a link to the program that you are referring to? (mrugank.desai"at"gmail.com) I have been asking around for such programs on many forums and sadly have not got answers. My quest is actually the other way around. I have about a year and half of SAP BI experience and now wish to take a break with a masters program (I have a B.Sc in IT so far) that is relevant to my experience thus far. Cheers, Mrugank
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  • JackDanahy
    But, the question is ‘Why does SAP has certification program when it is not worth anyting? Is it just a cash grab?’ I don't think that's the right question to ask, actually, because it's a gross oversimplification. Is there a financial motivation to certification? Certainly. As there is to all aspects of SAP and any other ERP market for that matter. Are some people fooled by the hype of SAP certification into investing money unwisely? Yes. But SAP certification is worth something. I have seen it have a positive impact on many SAP consulting careers. At the same time, many SAP consultants have thrived without certification also. But I can certainly tell you I have seen many hiring situations where certification was the tiebreaker between two equally qualified consultants, so it can be helpful. SAP is currently further developing its certification program as I noted in my earlier response. I do believe SAP realizes that its program can be strengthened. Of course, it's complicated because some companies not named SAP do use SAP training as a way of luring "freshers" into spending a large sum for training they may or may not need. Now THAT might be a cash grab, and that's why discussions like this are good, even though we will all never agree 100 percent. - Jon Reed -
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  • JackDanahy
    Roy! I don’t mean to offend you and I wasn’t talking about you and I wasn’t telling a story either, I was just saying what I experienced in the industry. Also, don’t compare yourself with someone out of the school, how about someone with your experience + certified. You guess who am I gonna pick.
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  • JackDanahy
    Well, a qualified person with the experience and expertise in the Business Matter to the SAP module that the person wishes to persue does help to have a SAP Certification for that module. It add color to the position. There is a trend now in the SAP that qualified Chartered Accountants are persuing SAP FI-CO and the Engineers are persuing Logistic or with Sales background are persuing SAP-SD..
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  • JackDanahy
    I got certified in SAP HCM from Siemens (Chennai)by NOV 2007 . I am still finding difficult to get a entry in any of the company as a SAP freasher.I do not want to fake my experience too .I have 4yrs of domain experience in HR . Those people who support SAP certification could prove your words by just fixing up a interview call for me from any company . Arun D arun_profess@yahoo.co.in +91 9840232414
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  • JackDanahy
    I agree with the question asked in this comment no. 38. Other thing is, when the situation is like only experienced person can be hired,why can't SAP & their authorized partners set the eligibility criterias to get the certification for example 'candidate should have realtime experience to sit for the training and certification'. Now it is the otherway around and seems that SAP is making fool around people that SAP has a big job market when a person enrol for the course. Again, I would strongly disagree that 'freshers' are keen to make the big money in their career start in SAP rather I would say they are ready to compromise their salary part to get started. Eventhen if no opportunities given to freshers to crawl first, how can they start walk,jog and run in the SAP field. Finally, whatever the freshers screams here and in other forums, Does SAP & authorized partners going to listen? Kanil
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  • Demir Barlas
    "Finally, whatever the freshers screams here and in other forums, Does SAP & authorized partners going to listen?" Kanil Dear Kanil, SAP certification is an open marketplace. Freshers choose to pay for certification. Therefore, while it is unrealistic to expect a company to change a profitable business model in this regard, it is much easier for freshers to choose not to pay for certification, if they decide that it adds little or no value to their professional portfolio. Best, Demir Barlas, Site Editor
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  • JackDanahy
    Current & future freshers 'to take a note of it' SAP & Authorized partners doesn't bother about the freshers who gives the real business to them by spending huge money.
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  • JackDanahy
    I agree with Jon Reed to say that SAP Certificatin has a positive impact on many SAP Consultants. Certainly the SAP Certification with Business process expertise in industry will make difference and also a deciding factor in terms of a tiebreak to select a qualified consultant. Hope the SAP efforts to further strengthen the certification program would help SAP Consulting Professionals. Swamy
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  • JackDanahy
    To post 44: Why should you need experience to do certification? Do you need to be a lawyer before you can get a law degree? Paper qualifications and experience are two different, and largely independant, things. Each has its use. And to 2: Ed, I'm surprised. I know a few guys who successfully did what you tried. Maybe you're not selling yourself well or you're just unlucky. There must be jobs as a 'sidekick' doing extracts for a BW guy - get one of them and look over his shoulder. I did the same from ABAP to functional. I did have some experience - mostly gained by trial and error - but I think the cert underlined me as a genuine hybrid, rather than an ABAPper who dabbles in the IMG on a weekend.
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  • JackDanahy
    Wow 48 comments and what a topic to talk about. Wish this would mark the Golden Jubilee :-) but this comment is 49th. One thing for sure all of us are subconsciously concerned about SAP. Nomatter if we decide to stick to experience only or change and choose certification we all seem to vouch for SAP. As for SAP, they sure have a religion going down in here imagine so many people fighting and keeping it alive. Aren't we debating over the same GOD (SAP) but different worship methods, we sure are.Its the goal that counts! About the marketplace scenario we really can't fight about whose reality is real or whose beliefs are much stronger. Therefore, Neither can a bunch of not experienced certificate holders can come togehter and argue about the usefulness of certification nor can a bunch of not certified experienced professionals keep hyping certification not being important and thereof claim their superiority in the marketplace. As one would notice the marketplace is still in an open-ended loop. The economy of the situation here depends on who can make what with his/her resources, ain't that right! "Freshers" if aware of the level they would start would have no problem investing beginning a career path which would eventually take them a long way (based on their efforts). So after 3 implementatiosn you still get to keep the certifiate and know its real gold value!!! Experienced professionals need not simply count on their luck of having been fortunate enough to get that "break" in. Ultimately if "competition" and "roi" are the only criteria here SAP is the winner.So certification is an added "edge" over time. The perspective changes at every level and as every year passes. Now finally to bring your attention here, utlimately the one who focuses on bringing new flexibilities in the ERP's next version will be the "hot" pick in the market. Are willing to think "beyond" it are are you just concerned with getting a good pay package. the wiser one's will know where to invest - i.e. based on the real value of your land or simply this years' crop. What will always matter though is how good is your foundation and that could be learnt by a proper systematic method of "certification" or by an "trial and error" process experience. Both ARE better! Finally since everyone is playing in the context of "What If" scenario think about this one. SAP if ever makes it mandatory for each person to get certified (for whoever works at the consultying level)then ultimately wouldn't you or your employer have to bear the cost??? What IF! Have a good time.
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  • Vikas
    HI I was in search for this answer (Whether Certification is good for non SAP profesionals to enter into SAP market ) for along time and sadly still searching. Actually i am IT professional with around 2 yrs exp in Microsoft Development Technologies and wanted to move to ABAP and till now(before reading this post) was very much inclined to go for SAP ABAP cert.. to enter into ABAP (i have no SAP ABAP exp) but now i am more confused. Can anybody suggest me whther it is appropriate for me to go for ABAP cert. and will this help me in getting into SAP ABAP market. Vikas(India)
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  • JackDanahy
    Hi, I've been hiring SAP consultants for the past 8 years, and have found that most people prefer to enter in SAP because of the BUZZ it has in the job market. Many a times I have hired people who has got good Domain experience and very less 0.0- 0.11 months experience in terms of SAP because they are trainable material. In short I'd suggest Even if a candidate possess good domain expertise, trained or certified, but doesn't possess presentation skills, not a trainable material, Manager's don't prefer to try with them for any of their projects.
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  • Olivia
    I have more than 15 years experience in SAP implementation. I have found the idea of certification as a glib "entry into the SAP market" has no indication of ability of the consultant. Many people jump onto the bandwagon with dollars in their eyes and feel that this is the key to getting a job without any other experience. Simply getting the certification is not enough and. Any consultant in any field needs a combination of skills - and the certification should not be the only criteria. I certainly will not hire someone who has certification just for that reason -I will hire someone generally through word of mouth and proven excellence in their field. If they have the certfication then okay good for you too. But this was not a criteria.
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  • David
    I am a SAP team leader currently inerviewing applicants for an SD MM support analyst post. Few of the applicants have full SAP academy certification though many have one or two certificates in relevant modules. I see the certification as a bonus in an applicant but their experience and proven results are what made the big difference in helping me to decide which to bring forward for interview. Even then, other skills, such ability to deal with users at differing levels of seniority and SAP experience, character, and 'team fit' will play a large part in our finally selecting the successful applicant.
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  • Parag
    Hi all, This has been a very insightful topic to read on.I am a mid level ABAPer (3 years experience) with 2 full implementation project experience.I am thinking of getting certified in a Sales and Distribution functional role so that I have a well rounded profile in my resume. I was wondering how useful is a certification in shifting your profile within SAP job market.(for e.g. From technical to Functional ). I have no bussiness knowledge besides the work experience as a SAP Technical consultant.
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  • Tapan
    hiiii i wanted to know about what does this do. is it a program as i m interested in this. will it provide me with certificates
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  • JackDanahy
    Hi this is christian stallone from gujarat, Ya that is true. because i am BE IT FRESHER and SAP ABAP certified from genovate,ahmedabad.I am finding job as fresher since last 45 days but, i didnt get good response even for interview. In india as FRESHER, If you had done certificate or not. They count you same.So no value for SAP CERTIFICATION .Its wasting of 3 lac Rs, If any fresher want to do certification then pls dont do it. Instead you can go with compnay who train pepole on SAP. Like COLLABERA. I had found that java and .NET has very good market for freshers then SAP. Who have domain experince if they go with certification then it will be good for them. BUT FOR FRESHERS ITS WORST TO FIND JOB.
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  • Hema
    Hi all, This a very good topic as there are people like me who have the same question in mind. I do agree that Project Experience is the key for this. I have a smally query. I am a BPCS consultant with 3 years experience. As of now in india, the developement projects for BPCS is reduced and we get Support projects only. Also nowdays people prefer to implement SAP than BPCS. So for people like me whats your advise. Isnt certification a break in for me into SAP ? Please provide me your valuable inputs. Thanks, Hema
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  • Sap2009
    Dear All SAP Experts.. I am planning to do SD SAP Certification from GENNOVATE, Bangalore.. Which is better Gennovate or Siemens in terms of Training/ Certification and job prospects... Plz let me kno the details ASAP... Regards Deb
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  • Pkchedhella
    Very interesting article to the many of the people like me who want to clear the SAP certification. I am a fresher presently working with SAP HCM team, My project is a maintenance project. Can SAP HCM certification help me to improve my skills and further to my carrier in SAP ?.
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  • SSV
    @Roy Brookes "This is complete nonsense. Are you saying that a qualified accountant and management consultant like myself is slower to learn than someone straight out of school who has done a few weeks certification with no “hands-on”? Oh, come on. That is arrant BS." I do not want discuss on certification from getting a job point of view. But want to discuss on the value it brings in terms of knowledge (especially for Functional consultant). As functional consultant apart from strong business knowledge, he/she should also have clear understanding of that business process mapping in SAP from IT prespective. This is where SAP certification course brings in value. It tells you why a particular configuration change being done and what are the rules attached to it in a structured way. As you get the readymade knowledge on the IT mapping and rules, along with your functional knowledge, certification provides a strong overall basics, there by giving you a headstart. Of course it will be subjective depending on how well you understood and asimilated the certification course knowledge. So it may take a while for an non certified experienced consultant (with all due respect to the them) to get that basics right. Thats what @Faisal Salam may be trying to say. By the way I'am certified FICO consultant (from Siemens Bangalore India)with overall exp of around 9 years. Certification course provided me strong basics.
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  • Naak
    You know these training institutes in India should be facing litigation for lying to people for money........ Certification is only good for getting salary hikes for existing SAP professionals ... freshers don't have a market .. extremely frustrated here.
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  • aditya0141
    Hello everyone,I am a student ICAI and have registered for SAP FICO programme through ICAI as indulgence of less cost , however not that much less. i have been going through all your comments and i came to know that many people around here are kind of prejudice regarding experience. I don`t have that much knowledge as you people possess. i just want to ask a simple question , if in an interview , without asking questions ,disapproval of  a candidate  merely on a ground of  zero experience.Is dis a practice you follow while recruiting? As far as my view is concerned, at big positions denial the fact of experience as a prime factor can not be admitted but certification will only add up to your experience. however at junior positions , the practice that i have discussed above should not be followed., candidate should be judged on the basis of knowledge . experience and knowledge are two different terms. Practical insight can  be earned by theoritical knowledge only. So, I will stand on the postive side .contrary view are solicitedThanks ,Aditya
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  • abhiindia244
    SAP or NOT Overall - Guys, believe me or not SAP certification is not a best way to change your field. Do not run behind it without any backup.

    There is hell lot o frustration and struggle in SAP as well, and finally you may get something or may not (but mostly you loose a lot).
    I am victim for this in-spite being a BE+MBA+5years exp - i am nowhere after 8 months. Its killing me day by day. No contacts, Training Institute working (even after 4 lacs expense).
    So suggestion is try to avoid the false promises of SAP field, this is just same industry as others but bit more brutal.
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  • abhiindia244
    Guys, believe me or not SAP certification is not a best way to change your field.There is hell lot o frustration and struggle in SAP as well and finally you may get something (or may not, but mostly yu loose).I am victim for this inspite being good domain exp and education - i am nowhere after 8 months. Its killing me day by day.So suggestion is try to avoid the false promises of SAP field, this is just same industry as others but bit more brutal.
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