SAP Watch

May 15 2008   10:49AM GMT

SAP skills: Is your job on the chopping block?

JackDanahy Jack Danahy Profile: JackDanahy

There’s a major shortage of SAP skills in the marketplace, thanks to the inevitable lag time between SAP’s aggressive debut of new products and IT workers’ ability to master the associated skills.

That’s the message from Foote Partners’ upcoming report on IT skills and compensation. The report is massive, encompassing hundreds of skills, cities, and vendors, but its relevance to the SAP world is focused on the following takeaways:

Hot SAP Skills: SAP MDM, SAP ERP, NetWeaver BI (formerly SAP BW) and SAP HCM are seeing double-digit growth in compensation over the past several months.

Fading SAP Skills: ABAP, Basis, Payroll, SAP SD.

This isn’t meant to service as an index of importance. In other words, the “fading” skills aren’t less vital or widespread; they’re just not seeing compensation growth at the same pace as the hot skills. Similarly, the hot skills are not necessarily the high-volume skills; if you’re an SAP HCM expert, you can command an increasing premium, but you might have fewer opportunities to apply those skills. There are many such factors involved in maximizing your marketability. However, based on Foote Partners’ insights, it’s a safe bet to say that techies with experience in any of the “hot” categories should be talking to recruiters immediately.

In terms of the “fading” categories, it’s worth wondering whether, in time, these could be yesterday’s skills.

Demir Barlas, Site Editor

3  Comments on this Post

 
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  • JackDanahy
    Interesting post. I'm confused by the 'Hot or Not' list - SAP ERP is hot? It's kind of all-encompassing, isn't it? Sort of like saying R/3 was hot in the late 90's... Does that mean all of ERP is hot, except the SD area? Does this include the SD aspects of CRM? What about basis? There seems to be good demand for SAP technology experts (regardless of what they are called). One major hurdle that many companies find is that they can find someone who has received formal 'training' in a module or area, but not enough practical experience. SAP can't be learned via a class, it must be learned through experience. Classes only tell you how things are supposed to work, and not enough about what to do when things go wrong. I've been in the field for 12 years and still see new issues pop up. Then there is the issue of staying current. It's not easy to stay updated on your skills when your company doesn't implement the newer versions or applications. For the poor guy working on a 4.6C system who's job gets outsourced, suddenly they can't find a position because they don't have experience on ECC 6! So companies complain they can't find anyone while this guy is working at Wal-Mart... One thing I've seen is that demand can be cyclical. HR (HCM) was pretty slow for many years. Same with many of the 'core' areas (MM, PP, SD, etc.). Nobody wanted to learn them since they were no longer hot. A few years later, they were in demand because nobody bothered to learn them!
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  • JackDanahy
    The only thing I would agree with is that SAP HCM is not a high-volume skill. I know a lot of people in SAP HCM who are underpaid compared to their .Net/Java/DBA counterparts.
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  • JackDanahy
    SAP-APO, SAP-Portal, SAP-SEM and I go even further that 'any' SAP skill is valuable. Once you know how one or two SAP products (or modules) work you can decipher the rest.
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