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Career in SAP at age 42 is it worth?

Former Member
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I have experience in Sales marketing and procurment for 15yrs

Is it worth changing my career at age 42?  i took some on line training couple years ago

presently i work in SCM

I was thinking to take MM module or PS  please advise

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Former Member
0 Kudos

Sounds like your career has wandered a bit when you look at it through an SAP lense. Have you worked with SAP as an end user at all? I'm guessing you haven't done any configuration and you're asking whether or not it's useful to try to become an SAP functional support person or SAP functional consultant. Is that right?

Your first task is to familiarize yourself with SAP modules and components and match up your experience to the appropriate module/component. My recommendation is always to stick with your strengths unless you're completely sick of the field altogether, so if you've done 15 years of Sales Marketing (check SAP Customer Relationship Management) and Sales Procurement (research SAP ERP Materials Management and SAP Supplier Relationship Management) then you might want to concentrate on that first. You'll have your best luck getting an SAP Functional job if you can point to relevant work you've done from your previous jobs.  If you like Supply Chain Management (research SAP Supply Chain Management), then by all means stick with that.  I don't see any Project Management or Project Planning in your history, so SAP Project Systems might not be a good fit.

Given the breadth of what you need to familiarize yourself in order to make an initial decision, I strongly recommend you buy a basic overview book that covers all of the components (SAP ERP, SAP CRM, SAP SRM, SAP SCM) as well as the SAP ERP modules (FI, CO, MM, PP, PS, etc). You might want to take a look at the Blogs for folks interested in Certification or just in learning SAP functionality section of the SAP Career Blog Links blog post.

Once you've decide on which field fits you best, then the next task is to plan out the next several years of your career. Your most probably path to success is to try to get a job similar to the ones you've had so your past experience is directly relevant, but with a company running SAP. If you've already been an SAP end user or already work at a company as an SAP end user, then the next challenge is to try to get more involved with the change process. All companies have a change review process in order to suggest new functionality or changes to existing functionality. Typically someone submits a request for new functionality, it gets reviewed and hopefully approved. The requestor then works with the corporate functional support team to provide requirements. The functional support team then works to fulfill the requirements and consults the original requestor to make sure the requirement has been fulfilled. You need to learn the system well enough to spot gaps and suggest enhancements so that you can work directly with the support team on the request.

Once you've made that connection, if you show that you understand the system well and have an interest in moving to the support side of the house, then you can use the personal connections you've made during the change process to try to transfer in to the support team. If that proves impossible, then you can apply for a job at another company's support team based on your experience helping to improve the processes at your current job.

All of this is kind of outlined in the Advice for Recent College Graduates (aka "Freshers") blog listed in the Blogs for students still in school or who have just graduated section of the SAP Career Blog Links blog post. Your greater experience with the processes will give you more clout than a fresher trying to do the same thing so you should be able to move more quickly through the process if things work well.

Please note that I did NOT and do NOT recommend quitting your current job, enrolling in an Institute, and getting certified. This trap is covered in several of the blogs in the Blogs for folks interested in Certification or just in learning SAP functionality section. Most folks who go down that path end up unemployed for long stretches of time and significantly poorer. If you take the approach outlined, you should be able to be employed the whole time and often the company will pay for any required training. It might take a few years, though, so patience and persistence is required.

If I misinterpreted your post and you already have configuration experience, please let me know, because that's a totally different situation.

Best regards,

  --Tom

P.S. One last note. At 42, you probably have at least as many working years ahead of you as you do behind you if your health holds out and you want to work that long. It's not too late to change careers, just make sure it's something you enjoy doing!

6 REPLIES 6

former_member182098
Active Contributor
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Hi Katherine,

There are also people who have shifted to SAP after 42, but it all depends on your

a) Existing Job

b) Existing Payscale

c) Any previous experience on SAP?

d) Any SAP Consulting experience in the past?

e) Would you be happy to join as a junior consultant?

It would be worth reading the blog written by Thomas.

http://scn.sap.com/community/career-center/blog/2012/04/11/faq-middle-and-late-sap-career-paths

Former Member

There may not be a generic answer, but if you can please brief out with more details, it would be ideal to suggest you some recommendations.

Thanks and Regards,

Ravi


0 Kudos

Ravi

Thanks foryour reply

I have started my career as a sales rep and worked in sales and marketing travel and Conferences packakges, then moved in to sales and marketing for freight and courier services did this for about 10 yrs later on moved into project coordiantor job where i was exposed to IT maintiang the electromnic systems and trouble shooting

then moved into engineering company providing services for oil and gas doing cost management for 2 years,  project coordinator for 3 yrs and Supply chain management for almost 2 yrs

I took some on line courses in FICO while i was in Cost since i dont have any finance degree i just opted out

since then i kept practicing and reading SAP material

as you see i have done so many differnt things thats why i am thinking if its worth getting in SAP at this age

I am willing to take junior position etc , pay scale is not a big concern

I dont have any SAP consulting exp

this is my senario

Kathrine

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Hi Kathrine,

Considering the experience you have, I understood you have reasonably well amount of domain and functional knowledge. Definitely,it is not a wrong choice to go into SAP. But, my sincere suggestion is not to resign your job and go for training. If you have chance to take short leave / online training would be suggested. It is nothing wrong in trying ourselves and pushing to a new level. Furthermore, you have mentioned that you are reading SAP materials already. I do not think it is not easy to understand when you go for training.

Regarding FICO and SCM, I would suggest you may go for FICO. Therefore, no compulsory need for a FICO degree. Many consultants are doing without finance degree. But, if you have a finance degree, it would be value added. Anyway, you have already worked in management accounting area for 2 years. That might have given you enough knowledge.

When it comes to FICO vs SCM, you will find in FICO lot of opportunities. But, as you said you have sufficient knowledge in MM and PS, they will be complimentary to your FICO skills. I should recommend you go ahead. But, when you are spending money on training, please keep a check on the cost.

Please let me know if you have any specific questions.

All the best.

Best Regards,

Ravi

Former Member
0 Kudos

Sounds like your career has wandered a bit when you look at it through an SAP lense. Have you worked with SAP as an end user at all? I'm guessing you haven't done any configuration and you're asking whether or not it's useful to try to become an SAP functional support person or SAP functional consultant. Is that right?

Your first task is to familiarize yourself with SAP modules and components and match up your experience to the appropriate module/component. My recommendation is always to stick with your strengths unless you're completely sick of the field altogether, so if you've done 15 years of Sales Marketing (check SAP Customer Relationship Management) and Sales Procurement (research SAP ERP Materials Management and SAP Supplier Relationship Management) then you might want to concentrate on that first. You'll have your best luck getting an SAP Functional job if you can point to relevant work you've done from your previous jobs.  If you like Supply Chain Management (research SAP Supply Chain Management), then by all means stick with that.  I don't see any Project Management or Project Planning in your history, so SAP Project Systems might not be a good fit.

Given the breadth of what you need to familiarize yourself in order to make an initial decision, I strongly recommend you buy a basic overview book that covers all of the components (SAP ERP, SAP CRM, SAP SRM, SAP SCM) as well as the SAP ERP modules (FI, CO, MM, PP, PS, etc). You might want to take a look at the Blogs for folks interested in Certification or just in learning SAP functionality section of the SAP Career Blog Links blog post.

Once you've decide on which field fits you best, then the next task is to plan out the next several years of your career. Your most probably path to success is to try to get a job similar to the ones you've had so your past experience is directly relevant, but with a company running SAP. If you've already been an SAP end user or already work at a company as an SAP end user, then the next challenge is to try to get more involved with the change process. All companies have a change review process in order to suggest new functionality or changes to existing functionality. Typically someone submits a request for new functionality, it gets reviewed and hopefully approved. The requestor then works with the corporate functional support team to provide requirements. The functional support team then works to fulfill the requirements and consults the original requestor to make sure the requirement has been fulfilled. You need to learn the system well enough to spot gaps and suggest enhancements so that you can work directly with the support team on the request.

Once you've made that connection, if you show that you understand the system well and have an interest in moving to the support side of the house, then you can use the personal connections you've made during the change process to try to transfer in to the support team. If that proves impossible, then you can apply for a job at another company's support team based on your experience helping to improve the processes at your current job.

All of this is kind of outlined in the Advice for Recent College Graduates (aka "Freshers") blog listed in the Blogs for students still in school or who have just graduated section of the SAP Career Blog Links blog post. Your greater experience with the processes will give you more clout than a fresher trying to do the same thing so you should be able to move more quickly through the process if things work well.

Please note that I did NOT and do NOT recommend quitting your current job, enrolling in an Institute, and getting certified. This trap is covered in several of the blogs in the Blogs for folks interested in Certification or just in learning SAP functionality section. Most folks who go down that path end up unemployed for long stretches of time and significantly poorer. If you take the approach outlined, you should be able to be employed the whole time and often the company will pay for any required training. It might take a few years, though, so patience and persistence is required.

If I misinterpreted your post and you already have configuration experience, please let me know, because that's a totally different situation.

Best regards,

  --Tom

P.S. One last note. At 42, you probably have at least as many working years ahead of you as you do behind you if your health holds out and you want to work that long. It's not too late to change careers, just make sure it's something you enjoy doing!

0 Kudos

Tom,

Thanks foryour reply and the encouraging words, you are right my career has wandered here is my profile as such

Yes i have not done any SAPconfiguration and have no SAP experience i am concern will i be able to achive all this at this age. i did some work as end user 

I have started my career as a sales rep and worked in sales and marketing travel and Conferences packakges, then moved in to sales and marketing for freight and courier services did this for about 10 yrs later on moved into project coordiantor job where i was exposed to IT maintianing the electronic systems and trouble shooting

then moved into engineering company providing services for oil and gas doing cost management for 2 years,  project coordinator for 3 yrs and Supply chain management for almost 2 yrs

I took some on line courses in FICO while i was in Cost since i dont have any finance degree i just opted out

since then i kept practicing and reading SAP material

as you see i have done so many differnt things thats why i am thinking if its worth getting in SAP at this age

I am willing to take junior position etc , pay scale is not a big concern

I dont have any SAP consulting exp but have the willigness to do it

I was wanting to get in MM being in SCM role now i have not taken any courses

What would you recoomed should i take some classes and get certified since i am starting from strach what modukle do you thinks would be a fit

i was told to get involved with BPCS , PS , MM

would it good to get a logon access and practise the module i choose

can you suggest a provider for logon access

this is my senario and thanks for your advice .... I will never quit my Job until i find one first

Kathrine

0 Kudos

So if I'm reading this correctly, you've worked for the engineering company providing services for oil and gas for the last 7 years. Does this company run SAP?

To be honest, I don't see you as a great fit for an SAP job. Typically, someone stays in one field and takes on more and more responsibility in that field as their knowledge and experience grows. You've bounced around quite a bit, which has limited your ability to acquire the higher level knowledge which makes you valuable as a configurator. Seven years in the sames industry, though, is a point in your favor, because maybe that means you have a broad understanding of how the industry works from different perspectives.

What have been your job duties for the past two years. I think your best bet is to build off your most recent experience. Supply Chain Management is an advanced form of Material Management and/or Production Planning depending on the aspect of SCM that you're doing.

Do you have a Master's degree? Taking an executive MBA (where you still work full time while you participate in the program) might be a good way to convince prospective employers that you have a broad academic understanding and then you can select projects from your career to prove that you have a grasp of the hands on issues.

I still don't really have enough info to give better advice than this at this time. I'm not a big fan of folks paying for expensive training before they have a job that will make use of that training. I'm not convinced that ever results in a job. Better to find a way to use SAP day to day and ease into the job you want.

Hope this helps!

Best regards,

  --Tom