The SAP Dual Study Program provides university students with the opportunity to take major-specific SAP trainings and certification during academic years and hereby supporting them to bridge the gap between university and workplace. I had a conversation with partnering universities from around the globe about their experience with the program.
Acquiring industry certificates during academic years is very important for a successful career path, Dr. Mohamed Shamout from American University in the Emirates said; industry certifications additionally provide students with a head start into the job market after graduating. “An important part of your CV will be the trainings and certificates you acquired, as this will be crucial to landing a meaningful job,” Dr. Shamout added.
“The fast-paced technological advancement in a knowledge economy is compelling a growing reliance on industry certifications as a validation of students’ competences and skills,” said Dr. Abdul-Nasser Kassar from the Lebanese American University in Lebanon. He agrees that certifications bridge the gap between academia and the highly demanding job market, granting students a competitive advantage and helping them to kick-start their careers in higher paying jobs. “Students graduating from the SAP Dual Study Program are better equipped with in-demand skills, which will boost their employability in an increasingly challenging job market. They also gain a competitive edge against other university graduates in pursuing various career paths. Therefore, the program not only enhances students’ digital skills, but also provides them with a wider scope of local, international and global job opportunities among SAP’s globally positioned customers and partners.”
According to Dr. Daan Le Roux from Stellenbosch University in South Africa the importance of industry certifications is vital as there is a strong alignment with the goals of an academic institution: “As academic institutions, universities focus on teaching students the fundamental principles of phenomena like Information Systems and in many cases, there is insufficient space in the curriculum or a lack of expertise to cover particular applications or platforms on a practical level. The university thus benefits from a partnership like the SAP Dual Study Program because it enables us to offer our students practical exposure to software from companies like SAP without necessarily having the associated expertise in-house.”
In South Africa, the Dual Study Program was executed with very little friction despite lockdowns and restrictions resulting from COVID-19, according to Dr. Le Roux. Dr. Abdul-Nasser Kassar from the Lebanese American University in Lebanon believes that with the rising unprecedented challenges from the global pandemic to the socio-economic and financial crisis that Lebanon is going through, the graduating youth is in need for such valuable initiatives more than ever to sharpen their skills and increase their employability.
"The SAP Dual Study Program has equipped our students at Valoris International University with in-demand knowledge and certification on SAP’s technologies. We have worked closely with local SAP customers and partners to introduce graduating students to job opportunities across Ivory Coast and Senegal,” explained Ms. Jameet Breyna Dhillon, Director of Academic Operations at Valoris University in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Since its launch in 2014, the program has helped to bridge the gap between university and workplace for over 1810 students across 16 countries in partnership with 31 selected universities around the globe.
In support of SAP’s commitment to close the digital skills gap, I as a Program Manager of the SAP Training & Development Institute, help them to kick-start their tech career within the ecosystem of SAP customers and partners. Please visit sap.com/mena/tdi for more information or get in touch to discuss how you can benefit from the program.