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SAP Training & Education forum on SCN is a great platform to raise your questions relating to SAP Education / Certification / Training / Career opportunities etc. However, over a period of time, there are many questions coming up repeatedly. In order to maintain the quality of the forum, I thought, it would be a good idea to put all frequently asked questions relating to SAP Certification and Career Opportunities at one place. Hopefully, this would be useful for the community.

SAP Certification

QuestionGuidelines to think
1. Whether SAP Certification gives me a guaranteed job?SAP Certification is NOT a job guarantee program. SAP Certification is only to certify you in a particular area that you have reasonable amount of knowledge at that point of time. This would help the employers to believe SAP, being a third party, while recruiting the consultants on the board. SAP Certification is one of the ingredient in the recruitment process, hence, it is in the hands of the consultants to keep the right expectation regarding the SAP Certification.
2. Whether to train from recognised / non-recognised Institutes?SAP Curriculum offers standard, structured and systematic approach to learning. SAP Education is offered by SAP / Educational Partners. At the same time, there are thousands of Institutes offering, which could be illegal and the quality may not be guaranteed. If you are particularly looking for Certification, nobody other than SAP can issue the Certification. Therefore, any certificate by non-recognised institutes is illegal. Whatever the kind of institutes, it is largely depends on the core strength and knowledge of the Trainer.
3. How can I appear SAP Certification in other countries?Every country has its own evaluation process. Some countries like India, they have their own stringent rules in evaluating the rules. Therefore, some are opting to write the Certifications in other countries. If you want to write certification in other countries, you need to contact that country's local SAP Education team, they will evaluate case to case basis and advise you whether you are eligible to write the Certification. Visa processing etc. all are on your own risk. SAP is not involved with your visa processing.
4. Is Certification a mandatory thing to get a job?Certification is not a mandatory thing get a job in SAP field. There are many good consultants without SAP Certification. There are also many good consultants failed to pass the SAP Certification. At the same time, all the certified consultants are not good consultants. You will find some very few certified and good consultants. Certification is always good to have and in some situations, the employers may tend to go for Certified consultant when they receive equal type CVs.
5. Am I eligible to write SAP Certification & what is the exam fee?Every country has their own evaluation process. Mostly countries like USA, UK etc. no much evaluation, just pay the fee and write the exam. However, India or some of the APAC region countries have their own evaluation process. You need to pass all their rules in order to eligible to write the examination. This would be on a case to case basis. Therefore, in general, it is not possible to ascertain by anybody whether you are eligible or not. You need to contact your local SAP Education team to find your eligibility and fee details.
6. What if I want to write certification at Pearson VUE?Certification exam at SAP and Pearson VUE is exactly the same. If you are writing exam at SAP / Education Partner’s site, then the S User ID is created by them. If you are booking at Pearson VUE, then you need to ask yourcompany’s basis team or SAP Education team to help you. If the S ID is created by your company, then they may delete when you are moving the company. Recently written exam at Pearson VUE, the exam is under CCTV and you cannot keep anything with you other than your dress. They would also take your photograph along with identification process. However, this is not the practice at SAP / Education Partner, they would identify you using your passport / driving license.
7. I am SAP Certified, but getting no job opportunities?You cannot blame SAP Certification for everything in the world. SAP Certification is not a medicine for all the diseases. You need to look for the grey areas to be improved upon. SAP Certification is only complimentary to your skills. However, employers do look for your education, domain knowledge, communication skills, business acumen, hands on experience, cultural fit and attitude etc. Therefore, please keep right expectations regarding SAP Certification.
8. I am Certified, shall I go and do more SAP Certifications?Nothing inspires you like success, nothing experience you like failure. When you are certified and the people around you are congratulating, it is always a morale booster. Some people tend to go and do more certification out of their own personal interest. Whether all those certifications will give a real benefit or not is a different matter altogether. It is your personal choice whether to go for more certifications or not.
9. Should I opt for Class Room or e-learning training?Class room training and e-learning, they have their own pros and cons. Class room training is more expensive, however, highly effective. Whereas, e-learning is cost effective, however, you may tend to become lethargic. You need to consider the right choice considering your financial position, availability and the way you want to learn.
10. Why I have not received my Certification yet?Usually SAP Certification is delivered to 4 – 8 weeks. Fortunately, I never had a sad stories in this area. If you have written proper address along with your post code etc. usually you should receive it in time. In case if you do not receive by 8 weeks, please contact your local SAP Education Team.
11. How will I get my S User IDs / Passwords?SAP normally send you your S User ID and password by post, once you are successful in your SAP Certification examination. If you do not receive it, then you may please contact your local SAP Education team, they should be able to help you out. S user ID is nothing but the Certification Number on your Certificate, preceded by S.
12. Are there any grace marks in SAP Certification examinations?There are no grace marks in SAP Certification. There are many consultants who failed just by short of 1%. There are only two things, either pass or fail. If you pass, enjoy and get the certificate. If you are fail, still you are interested, then go and re-book the examination.
13. How will I get SAP Certification materials?Please note SAP Certification materials are copy righted materials and I am afraid, they cannot be distributed freely, any such distribution is illegal and may liable for legal action. Unfortunately, many unauthorised people are selling them and keeping them on the internet, please be aware with such individuals.
14. How will I get SAP Certification exam questions?When you are writing SAP Certification, you are going to sign a non-disclosure agreement that you would not disclose SAP questions outside. My best suggestion is frame your own questions from the curriculum books. There are some yahoo groups put some sample questions. Please note Certification questions are far different from these sample questions. Furthermore, we cannot discuss the answers to the questions on the SCN forums.
15. Will I get a Logo, if I pass the SAP Certification?You can email SAP Education team, they should be happy to provide you with the relevant SAP Certification Logo. You can use them on your CV.
16. Whether hands-on experience is necessary to pass SAP Certification?It is always good to have hands on experience; however, it is really not necessary in order to pass the Certification. In order to pass the certification, you should have good clarity on the concepts. Particularly, in technical examination, you would expect to have hands on knowledge, as the questions may be around field length etc.
17. What is the validity of the SAP Certification?There is no validity period as such for SAP Certification. However, being the technology changing very fast and there are new SAP versions are coming up. It is always good to have the latest certification, if you are interested. It may not be really impressive, if you are you are certified in 4.0 versions, when the market is going with SAP ECC 6.0 Ehp 6.
18. Whether SAP Certification is a replacement for project experience?Nothing replaces your SAP Project Experience; you would learn many things hand in hand. Each project is distinct in one way or the other, there are number of issues will give you real challenges always. When you explore many things, you should be able to learn the things effectively. Therefore, Certification is not a replacement for your project experience. Without your project experience, Certification is a salt less curry.
19. What kind of placement assistance provided by SAP / Educational Partners?If you are trained at SAP / Educational partners, they MAY help you with the placement assistance. Please do not confuse this with job guarantee. There is nothing like job guarantee. They would forward your CV to prospective employers / recruiters and arrange some interviews. At the end of the day, it is your ability that fetch you job.
20. When to appear for Certification exam after completed the training?If you are on class room training, it is always expected to appear the exam at the end of the academy or maximum after a week of the course. Because, the content will be still fresh in your mind. The more you give gap, the more chance to forget the concepts. If you are on e-learning, it is up to you to decide when to go for certification. However, it is advised not to give too much time for Certification.

SAP Career Opportunities

QuestionGuidelines to think
1. What is the best SAP Module to be selected?This is not something that the other people would decide. This is always the course which you intend to spend your life time on the module. You need to understand your core strengths, your domain knowledge, your programming or technical skills if any. If you listen others words and choose the module, then probably, you would not be able to justify it.
2. I am late 30s or early 40s. Is SAP a right career for me?Age may not be a constraint as long as you have right conviction and attitude to learn. But at the same you also need to consider the other constraints like your current salary. If you coming to simple reason of money, then it is not worth trying into SAP. Learn passionately, then the growth and opportunities follows.
3. I am a Project Manager in other Technologies, can I become SAP Consultant?Being a Project Manager in other technologies, you must be already at high paying salary. Whereas, when it comes to SAP Consultant roles, you must be a junior / consultant. The salary might not be that good. Alternatively, you can try with few modules of SAP and jump towards SAP Project / Programme Management.
4. Is it good move for me to shift from Java to ABAP?There are number of people asked this question, is it good to shift from Java to ABAP. It is very easy for people to learn ABAP, when they are good in Java. Furthermore, number of SAP Netweaver Technologies run on Java and ABAP technologies. Therefore, it is always advised to learn ABAP alongside your Java.
5. What is the best suggestion to learn more SAP modules?Being a functional consultant, it is always tend to learn the other modules, however, your core strength will be in one module. To get a mastery in a module takes few years, therefore, you need to carefully plan whether learning a new module would really help you in your long term career. Otherwise, there is no point in spending time learning a new module.
6. Whether faking my CV would help me?Sorry guys, I still strongly reiterate more than 90% of the CVs in the market are either fake or exaggerated. Many CVs speak volumes, however, the knowledge levels of the consultants are very poor. People may not accept my 90% figures, still I stick to it. There are number of people in my life asked this question, I would only tell them, do NOT fake your CVs, it would hunt you forever. I also personally against creating multiple CVs, you cannot have different CVs for different Job. Belive in single CV concept.
7. I am on a long career break, how to handle this?This is always a difficult and challenging situation, as you are on the long career break due to birth to child, long hospitalisation or sabbatical leave etc.. The morale is low as there are already new people and technologies in the market. It may be difficult, but definitely not impossible. Refresh the subjects, try to learn new technologies in your field and start attending the interview, not much worry about the results, you should be surely there.
8. How much money would I get?Money is the last thing that you should think in SAP. I know people talk a lot about money and salaries. If you think Money as a priority in SAP, then you would not learn anything out of it. SAP should give you enough passion to lead your life. I am privileged to meet and work with very few consultants who work tirelessly with lot of passion on SAP Technologies.
9. Should I go for Permanent or Contracting roles?If you are in India, 99% of the people would go for permanent job. The1% left out opt is the people who do not get best jobs, opt for contracting. Whereas, it is the other way around in Western Countries. Contractors demand good rates, because of their skills, ability and knowledge. Whereas, permanent people may get less salary, however, it has security. When it comes to Contracting, it has good returns, but at the same time high risk.
10. What are the new technologies that I can go for?SAP is changing very fast. SAP is no longer like 15 years back, where only concentrated on OLTP systems. Now, they are doing amazing things in OLAP systems. Sky is the only limit in this area. HANA, BOBJ, BPC, Mobile Technologies etc. are many hottest skills in the module. But, please note directly jumping into these areas is not that easy, it is good to have ECC / BI / ABAP etc. experience.
11. I am a Support Consultant? How would I get Implementation experience?Particularly if you are in offshore, you hardly see any type of implementation exposure. Even in onshore locations also the implementation projects are dried up. Some of the upgrade / business re-engineering projects are going on. You should always patiently wait to grab the implementation projects. Irrespective of the project type, always concentrate on learning new things on a daily basis.
12. Completed few E2E Projects, still many grey areas?E2E Project would help you to understand the overall life cycle of the Project. However, it does not mean that you are going to master in all activities. SAP Program works at a high level and it may be required you need to be part of number of implementation projects. It is also largely depends on how complex projects that you have worked. Always E2E is an opportunity and try to grab as much as you can.
13. Should I go for position or role?Being a contract consultant, you are always interested in role rather than a position. Whereas permanent employee is always interested in position, rather than a role. The more challenging roles that you do, the more competitive you would become. I personally do not much believe in position, as it is not a permanent thing in life.
14. What is the best way to change the company?It is purely depends on person and your loyalty. Money may not be always important, as long as company works the same hard for your personal development as well. If the company is not working for your growth, then automatically, any individual start looking for other opportunities. Before changing any company need to decide what is motivated to change the company – Money / facilities / training / growth / recognition etc.
15. How to get the overseas SAP Job opportunities?Every country has its own requirements, some countries welcome the best talent in the world, and some countries are having very restrict market. You need to first decide whether to go overseas and working in more challenging work environment. First need to decidewhich country you intend to go and know the immigration rules affect your employment. Then find the sponsors / companies that could help you in achieving your career dreams.
16. Tried hard for SAP Job? Is it time to give up?Many people have asked me that they have tried very hard to get the SAP Job, still not successful. No defeat is final until you give up. You may not be aware that you are about to get a break, but, unfortunately, you might have left the ground. Therefore, once you have committed, never stop trying, whatever be the odds. Keep trying and pushing yourself always.
17. Can I become techno-functional consultant?People always dream to become techno-functional consultants. However, it is very hard to find a good techno functional consultant. Technical people always scare about functional terminologies and functional people always scare about the programming skills. If you strongly believe you can spend time in mastering both the areas, it is always advisable to have the techno-functional skills.
18. No trainings provided by my company, what to do?Unfortunately, you may have work in your life with companies, who never intend to personally develop their resources. But, that does not mean that you should not develop your skills. You should always keep some income out of your salary and keep it aside. Learn the new areas / skills with that money. If you do not learn new things, then you would be last in the queue.
19. How can I move from Consultant to a Project Manager?Usually consultant after certain years of experience tend towards project management. Many people may go into project management, because they may get good salaries. This is the general tendency in India. Whereas in western countries, most people do the same roles, however, they become masters in their own area and command with authority. If you have any plans, then you can think of doing PMP or Prince2 to achieve your dream.
20. How to manage life when I am on the Bench?Life on the bench is always a difficult time. Considering the negative economic scenario in the world, bench is always considered to be a terrifying thing. There is no need to worry much regarding the things which are not in our control. However, during this time, you may make yourself more productive by learning new things, reading SAP Help / making SCN Contributions / visiting Service Market Place. These things would surely help when you get a real project.

Please note the above views are purely my personal opinion, they in noway related to SAP. The above points / answers are written considering the most optimistic view. They cannot be generalised, sometimes, you may need to consider the exact situation. You would be most welcome if you have any better suggestions / additions to this blog.