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The SAP Dual Study Program - a sponsored training initiative provided by the Digital Skills Center at SAP, 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. The extracurricular collaboration helps students not only to gain practical work trainings whilst studying but also to find a job in the SAP Ecosystem after completing the program. I had a conversation with students who participated in the program about their experience upskilling themselves during university.

Considering that the pandemic accelerated the digital transformation worldwide, there is a major need for companies finding qualified candidates enabled on digital skills. Therefore, it is important to focus on upskilling and reskilling the workforce of tomorrow - which with the rising digital skills gap is becoming a priority now in order for companies to find qualified talent.

Amna Ahmed, an SAP Dual Study Program graduate from the Zayed University, says the program gave her the opportunity to challenge herself and exploring other areas of IT she was not aware of: “It allowed me to learn a lot about SAP Analytics Cloud, Data Management and different tools. In addition, it allowed me to explore and learn about different topics. Hence, I was able to expand my knowledge and skills in so many ways. The program will benefit me a lot in my future career and life in general.” By upskilling university graduates, SAP Consultants are created to support closing the digital skills gap whilst providing a steady stream of Consultants for the SAP ecosystem.

Why upskilling is vital during university years

As a result of the digital transformation, job roles are changing much faster than ever before hence it is crucial for students to invest in their skillset to be ready for the competitive job market when graduating from university. Furthermore, upskilling through e.g. programs can help students not only to grow professionally but to acquire important personal skills.

A best practice example of how upskilling during university can benefit students is Nada Essouri. She is a graduate of the Université Internationale de Tunis and now working as an SAP Business Process Integration/Treasury Risk Management Consultant. “I started my SAP journey with SAP Cloud S/4HANA along with Financial, Accounting, Asset Management and many other SAP related modules. All that was the basis for building a strong background on digital skills which led me to successfully pass my SAP Business Process Integration exam in 2021. But that was not the end – I was eager to learn more and chose SAP Analytics Cloud as part of the SAP Dual Study Program and was one of the lucky ones to be selected from our university to participate.” As a result, she landed a six-month internship at an SAP Gold Partner called Siryos.

What’s in it for students participating in the SAP Dual Study Program

  • Self-paced blended e-learning to accommodate the student’s schedule

  • Sponsored Certification on SAP’s latest Innovations

  • Competitive advantage for graduates when graduating and applying for a job

  • The well-shaped university graduates can be hired by the SAP Ecosystem

  • Insights into practical IT skills whilst studying

“The benefits are for students insofar as they may find their dream jobs within the SAP ecosystem, thus providing a platform for linking the right talents with industry. The goal is that students understand how organizations operate with SAP and how operational processes are digitalized.” says Heiderose Moossen, Manager Vocational Training from the German University of Technology in Oman, an SAP Dual Study Program partner university. “SAP Consultants are trusted advisors for many companies worldwide, and we want to be part of this success where we prepare our graduates to be recognized SAP certified solution professionals in different fields, for example Finance, Business Integrated Process, Sales, Procurement and more.” Moossen states. (Please also have a look at the benefits of obtaining SAP Certifications during academic years from a faculty perspective here).

Ultimately, the SAP Dual Study Program has since its launch in 2014 helped to bridge the gap between university and workplace for over 2540 students across 36 selected universities around the globe. The SAP Dual Study Program is just one example of how university students can upskill themselves during their studies. Essentially, I highly encourage every student to invest their time in activities such as online courses, internships or even volunteering as the skills acquired will make you stand out in the competitive job market.

What’s your perspective?

  • Please share your feedback and thoughts on your take of the importance of industry certifications for students during university.

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