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How Does Someone Who Can’t Afford SAP Training Break Into SAP?

It’s a good question - how do you break into SAP when you’re low on cash? The SAP Academy is many things, but it’s sure as heck not cheap. I hear from a lot of folks who are strapped financially but have good skills. They are disappointed to feel they can’t get into the SAP Academy and therefore into SAP. But there’s good news: you don’t need SAP training to break into SAP.

At best, SAP training and certification is a "nice to have" when you’re trying to get into SAP. But it’s really not the key to breaking into the field. Now that the consulting market is heating up again, a few lucky souls are getting into SAP armed only with certification. But they are still the exceptions. The rule is that you have to get SAP project experience in order to land an SAP consulting gig.

So how do you do that? How do you break the "no experience" cycle? Well, you start by throwing your assumptions about training out the window. You ready for the unglamorous truth? The real key is good old fashioned legwork. You have to study the SAP product line. Fun, right? Then, once you understand how SAP is evolving, you (yawn) inventory your own skills and then try to map them into SAP. Yep, it’s fun stuff breaking into SAP. I can see why people look to SAP training as the "fix-all." The alternative is pretty hard work.

But seriously, what you get from such homework is you figure out what parts of your background are of value to companies implementing SAP, and which aspects of SAP you should be targeting. Once you have that figured out, it’s time for more glamorous research. Then you have to look into the companies in your field that are running on SAP. You want a short list of the companies that are closest to your industry and will find your overall background appealing.

Your goal is to find companies where you will look good from day one. So, instead of thinking of yourself approaching a company with your hat in hand asking them to do you a favor and get you into SAP, you are approaching them with all the great things you can do for them based on your track record. Once you get hired, probably as a permanent employee, then you dig in and prove yourself. Over time, you work your way closer and closer to the SAP project.

Is it fun? Is it sexy? Well, maybe it is - probably depends on the company and the situation. But it’s not a super-fast way of getting into the field. But the good news is that this is a proven way to get yourself onto an SAP project. I’ve seen many folks pull it off - folks that couldn’t afford a dime towards an SAP training course.

Yes, it’s not a fast way of getting into SAP, but it’s worked time and time again, and it can work for you. And if you have to start as a salaried employee, remember that as you pick up SAP skills, you’ll be able to take a look at consulting roles. The way to think about these markets is that you get paid in skills first, and once you have the skills, then you can get paid in cash.

I hope this lended some good insight into the art of breaking into SAP, and it is an art. I wrote a longer article on this topic at ERPgenie. If you haven’t gotten your fill on this topic yet, then check the longer piece out.

Thanks for the question, and good luck!

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