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SAP Career Outlook 2010 - Special Feature

A Two-Part White Paper for the Career Center on SCN
By Jon Reed of JonERP.com

Jon Reed notes: In the spring of 2010, I was involved in a major collaboration with the Career Center on SAP Community Network. I'm now happy to announce the official release of my two-part white paper series on SAP career and skills trends in 2010, written exclusively for SAP. I'll look forward to your feedback, which can be incorporated into follow up blogs, podcasts, and videos. Both articles are also available to download as a PDF. Also check out: Jon's new piece on "Avoiding SAP Skills Commoditization." 

SAP Career Outlook
SAP Career Outlook 2010: The Intersection of Talent and Community Print E-mail

JonERP_TechEd.jpgA Two-Part White Paper for the Career Center on SCN
By Jon Reed of JonERP.com

Jon Reed notes: In the spring of 2010, I was involved in a major collaboration with the Career Center on SAP Community Network. I'm now happy to announce the official release of my two-part white paper series on SAP career and skills trends in 2010, written exclusively for SAP. The series represents my most significant piece of writing on SAP skills trends since my original SAP Consultant Handbook, and it is intentionally structured to be relevant to a range of experience levels. I'll look forward to your feedback, which can be incorporated into follow up blogs, podcasts, and videos.

Both articles are also available to download as a PDF.

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Why SAP Skills Matter—In Any Economy Print E-mail
JonERP_TechEd.jpgAs we enter 2010, SAP careers are at a crossroads. Gone are the breathless proclamations of massive SAP skills shortages. SaaS vendors have stormed onto the scene, taking buzz away from SAP careers by implying that a future in SAP may not be as rock solid as we once thought. SAP customers continue to push the staffing envelope with global sourcing of SAP skills.
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Staying Marketable In Any Economy: It Starts with Skills Mastery Print E-mail
When it comes to SAP career success, one thing has not changed: for the hands-on SAP professional, mastery of a particular area of SAP remains the key to marketability. It may sound strange to begin a discussion of SAP careers with the notion of mastery, since skills mastery is really an end goal. Success in SAP means creating a personal skills strategy. That means envisioning the desired result - skills mastery of a particular area of SAP - and working backwards from there to define a step-by-step plan for skills acquisition.
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SAP Skills Convergence: The Morphing of “Geeks” and “Suits” Print E-mail
For a long time, I've advocated that SAP professionals needed to have some level of techno-functional know-how to become a top shelf SAP professional, a.k.a. a real "rock star." Historically, I always felt that the best mix was 80 percent technical and 20 percent functional, or vice versa.
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Pulling it Together: Combine SAP Skills Generalization and Specialization Print E-mail
There is a healthy debate about whether the most marketable SAP skill set is a generalist or a specialist. I fall heavily on the specialist side. The most successful independent SAP consultants I've ever worked with all have focused areas of specialization. But to be fair, when it comes to being a full time employee, there are times when having a broader SAP skills focus can be just as effective.
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Core + Edge, Wrapped in General Skills: SAP Career Formula for 2010 Print E-mail
Looking ahead to 2010, those "general skills" might well include BW/BI, which is starting to become an area that all SAP professionals need to connect their skills to. I've had some readers ask me if consulting skills are relevant if they are a full time employee.
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It's Not About Broadcasting, It's About Community Print E-mail
SAP career success has always involved a combination of the right skills and the right relationships. In part one of this white paper (published separately), I reviewed the keys to SAP skills acquisition in 2010 in beyond. In the second and concluding part of this white paper series, we turn our attention to an equally important issue: achieving market visibility for those hard-earned skills.
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Avoiding the Herd Mentality—One Social Network Does Not Fit All Print E-mail

Choosing the right social networks depends on many factors, including the amount of time you have, the mediums you are most comfortable operating in, and very importantly, the attitude of your employer toward social tools.

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Does Social Networking Really Have a Career Impact? Print E-mail
Unfortunately, we don't have many hard numbers yet, so it's hard to say definitive things like "participating on SCN gets you more job offers." I believe the numbers proving this will come, especially as the connection between the Career Center and the rest of SCN deepens. But as for me, I don't need to see the numbers. I've had too many opportunities come my way and heard too many other success stories to think otherwise.
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Career Outlook 2010: “Hot Skills” Roundup Print E-mail
Now that I have covered SAP skills strategy (see part one of this paper, published separately) and social networking, it's time for the sizzle: the hot skills roundup for 2010.
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Conclusion: Overcoming Market Challenges Print E-mail
SAP careers are undergoing the same kinds of growing pains and market challenges as SAP itself. Given the trend towards global skills sourcing and the general availability of basic SAP skills in most regions, SAP professionals of all stripes and experience levels are wise to take an aggressive approach toward SAP skills acquisition and specialization. The way to stand out from the crowd is to offer a visible SAP specialization that is recognized in the community. That specialization should be based on a bedrock of core skills that also incorporate some "edge technologies."
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