SAP Certification – The Golden Ticket or Just a Piece of Paper?

Posted on June 2014 By Speller International
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​The value of an SAP certification has been debated since the dawn of…well…SAP. Will certification fast track your ascent up the SAP ladder? Will it land you your dream job? Is it your ticket out of unemployment? These are questions we must ponder in context; the answers are not black and white. So let’s explore this age-old conundrum…

Dealing with many thousands of SAP professionals over 14 years in the industry has given us unique insight to this topic. In short, there isn’t a clear trend across the industry; we see people succeed with and without certification almost equally.

So let’s drill down on the specific questions…


1.  Will SAP Certification guarantee me a job?

Well, the answer to this is kind of obvious but there are nuances to understand. There are never guarantees with certification, in any industry really. You will need the full complement of what hiring managers are looking for; experience, attitude, aptitude, etc.

Of course, in the vast majority of cases certification will be viewed favourably on your resume. However, it is rarely more relevant to hiring managers than real on the job experience.

Still, with certification you will have an edge:

  • It gives hiring managers added insight to your skills

  • It may be a requirement in some organisations before you can progress and be promoted

  • It demonstrates your commitment to a career in the field


2.  Will I get good return of investment from my SAP Certification?

  • Forthcoming changes at SAP will mean the value you get will very much depend on the type of certification

  • Bear in mind that 

     states that a certification is only valid for the two most recent solution release levels

This is a difficult question to answer and we encourage you to do your homework thoroughly before investing time and money into training. However, whilst you want to make your decision very wisely, it’s worth remembering that there’s always value in professional development.


3.  How does certification help me get a job in SAP?

First, we’d like to establish again that certification isn’t always needed. However, to provide perspective, a 2008 SAP Client Survey concluded that 82% of hiring managers use certification as criteria. And this make sense, for it can give hiring managers added confidence of your standards and competence. Some hiring managers will see it as possibly mitigating some risk. Certainly, all things being equal, a certification – it being an externally verified and industrystandard mark of excellence – will set you apart from those not certified. And as a global standard it would certainly facilitate a move internationally.


4. Will I earn the big bucks with certification?

Those who are highly qualified do tend to earn more in our experience. But the old adage applies here: “correlation does not equal causation”. In other words, those who are highly qualified are also likely to be diligent and hard working individuals and their earning capacity could boil down to a range of factors, not just certification.

Interestingly, a Burlington Consultants survey showed that companies with workforces that constitute a minimum of 25% certified staff, achieved: 

  • 15% increase in projects being deployed on time and on budget

  • 8% decrease in downtime

  • 17% decrease in spending on ad-hoc external IT support

  • 28 % increase in overall productivity


5. So, is SAP Certification going to define my career?

Absolutely not, you will! The modern workforce values a range of skills and attributes as we’ve mentioned.

However, to answer the question we first posed…maybe certification is actually closer to a “piece of paper” than a “golden ticket”. But don’t be fooled, because some pieces of paper can be very, very valuable.

Please feel free to add to the discussion or ask us your questions in the comments section below…