Tips for Sealing the Deal – A Post Graduate’s Insight to beginning a SAP career

Posted on February 2015 By Yousuf Ata
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​I would like to start with an Oprah Winfrey Quote: “Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity”, and to help the students of BCO6181 meet these opportunities, our Lecturer Tony de Thomasis at Victoria University, invited one of the most influential speakers, recruiter and consultant in the SAP industry Judy Cole to give an address. While Judy shared her wealth of knowledge during the lecture about 5 months ago, I saved this blog for the end of 2014 academic year, to share with both those who have finished their post graduate and graduate studies, and for those on the verge of finishing it. Judy’s presentation is the perfect insight to fulfill a 2015 New Year resolution to kick-start a career within the SAP related industry.

Judy is well known at Victoria University, being a regular guest speaker at various conferences, and forums, sharing her knowledge and experience helping students like myself. She commenced her address with an overview of her professional life journey, and her time at Speller International, but I would like to focus my review on Judy’s insights of new market trends and how SAP jobs are reshaping into a new form of role, and particularly interesting to me and my fellow graduates was the insight she shared about the rise of salaries for both permanent and contractual roles over time. Below are the insights revealed during the presentation, which we believe would assist all SAP users with career moves within the SAP industry. As Sir Henry Ford suggested “Before anything else, getting ready is the secret to success”; so get yourself ready for the change in SAP trends before it’s too late.

Below is demand for skills in the SAP market Changing trends in the SAP market

And below is a comparison of how demand for skills has changed over the past few years: This was especially interesting for us graduates as it help guide the decisions we were making in regards to which skill we wanted to focus on.

It was good news for those wanting to become BI and HANA consultants, not so great for those choosing to focus on Security or ABAP. It is important to note though how demand changes in the SAP industry over time and that as graduates, we need to understand that our SAP career will most likely change over time, adding and adapting our skillset to be fluid for an ever-changing market.

The below predictive analysis via SAP lumira highlights three key areas in SAP with the corresponding permanent salary surveys on annual bases, and the number of years consultant spent in their respective field.

It reveals that FICO consultants with high experience in SAP industry are earning premium salaries. Furthermore, SAP Trainers are very high in demand according to the survey and are getting paid significant amount. Hana, as the new phenomenon demonstrates that consultants with little experience have the opportunity to earn a good salary, enjoying the same remuneration as an experience FICO consultant. However, according to Judy’s experience as a top recruiter, this doesn’t necessarily make SAP students an automatic choice of candidate to fill these opportunities. Judy revealed the importance of networking and how even minor changes in your approach to networking can assist in a positive outcome for securing an interview. Below are some of the Golden Rules shared by Judy.

Judy’s presentation allowed me to feel more confident that once completing my degree, I could make some vital contribution in to SAP market. I learnt how to use networking in a productive way, and to keep up to date with industry news and market trends by joining groups and signing up to newsletters. Judy’s information on the SAP industry helped me divert my focus to FICO and HANA as I have an intermediate knowledge of accounting and finance, which I wasn’t utilizing before. I had been planning to pursue my career on the more technical side of SAP such as BASIS and ABAP. While I changed my focus to HANA, the presentation was also beneficial to some of my classmates, who were initially intending to focus on the least demanded skills, due to a lack of updated knowledge on the SAP market. Judy’s timely presentation (and I suppose this is why Victoria Uni schedule it when they do!) helped changed their career focus, and in turn assisted them in being granted interviews, and for two of my classmates, are now enjoying a part time contractual role in their chosen skill.

Another significant piece of information I have applied is brushing up my social and interviewing skills. Not only were the insights on the rapidly changing SAP industry beneficial to my classmates, and myself but so too were the interview skills to help us stand out from the crowd. Without having a lot of interview experience, or industry experience, it was beneficial to hear about how to give good examples during an interview that would demonstrate my knowledge, technical skillset and my interpersonal skills.

Judy concluded her presentation with some of her own life experiences, explaining the value of the support and advice received from others and how this helped her achieve her goals. Those tips and support as she is now sharing with young graduates such as myself. As a graduate student I understand the world will not bend for us to succeed, we must instead learn the rules as quickly as possible, then get out there and play our best game. Therefore, the more students are adaptable to the changing market environment, the more they increase their chances to land their dream job.

I hope this blog will provide some valuable insight to SAP graduates heading out to fulfill their career dreams for 2015. May you “Seal the Deal”!

Special thanks to Victoria Uni, Judy Cole and Speller International

Yousuf Ata

View Yousuf Ata on Linkedin

A recent SAP graduate at Victoria University, Yousuf Ata contacted Speller International last month to share the blog he wrote for his fellow graduates late last year. He focuses on Judy Cole’s presentation given last year at the Uni and we wanted share it for both upcoming and newly graduated SAP consultants. We hope you find the insights valuable to your new SAP career.