SAP Certification – The New Normal

Posted on March 2017 By Speller International
Sap Certification

A little while back we wrote of the value of SAP Certification. In the article, we asserted that despite not being a ‘golden ticket’, an SAP Certification was undoubtedly a very valuable piece of paper, providing candidates with an externally verified, industry-standard mark of excellence to their name.

In short, having a certification conferred a nice advantage, but was in no way a killer-app.

Lately however we’ve observed some notable trends occurring in regards to accreditation. It seems that rather than simply being a neat box to tick on your CV, SAP Certification is becoming increasingly important in the industry.

That’s especially true of SAP itself. One of the most common things we’re seeing is that consultants who either work for or wish to work for SAP Australia are now expected to carry a valid certification, or indicate their commitment to secure such certification if they hope to be considered for a role.

SAP SuccessFactors is another space where a preferential trend for certified candidates can be observed. Indeed, many clients and implementation partners are now requiring candidates to hold at least one certification across any of the associated SAP SuccessFactors modules, in order for them to be in the running as a prospective hire.

That piece of paper is beginning to look like it carries a little more weight today.

Crunching the numbers

This new emphasis on certification is not surprising when you look at some key survey findings from the last couple of years. In 2013, CIO Custom Solutions Group found that 64% of companies found completing enterprise software deployments on time to be very, if not extremely challenging, with 54% of projects running over schedule.

These results chimed with a 2012 report from Panorama Consulting Solutions, which revealed that a staggering 56% of projects implemented by survey respondents ran over budget. With such findings, there’s really little wonder that 80% of organisations are claiming an IT skills gap is negatively impacting their productivity.

What a certification communicates from the outset to a hiring manager is that you, as a candidate, come to the table knowing your business. When that certification is for a new product, like Ariba Cloud 4 Customer for instance, so much the better – that organisation can be confident that you’re equipped with the requisite knowledge for a new implementation and its associated methodology, saving them time and money.

The be all and end all?

What we said in our previous article bears repeating: having a certification in SAP does not guarantee you a job. However, it does give hiring managers added insight into your skills, and demonstrates your commitment to a career in the field. It now appears that it most certainly can make the difference between getting the job, or going back on the pile. In many cases, it is even becoming a requirement if you wish to progress further in your career and be promoted.

These facts haven’t been lost on SAP candidates. Since 2011, there has been a 33% year-on-year increase in the number of SAP-certified professionals. Indeed, in the five years since 2012, the ranks have swelled from 37,400 to approximately 350,000 certified individuals globally. That’s an order of magnitude growth, in a field that is only getting more competitive.

So have we seen the end of certification being pursued by individual consultants simply to consolidate and solidify their knowledge? Will the trend whereby candidates must have a valid certification in the SAP area they work across become the norm? What have your experiences been? Let us know – we’re keen to hear your thoughts in the value of SAP Certification.