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Why You Want an SAP Career
When I was in college I cared about two things: Enjoying myself and landing a job when I graduated. I was in class one day and my JAVA professor took the time to talk about SAP. I'm glad he did.
When I was still in school I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I had a passion for working with computers, but I didn’t want to be an IT geek fixing broken laptops, resetting locked user accounts, or writing code. I REALLY hated coding. The fact that the smallest little abnormality in your code like an extra comma or duplicate character would cause the entire program to crash and burn drove me nuts. I don’t have the patience for that and hated how unforgiving coding was. Half way through my college career, I switched my major from Computer Science to Business Information Systems. I did this because it gave me the IT exposure I needed as well as the practical business skills desired by companies. It’s almost a two for one major. Sure I may not be as strong of a programmer as a computer science major or as good with finance and accounting as my business friends, but I had a strong understanding of the two and felt that the BIS major worked well in my situation. Indeed it was. I was twice as marketable because of my “dual skillset”.
I spent most of my Senior year Spring Semester attending career fairs. I had no clue what industry I was passionate about nor did I really care, I just wanted job security post-graduation. Definitely go to every available career fair and network with companies. I landed my first job because they had my resume lying around and I fit the bill perfectly. I applied for a ton of business analyst and systems analyst positions, and I’m glad I hadn't ended up another dime a dozen analyst. The company which was recruiting for SAP jobs ended up hiring 15 individuals all with different backgrounds. We were provided the opportunity to learn SAP on the company dime, and get paid. No complaints here, more on that later.
One of my fondest memories from college was when my JAVA professor spent a class talking about SAP and how lucrative of a career it was. I had never heard of SAP before that class and I’m sure most of the world is still in the same boat today. He told us that SAP employees make more than any other IT profession and that 90% of the Fortune 500 companies used SAP in their businesses. Needless to say I was intrigued. I invested a large sum of time and money into my degree so seeking out ways to get the best ROI has always been important to me.
What is SAP you ask?
SAP is an Enterprise Resource Planning software that a company purchases to handle practically every aspect of their business. An example would be when a customer makes a purchase from a business, the transaction would be sent in real time to a particular warehouse to ensure adequate stock was available, if not, automatically re-order to keep the business running optimally. This allows companies to better marry supply and demand, keeping inventory costs low.
Another good example would be if a customer moved and needs to change their address, SAP system would only have one "customer record" that is shared with every other line of business, therefore customer support would only require one spot for a modification versus companies that have separate systems for everything.
In a nutshell, it's about consolidating a bunch of different systems that at one time would function separately, into one powerhouse that does everything without error and with incredible speed.
Now on to why having a career in SAP is so awesome. When you think of SAP, I want you to think of a company within a company. Let’s say you work for Apple Computers. Their SAP center has many subareas depending upon what industry package they purchased from SAP. You would need an SAP Security team to ensure that the SAP system is secure and employees are limited by what they can view within the organization and there are no breaches. The BASIS Administrators essentially keep the lights on all SAP systems. For example, If the SAP Business Warehouse system goes down, it’s all hands on deck to get it back online because this means no business users are able to run reports on company data. This can be very costly. The Business Warehouse team is responsible for ensuring data from all different types of sources loads successfully into the SAP BW database and is reportable. Speed and performance optimization is number one with this team as they work most closely with the Business side of the house. Business users have a hard time understanding why something is unavailable and expect miracles when things go south. The ABAP team is responsible for coding in SAP’s proprietary Advanced Business Application Programming language. If any custom programs, functions, scripts, anything involving coding and getting something done that SAP does not deliver plain vanilla in their software, the ABAP team is responsible for creating. The various function areas have separate process areas in which they are most experienced and comfortable working with as the SAP system is ridiculously vast and for one user to cover everything would be impossible. That’s probably why SAP careers pay so well. Specialization is valued in this field and the more expertise you acquire in a particular area the more valuable you become to companies.
Lastly, working with SAP is fun! Seriously, it never gets old. Things are constantly breaking without warning, deep troubleshooting is required, and you will work closely with other SAP teams within and outside your company to diagnose and share the results of your findings in order to strengthen the SAP knowledgebase as a whole. SAP often releases system fixes called “SAP Notes” which are fixes that they implemented based on another clients bugs, which you will eventually encounter unless you update the code fix within the SAP note. So if you’re looking for a career change or for a place to start, think about a rewarding career working with SAP.
Learn more about SAP by clicking here