Becoming a successful SAP consultant is a very desirable goal for anyone thinking about a career in the software industry. In this article, I will describe my own path towards SAP consultant and give some useful tips and hints for your own career.
Why You Want to Become an SAP Consultant
Why do people want to become consultants for SAP software? In the last few years, it seems that SAP has gained massively in popularity, especially since the release of HANA and the strategic dogma to make SAP a cloud-first enterprise. This has caused software developers, students and experienced businesspeople to re-think their career plans and consider the path of SAP consultant. There are several good reasons to do so, including the following:
- Good money. SAP consultants are very well-paid. Six-figure yearly pays are common, and freelances average at rates of $130/hr – pretty solid.
- Interesting Work. SAP ERP and other SAP software is used mainly in large, global enterprises. For many people, such companies are very desirable workplaces since they offer good pay (again!), diverse teams and challenging projects.
- Future-Safety. SAP is one of the biggest software companies in the world and has tens of thousands of customers. It is very likely that SAP knowhow will be in demand for years to come. With IT taking over more and more areas of our lives, SAP ERP consultants are looking forward to a rich source of projects and therefore, job safety.
- Good career prospects. Many SAP consultants proceed to careers in management or other senior-level positions. Since work in the SAP ecosystem gives insights into a plethora of business areas, SAP consultants are often industry experts and therefore well-suited for further career options.
When you strive to become an SAP consultant, there are a few basic decisions you should be clear about. Here are the most important ones.
Which SAP system do you want to become a consultant for?
Apart from its well-known ERP system, SAP makes a plethora of other software tools, such as HANA, the HANA cloud, Lumira, Business Objects, SuccessFactors, SAPUI5 any many more. Have a look at the various software tools SAP makes and decide which one interests you most.
Which role do you want to work in?
SAP consultants cover a wide area of expertise. There are the business or system analysts, which mostly care about requirements engineering and business process design. There are system designers, which translate these requirements into processes in one or multiple SAP software systems (such as SAP ERP). There are developers, whose job it is to customize the SAP system and develop software so that the desired functionality becomes available. And finally there are project managers, which take care of all the loose ends in between and keep an eye on budgets and timelines. Decide which role suits you best!
In what kind of company do you want to work?
There are four basic types of players in the SAP industry. Firstly, there are the users, which are the companies that use SAP software to run their business. They often employ a bunch of in-house SAP consultants to take care of their own system. Next are the SAP integrators – software or consulting companies that help the users develop new features in existing SAP systems or run migration or ramp-up projects to integrate SAP into an existing process landscape. Thirdly, there are SAP partners which develop software or plugins for the SAP system. These can be sold via the marketplace or directly to users of SAP systems. And finally, SAP consultants can of course work for SAP itself. The German software giant employs tens of thousands of people – they are almost certain to have a job offer that is interesting for you!
Read on the next page about the typical ways that people take to become SAP consultants.