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SAP Certification: the path to success!

I know there are many disagreements on SAP Certification – is it needed, is it useful?  All things being equal between one candidate and another candidate, would you select the one who is certified?  Will SAP certification help me in my job search?


Frankly, I don’t think that should be an individual’s motivation for SAP certification.  In my former life as a consultant (10+ years ago)  I asked my partner if I could attend the SAP Academy.  He said “why don’t you go ahead and take the exam, and then we’ll see if you need training”.  So I began studying for the FI certification exam.  I read the help, and crammed big-time consolidations, which I have no experience.


Surprise surprise, I passed the exam!  And what do you know, all the notes I took studying for the exam I still look at today if I have an FI question.  Shortly after that, I also took and passed the CO certification.


A few years later, in my next job, my boss sent me to SEM academy, taught by the excellent Peter Jones, SAP.  Wow, boot camp big time!!  This was the only time I’ve ever been to an SAP academy and it was intense – evenings, weekends, then the exam the last day.  It might have been easier just to study and not go to the Academy!!  Fortunately I passed; I e-mailed Peter to thank him and tell him that I passed – and he said “good, only 50% of the class passed anyway”.  Wow!


In 2008, I attended a TechED certification session; SAP rearranged the way they did their certifications.  I was in a BW position, but only attended 1-2 BW classes.  I still managed to be able to model, extract, and report on BW without the classes. SAP was offering a 50% discount on certification exam to TechED attendees.  I thought, “why not”?

So I began studying, and what do you know, as a result of studying for the exam, I was better able to debug Data Transfer Processes; respond to my Security Admin’s questions on BW Authorizations; and better explain the various modeling methods.  I wasn’t on a job search, but without classes, this forced me to learn everything about BW and perform my current job better.

Fortunately, I passed!  So what certification is next on the horizon for me?   I am considering ABAP, the foundation of the SAP system.   Will I take a class?  Likely not  – there’s only funding for our company to send us to one class, and I’ll select something else.  The target of a test is always a great motivator to learn something I didn’t know before.


Often times I hear (particularly from those who do not have a SAP certification) that no one looks at SAP certifications and they don’t matter.  I can tell you my certifications matter a great deal to me and I am very proud to be SAP certified!

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  • i want to think that would have nothing to do with your being a CPA, but then there is this CPE credit industry that doesn’t even come close to the stringency of the SAP certification path.

    i still think accountants make lousy programmers, though, despite their certifications, at least in my household 😉

  • I too feel proud to be SAP Certified after 8+ yrs of experience and find that the process of attaining my certification has proved to be useful, giving me insights of SAP that were sometimes overlooked.

    Also, I find that the new certification process with 3 levels ( 2 currently available: associate and Professional) should be in the agenda of every consultant. It certainly is in mine.

    • Orestis – thank you for your comments.  I too found there were things I overlooked on the job while studying for the certification that helped me. 


  • I am not SAP certified, and never lost an opportunity to work in the best of projects because of that. Due to that, I personally never felt a necessity to get certified. I have taken a handful of SAP classes in last 12 years. And due to this bias, I have never given much thought about it when I recruit either.

    Like you, I have the greatest regard for Peter Jones – I took his SEM-BPS class and honestly I have not seen a better teacher.

    However with the new 3 level certification process, I am seriously interested in how it plays out in the market. Certification will pickup only if several customers demand it – and I have not seen that happen yet in any volume.

    • Hi Vijay – thank you for your comments.  I don’t think the certification helped me “get the job” – many times, it was just a “nice to have”.

      I always did it to help me do my job better; I especially saw that after the BW certification; suddenly I could debug colleagues’ problems and answer their questions.

      I too am interested to see what happens with the 3 level certification. 


  • I think the passion of working is more in uncertified candidates that makes them par more excellent then the people who have been certified. As far as I think after certification the person passion may or may not be changed. On the other hand devlopers other than certified ones devlop there passion to obsession and thats what clicks for them. The motivation if permanent it works adroitically. They have it more than the people who have gone under certification. I Have seen and I think data will also speak about it. Though its always beautiful to have batches on colonel’s dress:)
    Have a best day ahead.
  • I do agree, that the true value of certification is in the process of preparation, rather than in the paper itself (which is still nice to have, even if just for my own archive).
    Another employers did not start knocking in my door just because I became “certified”, but these certificates were certainly helpful in:
    a) getting approval for L1 visa in the US consulate,
    b) being selected for promotion on technical career path in my company.
    Think outside of the box 😉
  • We have had much better experience with SAP Certified professionals in our ERP Integration and Performance Management Division.  They had a broader knowledge of SAP (and Business Objects) than other candidates, and were able to finish projects and solve problems faster.

    We recommend SAP Certification for all BogusTech Application Performance Managers, as well as our ABAP developers and support personnel.

    Reed Emanuel
    Technical Support Manager
    Bogus Technologies, Inc.
    560 S. Winchester Blvd.
    San Jose, CA  05128
    (408) 259-2442

          • Âèòàëèé!

            i apologize if i have misspelled your name.

            not to get too nationalistic here, but i’m happy to see some Slavs making progress in IT, but believe me ‘Bogusz’ sounds much better in Polish than ‘bogus’ in English. reminds me a bit of Chevy Nova or ‘no va’ in the Spanish (Esperanto?) speaking world. it’s a staple of marketing textbooks here in the US.

            btw, which Unicode code point are you referring to? Wordpad is showing U+0153, but that doesn’t resemble anything in Polish. ‘Grzegorz’ is unpronouncable in English, so i’m using ‘greg’ to make everyone’s life easier.

      • Bogus Technologies was founded in 2002 by Dr. Isador Bogus, who had just emigrated from Moldavia.  He was not conversant with the English language at that time, and unaware of the negative connotation of the word ‘bogus’.  You can imagine the difficulties this has caused us in sales and marketing; but Dr. B is very proud of his name and accomplishments.  In 2007 we hired a new VP of Marketing who wanted to change the name of the company — she doesn’t work here any more.