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Over the past several months, there have been a number of excellent blogs written about SAP’s certification program (reference the blogs written in the SCN SAP Education blog category: http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/weblogs?blog=/weblogs/topic/131).    As a result of these writings, we have witnessed firsthand the passion that SAPers have for the SAP ecosystem.    And afterall, isn’t that exactly what our customers deserve?

 

My goal with this blog is simple:  let’s talk about the value of certification and if YOU choose to pursue certification, introduce you to SAP Education’s North America certification promotion at Pearson VUE.

 

LAYING THE FOUNDATION

 

Starting with the value of certification, I found an interesting non-SAP website that talks to this point: http://seacrestcompany.blogspot.com/2007/08/value-of-accreditation.html.  Here are a couple of highlights that I find interesting from the website:

 

For certificants, certification…

 

  • Provides personal accomplishment
  • Supports continued professional development
  • Demonstrates a high level of commitment to the field of practice
  • Meets employer requirements

 

For employers, certification…

 

  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Increased competence level of employees
  • Used in making employment decisions
  • Provides professional development opportunities for employees
  • Ongoing enhancement of of knowledge and skills
  • Increased confidence in employees’ abilities
  • Demonstrates employers’ commitment to competence

 

For the public, certification…

 

  • Helps identify qualified service providers
  • Increases confidence in service providers

 

So, does certification itself provide value?  For the reasons mentioned above, I believe it does but wrap SAP certification with a person’s practical SAP experience and you have an unbeatable combination.   The process of becoming certified also offers another benefit – sharpen your critical thinking skills and cultivate your critical thinking spirit.   While certification exams test your knowledge about SAP topics, the process of becoming certified (via whatever training preparation method you choose to employ) enhances your critical thinking abilities.  I found quite a few definitions of critical thinking/critical thinkers on the internet but the one that hits home to me is this one – critical thinkers distinguish between fact and opinion; ask questions; make detailed observations; uncover assumptions and define their terms; and make assertions based on sound logic and solid evidence.  This same logic can be applied to our certification discussion – the value of SAP certification lies in the journey one takes and the abilities/techniques learned (both SAP and non-SAP) along the way.

 

NORTH AMERICA CERTIFICATION PROMOTION

 

To assist you toward your 2010 certification goals, SAP Education North America has created a promotion code to be used to take discounted SAP certification exams at our exam delivery partner, Pearson VUE.   Here are the details:

 

PROMOTION CODE:  10CERTLI
VALIDITY PERIOD:  June 1 – December 31, 2010
TO BE USED AT:  Pearson VUE only ( http://www.linkedin.com/redirect?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Epearsonvue%2Ecom%2Fsap%2F&urlhash=PfI6 )
DETAILS:  50% off ALL certification exams taken at North American Pearson VUE locations
IMPORTANT:  The promotion code can be used multiple times if needed.
LIST OF EXAMS AT PEARSON VUE:  http://www.linkedin.com/redirect?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Epearsonvue%2Ecom%2Fsap%2Fexamlist%2F&urlhash=J1Ei

 

SAP CERTIFICATION PROGRAM WEB RESOURCES IN NORTH AMERICA:

 

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9 Comments

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  1. Tammy Powlas
    Hi Ken,

    I just returned from a week-long SAP class at Newtown Square.  This was my first class in SAP Solution Manager.  My first day I made a note to ask the instructor about possible SolMan certification paths – however, I never got a chance to ask during the week.

    Shouldn’t this be discussed at SAP classes as possible curriculum paths?  At the end of courses, we’re always asked if the instructor reviewed the curriculum path; I have yet to see an SAP instructor who does that.  There were screen savers on the training machines discussing the benefits of certification, but why not mention/discuss them at the beginning of class?

    Thanks again for the discount promotion; that always helps.
    Tammy

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    1. Kenneth Schieffer Post author
      Hi Josh
      North America uses Pearson VUE to a much greater extent than other regions.  At this point, I do not see the same type of promotion in other regions.

      Regards,
      Ken

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  2. Vijay Vijayasankar
    “let’s talk about the value of certification and if YOU choose to pursue certification” – brilliant – I am very glad to see that you expect the customer to choose certification or not, as opposed to saying this is the only way to glory 🙂

    Way to go !

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  3. Chen David
    As a former SAP employee, I have taken a good number of SAP certification exams. To me, the biggest value of SAP certification exam is that it provides an incentive to force me to study hard on a particular subject. I was also heavily involved in the Microsoft Certification Program more than 10 years ago. Back then they really did a good job in marketing the certification (particularly MCSE) and offered a lot of good incentives.(like free 1 year subscription to Technet/MSDN) At least for several years, MCSE was very well known and recognized especially when coupled with years of experience.
    I feel there are a few issues about the SAP certification program. First, the full certification titles are too long. You could put just “SAP Certified Professional” or “Certified Associate” but then people could not differentiate between an basis expert from a functional or abap expert. 
    Also there are not many benefits or networking opportunities attached to the program….Microsoft has cut many MCP benefits but they at least keep a web site where you can download the logo, print transcripts and see recent offers… It would be nice if SAP can provide some special privileges such as invitation to test new products, discount on SAP press books, a special web site with new non-public technology updates…or marketing campaigns that may help certified professionals more marketable.

    Just my 0.02..

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    1. Kenneth Schieffer Post author
      Thanks very much for taking the time to comment. I will be sure they come up for discussion in the very near future.

      To one of your points, we will hopefully launch a website during the second half of 2010 that will provide for downloads of logos for personal use. 

      Please let me know personally if you have any other suggestions (kenneth.schieffer@sap.com).

      Thanks,
      Ken

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  4. Mark Yolton
    Thank you for this perspective. I found the links especially helpful – nice to see them all listed for ease of use and quick access. 

    Discounts: In addition to the discount you mention, I know that SAP TechEd attendees typically get a discount on training and certification after they’ve attended. I’ve heard from TechEd attendees in Bangalore that they often use TechEd as the place/occasion to polish-up their skills prior to taking the certification exam.  I suspect that details on this year’s discounts (if any) will be posted on the SAP TechEd website at http://sapteched.com

    Thanks,
    Mark Yolton

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    1. Kenneth Schieffer Post author
      Mark – On the NA TechEd registration page, there is a link to a 50% certification promotion code specifically for TechEd 2010.  If you access the following page: http://www.sapteched.com/usa/reghotel/home.htm, look down in the section entitled “Full Conference registration includes all of the following” to see the link to “Opportunity to Receive 50% Discount Towards SAP Certification”.  The promotion began on June 1 and extends until December 31 so folks at the Las Vegas TechEd do not need to wait until the end to use the code.
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  5. Mohammad Ali Hassan Lodhi
    Hi Kenneth,

    I believe SAP needs to work on developing one business process language and it should be applied to everything starting from Solution Composer, Business Process Repository, Best Practices, SAP Products (e.g. ERP) and last but not the least SAP education & certification material (i.e Manuals). Currently, meaning of a Business Scenario Group, Business Scenario and business process is different in above mentioned areas.
    I also believe SAP education/certification material also needs an overhaul i.e. it should be business process oriented, instead on Module/Application oriented. It should have enhanced configuration details. More technical and implementation courses should be included especially at Professional and Master level course catalogs.

    Is there internal work going on improving the Education material? Should we expect SAP to release improved study material in near furure? Probably how long SAP will take to make it public?

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