I recently applied for an internal leadership program and the last question asked during the application process was “What is your preferred learning method”? The list of options was long and spanned from webinars, small groups, elearning, instructor led and many more. I was also given the option to click ‘all of the above’.
This made me think. It highlighted that we have choices, choices and choices: MOOCs, OpenSAP, SAP Learning Hub, SAP Certification, University Courses, Classroom Training, Virtual Live Classrooms, elearning, eAcademy, SAP Community Network. Great, but where to start and which option has the biggest impact on my personal learning experience and will give me my personal return on investment?
The answer, of course, is how to combine these various modes of education to reach the level of professional skills, accreditation, and specialisation you are seeking.
Freya Purnell from Inside SAP interviewed me this year on the topic of SAP Learning Maps. You will find extracts from her article below:
Create Your Own SAP Learning Map
Your first priorities for SAP education will depend on your starting point and your professional goals. A starting point can be the SAP Training and Certification. This not only has a full list of all courses across the various solution and industry areas within SAP, but it also provides detailed curriculum maps, outlining the classroom training, e-learning courses and certifications you will need to undertake to achieve competency in a particular area.
Developing initial competency in SAP: For someone who is employed in an organisation, already has some involvement with SAP, and wants to develop their capacity, the first step is to consider what knowledge they have – whether that is in Finance or HR – and what their ultimate aim is. Undertaking free courses, such as SAP’s MOOCs OpenSAP, or those in the Learning Hub Discovery edition – rather than having to ask for training budget – might be a good place to start.
Introductory courses give a flavor or an overview of a solution: Once a taster course is completed, it might be time for a more structured approach – which is where the Curriculum Maps come in. A curriculum or learning map is a logical sequence of courses with a starting point and an end point. In a particular area, the curriculum map will actually have the end result of the SAP certification, and the individual can then work backwards, with prerequisites, foundation, level one, and level two courses.
Upskilling or specialising in new areas: For an SAP professional who might be looking to specialise further or simply upgrade their skills, SAP Education recommends the SAP Learning Hub, built on the SuccessFactors platform. It’s part of a move away from one-shot training to consistent, ongoing learning, and as a subscription service providing access to more than 5,500 courses in the platform.
At any given point of time, wherever I am in my career, I can actually learn at the point of need. I can go into the platform and search for anything – from all the ERP solutions to the new front-end technologies, anything that’s out there is in the Learning Hub. Within the Learning Hub, more than 60 global solution-focused Learning Rooms provide a forum for interaction and guidance on the learning content.
Having certification recognised: Once SAP professionals are certified, making the most of this accreditation is important, particularly for consultants looking for new project opportunities. SAP has recently launched Credential Manager, which will be a freely accessible database for customers and partners to check the certification status of consultants or prospective employees they are looking at hiring.
Planning your education for the year: So how much education should the average SAP professional be undertaking each year? It depends – if you are seeking to achieve a new SAP certification, in the traditional environment you should expect to devote around 20 days to learning, revision, and a certification exam. Even for those who are already certified, if you want to stay up to speed in a certain area and be considered an ‘expert’, a daily or weekly commitment to education will be necessary – whether that is undertaking an elearning course, completing a quiz, or reading some relevant articles.
If you are planning the year ahead, look at what’s your priority, where your passion is, and where you want to move to and work backwards. Leverage what’s free out there – there’s probably more than you think. Put it in your calendar – people have the best of intentions and find a course, but they still don’t work through it. It takes a little bit of discipline to finish something.
Also reach and out and leverage the mentors, and dare to ask questions. You can only really immerse yourself in the subject if you can be proactive and really take ownership of it.
For Freya Purnell’s full article in Inside SAP: click here!