The most important SAP skills for 2023 – and how to gain them
The year 2023 has been declared the Year of Skills by the European Commission. Currently more than three quarters of companies in the EU report difficulties in finding workers with the necessary skills, and latest figures from Eurostat suggest that only 37% of adults undertake training on a regular basis. The Digital Economy and Society Index shows that 4 out of 10 adults and every third person who works in Europe lack basic digital skills. In addition, already in 2021, 28 occupations ranging from construction and healthcare to engineering and IT had shortages, showing a growing demand for both high and low-skilled workers. There is also low representation of women in tech-related professions and studies, with only 1 in 6 IT specialists and 1 in 3 STEM graduates being women.
In the area of SAP software and solutions, too, many companies are having increasing difficulties finding employees with the necessary skills. Especially since, according to a study by Qiu et al. (2020) success in SAP software and solutions not only depends on knowledge, but above all on experience and a deeper understanding of relationships and processes. Nevertheless, many skill taxonomies do not adequately cover SAP skills. In the European ESCO database (European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations) there are only 4 SAP skills. In contrast, there are already 27 SAP skills in the Lightcast skills database and in the US database O*NET OnLine at least 34.
To find out which SAP skills will be particularly in demand in 2023, I analyzed the relevant skill databases (ESCO, O*NET) as well as job postings, social networks, Google trends and blog posts, tutorials, and pages in the SAP Community. For my study, I distinguished between five categories of SAP skills:
- Programming Skills (related jobs: 17k; community posts: 60k)
- Platform & Technology Skills (related jobs: 25k; community posts: 110k)
- Business Application Skills (related jobs: 121k; community posts: 232k)
- Big Data & Analytics Skills (related jobs: 21k; community posts: 46k)
- Methodology skills (related jobs: 15k; community posts: 70k)
Most open job positions and community posts are related to Business Application skills, followed by Platform & Technology skills, Big Data & Analytics skills, Programming skills, and Methodology skills. For each category I identified the most important SAP skill areas based on job offerings, Google Trends and SAP Community posts. The products and areas with the highest demand for SAP skills are shown in table 1. It is important to note, that each area, such as ABAP or SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP), include again various more specific skills.
Table 1: Categories, products, and areas with high demand for SAP skills
In line with the European Year of Skills, SAP not only offers instructor led training, but also free open online courses and learning journeys to buildup relevant SAP skills. Below are some examples for skills with high demand.
ABAP is still by far the most important SAP programming skill – followed by SAP Fiori and SAPUI5. Basic ABAP skills include using basic ABAP statements, analyzing programs with the ABAP debugger, or calling function modules.
- Beginner ABAP courses: “Introduction to Programming with ABAP” (BC100), “ABAP Workbench Foundations” (BC400), “ABAP Objects” (BC401).
- Free self-paced learning journey: Get Started with ABAP Programming
- SAP Certification: SAP Certified Development Associate – ABAP with SAP NetWeaver (C_TAW12)
SAP Platform & Technology Skills
SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) brings together data and analytics, artificial intelligence, application development, automation, and integration in one, unified cloud environment.
- Beginner courses for SAP BTP and technology: “Technology Fundamentals for SAP S/4HANA and SAP Business Suite” (SAPTEC), openSAP course “SAP Business Technology Platform in a Nutshell” (BTP1). Beginner course for SAP BTP administration: “Introduction to SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) Administration” (ADMCLD).
- Free self-paced learning journey: Build side-by-side extensions on SAP BTP
- SAP Certification: SAP Certified Development Associate – SAP BTP Extension Developer (C_CPE_14)
SAP Business Application Skills
SAP offers various products and solutions. SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition is a ready-to-run cloud ERP that delivers the latest industry best practices and continuous innovation.
- Beginner course for SAP S/4HANA Cloud: RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud (S4CP01)
- Free self-paced learning journey: Explore RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud
- SAP Certification: SAP Certified Application Associate – SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition – Finance (C_S4CFI)
Big Data & Analytics Skills
Big Data is the ocean of information we swim in every day. Big Data is defined as “big” not just because of its volume, but also due to the variety and complexity of its nature. Typically, it exceeds the capacity of traditional databases to capture, manage, and process it. SAP Analytics Cloud is a single cloud solution for business intelligence and predictive analytics.
- Beginner course: Introduction to SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC01)
- Free self-paced learning journey: Explore SAP Analytics Cloud
- SAP Certification: SAP Certified Application Associate – SAP Analytics Cloud
SAP Methodology Skills
SAP Activate provides a guided methodology to deploy, adopt and extend new SAP capabilities across an organization.
- Beginner course: SAP Activate Methodology (ACT100)
- Free self-paced learning journey: Onboard with SAP Activate for RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition
- SAP Certification: SAP Certified Application Associate – SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition implementation with SAP Activate (C_TS4C)
These are only a few examples of SAP skills with high demand. What do you think are the most important SAP skills for 2023? Let me know in the comments!
Hi Lars, thanks for the insights and also highlighting relevant skill databases. BTW; Check out the Poll from the SAP Training german speaking LinkedIn Group on importance of skills - of course it depends on who answers - but it shows a trend...
Hi Thomas, thanks for sharing these interesting results! They are pretty much in line with my findings: I found the most job postings for Business Application skills (related jobs: 121k; community posts: 232k) followed by Platform & Technology skills (related jobs: 25k; community posts: 110k)
Hello Lars Satow - I am curious to know if SAP Commerce Cloud is not a sought after skill in 2023 and ahead, considering SAP Commerce Cloud is market leading solution for B2B Commerce.
Hello Avinash Vaidya , the above mentioned skill areas have been chosen based on job postings.
Very good article
Thanks! Harish Mallur
Excellent Article, thanks for sharing your knowledge.
Thank you, Mohammed Rizwan !
Thank you for pulling this article, and especially the links, together. It is very useful, especially for students looking to enhance their skill set and 'get into' the SAP world.
Thanks for your feedback! Stephen Lofthouse