SAP Certifications: Are They Worth the Time and Effort to Earn?

Many large companies rely on SAP for enterprise resource planning (ERP), supply-chain management, HR, and other vital functions. Given SAP’s prominence in many corporate tech stacks, many technologists are no doubt wondering if they should pursue an SAP certification. Let’s dive in!

Does SAP have an official certification? 

Yes! In fact, as you might expect given the company’s size and technological reach, SAP has a lot of certifications on offer. SAP’s North American website lists 138, complete with exam breakdowns, overviews, and much more.

These certifications are very highly specialized—for example, you can earn a SAP Certified Application Associate – SAP Ariba Procurement. On a slightly broader level, these dozens of certifications fall into a few key buckets:

  • SAP Certified Application Associate
  • SAP Certified Development Associate
  • SAP Certified Integration Associate
  • SAP Certified Business Associate
  • SAP Certified Technology Associate
  • SAP Certified Associate
  • SAP Certified Development Specialist
  • SAP Certified Application Specialist
  • SAP Certified Product Support Specialist
  • SAP Certified Technology Specialist
  • SAP Certified Development Professional
  • SAP Certified Application Professional
  • SAP Certified Technology Professional

In a certain way, SAP is no different from Oracle, Amazon, or other large technology companies that offer an ever-expanding collection of highly specialized certifications. 

What are the best SAP certifications? 

Given the ultra-specialized nature of SAP certifications, there really isn’t a “best” one. Rather, certain SAP certifications will meet you needs much better than others. For example, if you’re applying for a position as a developer, and the company relies heavily on SAP’s cloud products, then you’ll want to consider earning certifications such as SAP Certified Development Associate – SAP Cloud for Customer 1911 or (depending on your skill level with SAP products) SAP Certified Development Professional – SAP Commerce Cloud 1905 Developer

Is it worth getting a SAP certification?

For an answer to that question, we turn to Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country. First, the good news: The median salary for positions that ask for SAP certifications is $104,000, suggesting that such certifications are a prominent component in specialized, high-paying technology jobs.

Now, some bad news: An extremely tiny percentage of enterprise-technology jobs actually request SAP certifications. (Actually, that might be good news if you don’t have the time or resources to pursue SAP certification.) Here’s that breakdown:

As you can see from this list, less than one percent of systems analyst, software developer/engineer, IT project manager, database administrator, and B.I. architect/developer jobs request SAP certifications. 

This resurrects the age-old question: Do technologists need to earn certifications in order to build a viable career? The answer is somewhat complicated: Employers are much more comfortable with candidates who have certifications, which confirm a certain level of experience and expertise. That being said, technologists with a track record of successful projects don’t necessarily need certifications to land a job, especially if they demonstrate their mastery of the skills required for the position.

While many jobs don’t ask for SAP certifications, it’s undeniable that SAP skills can prove valuable, especially if you’re a technologist interested in any kind of enterprise position. Fortunately, there are a number of venues to start your SAP training, including openSAP (which offers free courses and podcasts), SAP’s own online training hub (heavy on the documentation, lighter on coursework), and third-party online courses such as Udacity.

According to Burning Glass, projected growth for SAP developers over the next 10 years is 30.7 percent, with an average time-to-fill open roles of 59 days (hinting at a high level of demand). Here are the SAP developer skills that pop up most frequently in job postings:

Do SAP certifications expire?

Yes, they do. Check SAP’s training website for a handy drop-down menu (midway down the page) of the ones about to expire within the next few months and years.

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