An ABAP-trained MBA holder eyes an SAP-based job

A computer science engineering graduate with an MBA in marketing wants to know how to get onto the SAP career path.

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Q. I have an MBA in marketing and engineering in computer science. So far, I don’t have any great career growth probably due to a lack of planning or implementation. I did engineering in 2002 and the MBA in 2007.

Before doing the MBA, I had training in SAP ABAP, but couldn’t be placed anywhere due to lack of opportunities for "freshies" in SAP. Again after doing MBA, I want to go into SAP. ERP is my dream job. Currently I am a sales manager.

Please suggest how to enter into an SAP functional job and which module training will be best according to today's trends.


Career advice from Stella Thevarakam, regional HR director of management and technology consulting firm ISS Consulting (M):

Since you had some SAP ABAP training, I would advice you to continue with ABAP and get certified and then have cross-functional training into a logistic module based on your background.

There will be a sharp learning curve for you and probably a salary cut as you are going into a completely different career path and your past experience cannot contribute much to the SAP path.

You need go into an organization as a freshie and go through their "freshies" program to pick up the SAP skills. Then, after about a year, move into actual implementation, still as a freshie and grow from there.

Career advice from Kelly Chua, IT&T manager of recruitment agency, Hudson Singapore:

My suggestion is to see whether your current organization is able to provide you with the opportunity to gain that initial experience.

To better transit into SAP, you may want to consider a module that you can leverage off your current functional role, that is, sales. It may make sense to consider the Sales and Distribution module (that is, SD) with more focus on the sales portion.

However, it is very important that you must have the fundamental interest in the module that you are looking to specialise in. It should not be just about what is hot and trendy. It's a long-term career choice.