Road to an ERP career in HR/Finance

A ZDNet Asia reader from a non-info systems background who is interested in pursuing an ERP career gets some advice.

Looking for IT career advice? Post your question here, and we'll get our experts to answer. We regret, however, that some questions may not be answered due to insufficient information.

Q. I've some SAP exposure as a user for business processes etc. I am interested in pursuing an ERP career.

As I am from a non-info systems background, would you recommend study that consists of both ERP and info systems or would ERP alone be a good starting point?

I would be interested in pursuing the HR/Finance functions. Any advice would be most appreciated.


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

You could join an SAP organization that runs "freshies" programs, go through their program and get certified. You could choose to do the HR module in that program.

After about a year of classroom training and on-the-job training, you would be on to a good career path of the high-in-demand HR SAP consultant.

Career advice from K Srini, human resources head-strategy of global consulting and IT services provider, Satyam Computer Services:

In the enterprise solutions domain, we have multiple roles and one of them is that of the functional consultant.

A good hold of Process Mapping HR/Finance coupled with ERP knowledge (both module-specific and working knowledge) should give you a good start.

Info system knowledge isn’t a must but any professional having it will have an added advantage.

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

I am a huge advocate of exploring internally for such opportunity, that is, to see whether your current company can provide you the further SAP exposure.

There are many individuals who are keen to start a career in SAP. To improve your chances, you must have more direct experience, at least at a super-user level. I have seen better success for those who did the initial transition internally.

As for pursuing further study, it must be out of your personal interest. It will do no harm but do not expect that to jump-start your IT or ERP/SAP career.

As for the two options, I will be more skewed towards a combination of ERP and info systems. I am not sure of the specific content of the course but I am assuming that the info systems part of the course can give you some background on what to expect for IT environment and systems (since you don't have any prior background) and the ERP portion will probably be able to give you an a more specific overview on enterprise systems.

As for the human resource-versus-financial function, in the SAP context the SAP Financial is the one with more demand (which also equates to more supply which will post more competition for you). Again, the choice between HR or Financial has to be based on your interest, not trend or demand.