'

Worth leaving accounting for a career in SAP?

An accountant of five years is thinking of making a major career switch. Should he take the plunge and start afresh in a different field?

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 have been an external auditor for the past five years, and I earn approximately S$55,000 (US$38,049) per annum now. I am considering pursuing SAP FI certification. However, I am very worried that there will be a huge paycut, the fact that my prior experience will not be accounted for, and I will be considered as a freshie in this industry.

I have several salary sources which are inconsistent, some saying that there will not be a pay cut, instead a pay rise. Some mentioned that salary will be approximately half of what I am earning now. My questions are: Will my prior experience be accounted for and how much can I expect as a fresh SAP-certified professional with my current experience? If I get a paycut, how long will I have to wait before I can start to get back my current salary? How long normally does one implementation take? How is the demand for fresh SAP consultants in the market now?

Career advice from Chong Yoke Sin, CEO, NCS
Relevant job experience will usually be taken into consideration during the job interview. While certifications establish a form of baseline in determining relevant "trained" skills, having relevant consulting experience such as the ability to manage and provide value-add advice to customer is also crucial. The salary offered will depend on the relevant experience that the candidate has for the specific SAP job which he or she has applied for. A typical implementation may take eight months to one year. However, some may take longer, depending on the size, coverage and complexity of the client's business. SAP consultants, both fresh and experienced candidates, are in demand now.