SAP ABAP Programming: Can it help breaking into SAP Career

Looking for breaking into SAP career. Thought of SAP ABAP? There is a lot of noise about how to break into the field of SAP and how hard it actually is. If you have come across such discussions online, you know that entering into SAP careers is not as easy as taking up a course (and/or getting certification) and landing up in an SAP job or getting work immediately.

If you can check the SAP job market, you find that everybody is asking for a minimum of 3-4 years of experience. Getting into the role of functional consultant be it FI, MM, PP, or any other SAP module is really tough and the journey is not that straightforward. Because by definition, consulting position means you better know about the business processes than your clients and that will naturally require experience. (and experience will come after you get a break:-)

SAP ABAP on the other hand primarily focuses on programming skills and the knowledge of business processes is secondary. I am not saying that what is secondary is less important but just that it does not play as crucial a role as in the case of Functional consultants. And that is the place where lies the difference in opportunities.

The job market has more opportunities comparatively for SAP developers than functional professionals.

A beginner can gain so much ground through a proper ABAP training and on his own by learning the programming language, searching the scenarios online and networking with people. The functional learning only happens on the job and you can not do much about it.

You just need that spark, that enthusiasm, and if it clicks for you like many in SAP, you will love your work and will be able to get past the entry barrier. After getting there, you get due respect for your knowledge in this field and the corresponding pay packet.

There are exceptions for whom the ABAP approach is not recommended. If you have a strong domain experience like you have years of experience in sales, marketing or accounting, then you should try to capitalize on that experience and try to find ways to enter the relevant areas in SAP.
In general, I believe the easier way to get into SAP is through SAP ABAP in comparison.

There is a pre-requisite though. You should have knowledge of a programming language – any language for that matter.

The reason behind this basically is you understand the general structure and features of a programming language and how it works. It's not important whether you have worked in a IT job but working IT professionals naturally have an edge.

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