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SAP in Education

Hi,

I've been using SAP now for 6 years and everything I know about the software is self taught. I have looked around for college courses and alike that are accredited that provide SAP based learning but have found none within my local area (North-West, UK) . I was wondering if this is common and that there are no such course or if I'm missing where these courses may be.

I do have a book on SAP and have used it to learn some new skills that I didn't previously.

I was just curious about people's opinions on the matter really and how other people learned the software. Are most people self-taught, did you have tuition from a colleague and/or did you learn in a more academic format?

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21 Comments

  • Dec 12, 2018 at 08:59 PM

    I'm guessing it's more important what you're trying to achieve than how others came into the SAP world. Also for many that would've started 10+ years ago and current situation is not the same. So I'm just skeptical that those experiences would be helpful to you in 2018.

    Can't speak for UK, sorry. AFAIK some SAP configuration is taught as part of some degree at our state university NCSU. (We usually see a professor and students from there at the local ASUG meetings.) But I doubt they offer them as a la carte classes to general public.

    If you already work as an SAP user and want to transition to more of a functional role(i.e. do SAP configuration and such) then most effective way would be to approach your local IT and let them know. In almost all of my jobs someone from the business side moved to SAP team in this exact way. They were good at their job, helpful, enthusiastic about SAP, and got noticed.

    Take a look in the Career tag too: https://answers.sap.com/tags/724690177700823984208969627109459

  • Dec 12, 2018 at 10:25 PM

    Hi Matthew,

    As Jelena has noted, being enthusiastic about SAP, is probably the best way to learn more. At least, this is how I got started about 20 years ago and I'm still at it. Having access to a box where you can break things is also very helpful. As far as academic courses are concerned, I've seen them come and go and even taking a traditional SAP class can only teach you the "standard SAP" which you will find out very quickly has a limited application in most installations that get customized and interfaced with other applications, sometimes beyond recognition.

    BTW, both open.sap.com and open.hpi.de are great and even though they will not be immediately applicable to your current installation or implementation they do provide the future SAP, some of which will turn into present day, somewhere.

    Meanwhile, enjoy your learning journey and good luck!

    Cheers, greg

  • Dec 13, 2018 at 08:54 AM

    Thanks for your input guys. I was mainly just looking for a discussion on other people's experience's on SAP and how they came to learn their skills. I am always looking to broaden my knowledge base with SAP. But unfortunately, I am the only person in my workplace that works with SAP so my ability to learn from others isn't really there. I've been trying to make connections to other business associates that we are linked to, but as you can imagine they are very busy with their own jobs.

    How did others come to be in their current role's and how have you found learning SAP?

    • Dec 17, 2018 at 12:25 AM

      Probably a bit atypical but definitively an effective way to learn SAP is to get hired by SAP.

      I started as a support consultant and had a great 'bottom-up' learning experience. This way allows for very deep learning of "your" topic and a broad learning of related topics.

      Also, SAP as an employer often has many options to move into different roles and jobs, requiring learning new "SAP"-things on the go.

      So, yeah, being an SAP employee is a really good way to learn about SAP :-)

  • Dec 13, 2018 at 12:39 PM

    Well if we talk about courses, I got the first batch of my Sap KnowHow from SAP Education (training.sap.com).

    TAW10 + TAW12 incl. the certification. That was (and I think still is) the standard onboarding for new ABAPers in my Company.

    And also learning from experience and from colleagues.

  • Dec 13, 2018 at 04:59 PM

    Hi Matthew,

    I started with ABAP in 1994 while working as a COBOL contract programmer supporting a site going live with SAP. They ran short of hands and so put together an after-hours, down-and-dirty ABAP training class. Then they threw us in the deep end :) .

    Later, I was hired by SAP America as an ABAP Instructor and now as a private consultant, I have been learning from colleagues who are assigned to the same projects.

    You might want to try the UK&Ireland SAP Users Group at www.sapusers.org; if your company is a customer, than they qualify as a user. The SUGs are a great place to network and discover what others may know about education.

  • Dec 14, 2018 at 01:47 PM

    Hi Matthew,

    I got into SAP and ABAP development in January 2000 after about 15 years of IBM-mainframe development with PL/1 when the company I worked for then (Kodak) roled out SAP-ERP globally. Together with a few colleagues, I was sent to SAP in Walldorf for four weeks of ABAP Workbench training. Afterwards, a lot of training happened "on the job" and being mentored by experienced colleagues (and some more courses).

    Nowadays, I try to pick up information in places like SAP Community, openSAP-courses and getting SAP training every now and then if there's a business case for that.

    I don't learn technical stuff well from reading books (started to read quite a few over the years, haven't finished (m)any of them).

    Cheers

    Bärbel

  • Dec 14, 2018 at 03:50 PM

    I think you'll find any one of my vintage got into SAP by being in company that implemented it, and as part of that companies IT team then had to service it and we went on from there.

    As for learning how to do things, google is your friend. Unless you are inventing a quantum processor version of ABAP anything you (or I) could think of has already been done and the techniques for doing it are, as they say, 'Out there'.....

    • Dec 17, 2018 at 10:18 AM

      I've tried Google many times for issues I've had in the past it has for the most part been helpful. However, there have been many occasions were the issue I've had is very specific and Google hasn't been able to help.

      I'm sure lots of people have had this issue in the past, I was able to find someone from another sub-contract company to help. If Ii couldn't have found help I'm sure I'd still be stuck on that problem now.

      I do feel a lot of the time as though I'm out my depth with SAP as I am the only person in my branch of the company who has SAP experience (although in another area of SAP) so a lot of the time the sole responsibility of any SAP based work falls on my shoulders. This is why I like to come onto here and try and find helpful tips and advice that more experienced people on this site may have.

      As Barbel said I also struggle with learning from reading alone, so I really need guidance a lot of the time or visual instruction for me to be able to learn. Hopefully, in the future I'll be able to get enough experience and learn enough through trial and error to be able to help others and make their journey on SAP smoother.

      • Dec 17, 2018 at 10:41 AM

        That feeling of being out of your depth still haunts me occasionally, but you will find that as time goes on and you get more familiar with the way SAP 'thinks' and is designed it will go away. It must be hard having no one in your company who you can talk to about it - at least when I started I had some colleagues around me to ask (but...we were all in the same boat).

        We were also lucky in that we managed to get some courses out of the company, but that is quite hard.....

        What would your company say about that ?

        Rich

        • Dec 17, 2018 at 12:30 PM

          They may be up for it but I wouldn't even know where to begin. Especially with finding courses because I've never looked for courses for myself before and I've now been in my role for 7 months and haven't needed to go on a course as of yet. However I do think it'd be a massive help for me going forward. I suppose I'd have to word it to them in that form somehow.

          It would be nice to have someone else to bounce ideas off though in the workplace to make things a little easier and to help each other when needed.

        • Jan 07 at 06:55 AM

          This is true. Eventually you realise that "SAP isn't difficult", and you can usually figure out most things. What you can't you can ask here.

  • Jan 02 at 09:44 PM

    Do you have an annual performance review or some kind of career talk with the manager where you work? That's where such conversations usually take place: what your career goal is, what training you'd like to get, etc.

    Regarding finding like-minded individuals in the organization: it can be an odd experience. E.g. previously I worked at a company that was acquired by a very large company running multiple SAP systems with multiple teams. Naturally, we tried to establish contact with them to have some information exchange (e.g. maybe they already had better solutions to our problems and vice versa). Essentially got crickets in response. When I was at an SAP conference one year, I contacted several other attendees from that large company but ended up meeting only one person. I seriously doubt being busy is the main factor, most likely it's just the lack of interest.

    The only success I've had so far was with "lunch and learn" sessions: pick a subject, send an invite to a large group (this can be in person or remote too, using Webex or other tool) and then maybe someone will show up. Sadly, 90% of the time I had to present myself but at least there was a positive feedback and, if anything, teaching is the best way to learn something.

    • Jan 03 at 01:20 PM
      Yes we do and I plan on bringing the issue up then. I'm hoping that there is some kind of further education I would be able to attend to boost my knowledge, because I feel it would be very beneficial. I've looked at open university course in my spare time, but I feel my current knowledge is lacking and I don't think I'd be able to skip college and go straight to university. So I've been trying to find adult classes on ICT skills the lead on to further education.

      I've tried speaking to like minded individuals who work in my sector at the facility I'm on, to no success. Hopefully in the future this will change, but I can't see it happening any time soon.

      • Jan 04 at 11:24 PM

        Out of curiosity, which area of SAP exactly do you concentrate on? What's your role?

        SAP world is quite big (and growing).

        • Jan 07 at 10:08 AM
          I co-ordinate planned plant maintenance for my company using SAP, using SAP APD for planning which apart from 2 weeks training is soley self taught.
    • Jan 04 at 04:39 PM

      " The best way to learn is to teach " I saw this at many places and many times and It never fails to inspire me. The amount of learning I am having in the past few months is 10 times that of in the last 1 year just because I am using the SAP community to help others.

      "Sadly, 90% of the time I had to present myself" hahah :D the reality is so cruel :D ..

      Similar story for me as well, I have these UI5 videos that I made which I sent to many of my colleagues and friends(atleast 20 people) and ofcourse i don't sell them :D they are free. Believe me only 2 or 3 people went through them completely. I think many people show so much interest to learn at the beginning and when the time comes, the priorities changes and they loose the interest. So now I tell my colleagues and friends that I've these UI5 videos and will share them if they want and asks them to request me before they want to start and guess what, most of them won't talk about that topic later :D.

  • Jan 04 at 04:10 PM

    Hi Matthew Howard,

    I actually learned ABAP from an unauthorized training institute in India, don't blame me :D as I cannot afford to get SAP education at that time so my best choice was to learn from there, which they teach for 1/10th of the price :D(Really). I don't really encourage or recommend it though as some are fraud and few give better training as well. But in the end, because of those institutes, we get a lots of fake & less knowledgeable people and due to them the competition to get a job is high :( .. I am not an expert at it to comment more :D

    So anyways, I got a job as a fresher(with zero profession experience in coding) where they again trained me on the same ABAP :D funny right :D and that was the only break I needed. From there it's all the self learning and thanks to SAP help, blogs and community.

    You can also find a lot of people out there(in freelance market) where they teach online, but again it's unauthorized, which I wont recommend or guarantee that it will get you that break. I also taught SAP UI5 to couple of my friend friends online :D .

    Now a days I see a very less openings in the market(at least here in asia & middle east) where they want you have a certification to get a job.

    To be frank if you want to learn, there are many ways to get enough information online(like sap education, freelancers etc..,) you just need to find the right trusted source through the right contacts.

    Best Regards,

    Mahesh

  • Jan 05 at 06:21 PM

    I started in 2012 by attending an SAP scholarship funded by the government in Egypt and have been learning on my own since then.

    I had face a challenge when S4HANA started, since I didn't even have access to a dummy system to try different processes, until I found out about SAP CAL and that SAP provides free 30 days access to a complete S4HANA system (even 1809 is available now) and that solved my problem

    Along with the SAP CAL access, you should get the company to buy a learning hub subscription, this will give you all the materials you need to learn anything

    And as others mentioned, it helps a lot if you explain things to others: the more you explain, the more you understand, I've started by posting 1 video on YouTube, and now I've around 50 and counting

  • Jan 07 at 07:10 AM

    I was recruited by a company implementing SAP who wanted people from IT (but without SAP) to train up. I'm not sure how well that worked, as after a year or so, most people joined a consultancy or went contracting in order to earn £££. (This was pre-2000).

    So at the start I went on a lot of SAP training courses near Heathrow - ABAP + functional (PP/MM/...). Once I was a contractor, I took the ABAP route rather than functional. I did a few more courses to fill gaps in my knowledge, but generally was able to rely on what I already knew. It did happen a few times I was on my own in a contract - like I had more experience of SAP than the PwC consultants on the project, including the project manager... - and if I needed help then, I'd use sapfans.com. Where I met (virtually and in real life) many great people, including my current boss.

    By 2000 the internet was far more developed, sapPress was beginning and I had a subscription to the SAP Professional Journal, where I was able to pick up new techniques. From then on, I learned online or from books. I still have the EnjoySAP Controls book (part of help.sap.com now) on my shelf. Occasionally I need it!

    The last paid for SAP course I went on was a BI development course in 2005. My client at the time want someone to implement a BI solution. I volunteered to take the course, and take the project, and they agreed. Which worked out very well as I was with them over ten years later.

    The last SAP course I did was the excellent OpenSAP course on Test Driven Development. I still buy books. I've a Fiori prototype to develop this year. So I've got a few books about that on my shelf, waiting for me to begin - and I'll use whatever I can find in OpenSAP, blogs here and on t'interweb generally.

    Now I've reached the point where I have a good understanding of "how SAP works", which means that to learn new stuff, it's often not much more than learning a bit of technical information and a lot of jargon.

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