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Hi everyone, 

Considering SAP Learnings' digital skills initiative going live last year, I thought I would share a rough guideline for those out there who are starting from scratch or from non-traditional backgrounds toward their career path in the SAP ecosystem. 

The target role of this blog is going to be a consultant – specifically an SAP Certified Application Associate - SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, but I hope a lot of the other information on this blog will be helpful for other goals as well. 

Disclaimer: be sure to check your local job market to understand what specific skillsets are being sought – this may vary according to region and industry.  

There are two career situations that I would like to focus on, and they will modify your starting point: 

Starting from scratch 

  • You have no idea what SAP is 
  • You have never held a job in the tech or “white-collar” domain 
  • You didn’t graduate from a 4 year college  

Transitioning or laid-off 

  • You have experience in the tech industry and have been laid off or you’re looking for a change 

 Starting from Scratch

 If you find yourself in a situation with little to no white-collar job experience, it’s a good idea to start with the basics while exploring the more technical topics in parallel.  Jump back and forth between this content and the courses under the “Transitioning” section at your leisure.  


What is SAP? 

 The first thing you should figure out is what SAP is all about to determine if a job in the SAP ecosystem is right for you. (The SAP ecosystem encompasses SAP itself, partner companies that extend SAP’s reach globally and customer companies running SAP software. – All of whom may offer employment opportunities.) 

Hopefully with this information you can determine if you’d like to take steps toward upskilling for a job in this domain.  

If you still need a better understanding, I can attempt an analogy: Think of an amusement park and the magical experience it provides visitors with its rides, atmosphere, and fun experiences. Now think of what goes on behind the scenes of that experience – the carefully timed ballet of machines, electronics, music, art, food, and people that make it all happen. Most park visitors can only appreciate the experience being sold to them without giving the mechanism behind it all a second thought, but others are interested in looking a bit deeper, in understanding how it all works behind the scenes.  Can you see yourself being part of that second, more curious group?  

SAP is running the carefully timed ballet of behind-the-scenes processes that make some of the highest profile consumer brands run. Ask yourself if being one of the specialists who helps make this happen is an intriguing prospect.  


 Soft skills and business acumen 

 Depending on your employment background, you may need to brush up on your soft skills and business acumen. These are the things the folks going the traditional path of 4-year universities and master’s degrees are going to have a bit more practice with. But not to worry; the resources on these topics can be found with your favorite internet search engine. Think of things like presentation skills, professional communication, problem solving, analysis etc. 

First things first – do you know how to learn? This may sound silly, but I am a product of memorization-based education where learning and study strategies were never taught. I can recommend learning how to learn if you also find yourself in this situation. 

Next, consider opening a free account at the Accenture Skills to Succeed Academy. Accenture is one of those companies in the SAP ecosystem that hires people like consultants – they know exactly what is needed to get the job done. You can find free courses on most critical soft skills that they are looking for in new hires. 

Some recommendations: 




Understand the job role 

 Up until this point, everything covered is universal to all jobs across the SAP ecosystem. Let’s address the consulting role. Do you know what a consultant does? Are you sure you’d like to be one? 

I’ve personally interviewed a SAP S/4HANA Consultant on the SAP Learning Insights podcast, you can listen to our chat here. As a consultant, you will be working directly with an organization (your customer) who is working to implement an SAP solution. You will be working to understand their processes and how they fit into the SAP solution that you specialize in. There will be challenges and opportunities that you need to identify and communicate in your plan. You will need to be fast on your feet and adaptable to changing conditions and new information. 

Look at these resources for more insight: 

 If you’ve got some money to spare, I can highly recommend the SAP Technology Consultant Professional Certificate. This is the one stop shop of almost everything someone lacking experience in this realm needs to get up to speed. The resources and case studies are provided by real SAP partners implementing real SAP projects. A reasonable study pace is 20 hours a month for three months to complete this. (It’s about $20 a month for those in the United States – if you study faster, you pay less.) 

If you do decide on a Coursera plus subscription, try out a few more skills: 


Transitioning or laid off 

If you already have some experience in the tech sector, consider can starting here. If you are starting from scratch, you can already start exploring this as you cover the fundamentals listed at the start of this blog. 


Baseline technical knowledge behind SAP (22 Hours) 

This learning journey is going to begin laying out the big picture and prepare you for the more advanced role-specific training ahead. 

Introducing End-to-End Business Processes for the Intelligent Enterprise 


Optional: Introduction to a specific consultant skillset (10 Hours) 

This is the start of your role-specific training. Understanding the product and your mission. 

Explore RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud Note: this learning journey is already incorporated into the next journey as an all-in-one certification prep.


Detailed consultant technical skillset - prepare for the SAP Certification Exam (25 Hours)  

 The how you will accomplish your mission. This is what your certification exam will be testing you on. 

Onboard with SAP Activate for RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition 


Get certified (1.5 Hours) 

This is the exam that will add your first official SAP credential to your repertoire. You can buy a certification attempt here. If you are a student, buy a discounted attempt here. Or you can apply for a free certification attempt with the digital skills initiative.    

SAP Certified Application Associate - SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition implementation with SAP Acti... 


Apply for internship or job 

 Check out the Career Corner for job openings as well as other job boards. One cool thing about the career corner is that you can post questions about postings and get answers from the folks within the hiring company. Give it a try!  

What do you think? Anything missing here? Let me know and I add it!

Thanks for reading.


Galactic 1
Galactic 1

This is truly a very generous and welcoming introduction to S'A'P.  Thank you David. 

Galactic 1
Galactic 1

@David_Chaviano - Thank you for sharing your insightful post on how to start a consulting career in SAP. Your article has been very informative, and I appreciate the guidance you provided for aspiring consultants.

As a mentor to a graduating senior with a BS in Accounting, I was wondering if you could share any advice on possible career paths in SAP for a fresh accounting graduate who has no desire to code. While my mentee has a solid understanding of accounting principles, they are not particularly interested in pursuing a career in traditional accounting.

Additionally, if there are any paths with a great outlook unrelated to accounting (that does NOT require coding), I would love to hear your thoughts on those as well.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Best regards,


PS. will the Coursera SAP Technology Consultant Professional Certificate hold any weight or should she stick to certifications within the SAP ecosystem 


Galactic 1
Galactic 1

Awesome and thanks for sharing this superb guide with us.

Galactic 3
Galactic 3

Hello @David_Chaviano 

thank you very much, very useful insights !





Apologies for the delay! Certification in Finance/Accounting for beginners is tricky. On one hand, this is a high demand skill in the market - on the other SAP Learning is not yet ready to provide the full certification track for free to the public....

Here is the learning journey that we have which is free so far:

If she wants to certify, this is the best generalist code-free certification  she can pursue if she still wants to further her knowledge in Finance as well as all other lines of business:

For a future oriented certification - I would recommend the path in the blog!

The Coursera course is definitely the most practical for a newcomer, but I think the perception of the official SAP Certification in the ecosystem is higher.

Galactic 2
Galactic 2

Hi thank you for your post. I have just completed my SAP Technology Consultant Professional Certificate on Coursera. Where can I find learning journey for SAP Material Management 


@Winner1000 - Well done!

SAP Material Management is a legacy topic for on-prem ERP. It's still a commercial offering and isnt free: 

THis is the closest modern equivalent that I can find for free: 

Galactic 1
Galactic 1

Hi, David!

Thank you so much for this post.👍

I started with a Coursera program "Becoming a SAP Professional".

I'm a Linguist, I have a Master's Degree in Audiovisual Translation and I'm looking for a career change.

I moved from Spain to Antwerpen, Belgium, where the logistic sector is huge and I thought that learning SAP at a Key User level would be a great added value to my résumé.

My question is: I am at the Learning Hub and I want to start the self-paced course S4H00 - SAP S/4HANA Overview, but I can't find it anywhere. Is there another self-paced course that an absolute beginner can take to start from scratch?

Thank you!


Hi @catalina212 ,

Sounds like quite the adventure you are on! 

Here is an overview course that also provides details across he full spectrum on how SAP S/4HANA works: 

A modernized (Cloud oriented), more beginner friendly course is also available: Introducing End-to-End Business Processes for the Intelligent Enterprise. It's not quite fully published yet! But also provides a free practice system to get hands-on with.

Galactic 1
Galactic 1

Thank you so much, David!

Fingers crossed!

Galactic 2
Galactic 2

A ton of valuable content here. Thanks for sharing.

Galactic 1
Galactic 1

@David_Chaviano  - Thank you for your response.

The upcoming accounting graduate, who is not interested in traditional accounting, is now considering three code-free SAP career paths: Activate Project Manager, Application Associate, and Financials for S/4HANA.

Can you rank and compare these paths based on difficulty to obtain, demand, compensation, and 2030 outlook?

Your valuable insights will help start a career journey.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Best regards,



Hi @LJ_ ,

Thanks for the question!

Take a look at the associated learning journeys for the topics here:

Activate Project Manager

Application Associate - Application  associate in what?

Financials for S/4HANA 

As a general rule the finance topics will be more difficult and in higher demand. However, this depends on your local job market - it really requires you to do your own research in terms of searching for job openings in your area.

Both of the above topics require you to pay for the learning content. If you want a free alternative, try this learning journey. Keep in mind the certification exam still needs to be purchased.

Galactic 1
Galactic 1

Hello @David_Chaviano thank you for this great information.  Let's keep in contact.