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SAP Skills that are in demand (USA market)

    After the September 11 tragedy, the job market has been very bad. Lot of recruiters are  taking undue advantage of the market situation by offering unimaginable rates.  Many existing SAP clients have been holding on to new projects for various reasons and consultants who have been waiting for new projects for a while are now ready to get into any project at the recruiters terms and conditions. Besides market condition is forcing many consulting companies (big or small) to terminate their full time employees immediately after their current project is over. These are employees who have been serving these companies for a long period of time and is now facing termination any time. 

    Independent consultants and full time employees of consulting companies that were laid off recently are the worst to suffer, they do not even have the option to get a full time job, because there are none available and/or there is a freeze on hiring in lot of companies. 

    The good news is, there are still lot of on-going projects that are paying standard SAP rates of around $100 to $175$/hour to experienced consultants. Also, some clients are now upgrading to new version successfully with the help of in-house staff, independent consultants and small or mid-size consulting companies, a trend many project managers think will become a common practice. Benefits include, low cost and on-time implementation, client driven project and active participation of employees. 

    Key for survival in today's market  is to gain experience in many areas of SAP, rather than specializing in one thing. Some of the new job requirements are in areas that was not implemented before, for e.g.. Travel & Expenses in HR module.  

     

    Skills that are still in demand

  • Functional consultants: Experienced functional consultants in any module will always be in demand for a long time.  The hourly rates are expected to be in the range of $65 to $110/hour.

     

  • ABAP programmers: This skill has lost good market value but will continue to be around forever because of  changes done to existing projects and new developments. Demand for HR ABAP programmers have vanished. Programmers with experience in multiple modules, ESS,  SAP Script, BAPI, RFC etc. will continue to be in demand.  The hourly rates are expected to be in the range of $45 to $90/hour.

     

  • Human Resource (HR): Specialized knowledge of Travel and Expenses module, Recruitment, Tax configuration, extremely good Payroll functional consultants are still in good demand. Other areas of HR, like ABAP programming, Payroll, Time, PA & PD have lost demand, due to very less HR projects and more consultants available in the market.

     

  • BASIS consultants: Consultants that have good experience in upgrading new versions, UNIX or Windows NT skill and database administration will be in demand. 

     

  • APO (Supply chain) 

     

  • Business Warehouse (BW): many were thinking BW will be the next hot skill. Due to weakness in economy and tools created by third party,  this module has not picked up like expected.

     

Skills that has good potential

  • Project Management: Customers that are planning to upgrade will need experienced Project Managers & Team leaders to drive the project from scoping and planning all the way through implementation. There are few good project managers that can plan the entire project within the planned budget and implement the project successfully. Once upgrade picks up in full swing, there will be lot of demand for project management skills.

     

  • Human Resource (HR): SAP 46X version of HR is very user friendly and has many added functionalities. Once the market picks up, HR functional and technical analyst will be in demand. Because of slowing economy, there is not much upgrade activity in the market. Good payroll and time functional consultants will continue to be in demand. Once upgrade market improves, HR technical consultants will also have good demand. The other area in HR that has not be fully explored in Tax reporting. Companies can hire good tax reporter configurator and save money that is spent on third party vendors.

     

  • ALE: Very few consultants get opportunity to do ALE, so there is still shortage of expert ALE consultants. This skill will continue to be hot.

     

  • Sales Force Automation implementation
  • IS-industry skills

     

    Modules that may not provide better rates due to more supply of consultants

     

  • All modules in general
  • HR ABAP & Functional
  • SAP Workplace

 











 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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