The Benefit and Importance of SAP Certifications (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published July 13, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

SAP is enterprise resource planning software that a company can use to store its data in a centralized system for easier sharing and collaboration. Earning your SAP certification can help you learn SAP systems and solutions for all business processes with complex data to track and manage. Learning the difference between the associate, specialist, and professional certifications can help you discover how each can validate your knowledge of SAP software. In this article, we define SAP certifications, outline the various certifications, and describe the benefits.

Related: How To List Your Certifications On A Resume

What are SAP certifications?

SAP certifications typically validate your knowledge of SAP software and processes. SAP is software that companies can use to streamline their data in a centralized digital platform to make it easier to access, share, and view. This software includes modules such as finances, human resources, sales, logistics execution, production planning, and quality management. Earning your certification allows you to use the features of a SAP program, promoting your employability and providing you with a competitive advantage in the job market.

Some employers prefer certified candidates for SAP positions. For a company implementing SAP processes, having expert knowledge of the software and how to apply it appropriately for their platform can be a significant advantage. You can choose from various certification levels depending on your professional goals. Here are the three certification levels you can consider when you plan on earning SAP certification:

  • Associate certification: The associate-level certification is a great option for entry-level job applicants who want to develop basic knowledge of SAP programs. This level covers core concepts, such as optimizing the performance of models, managing and administering models, and advanced analytical processing.

  • Specialist certification: The specialist certification is more specific to a role or integration component. For example, the application specialist certification covers topics such as implementing HANA models and functions, loading data into SAP HANA, and describing the basics of the memory concepts of SAP HANA.

  • Professional certification: This level is a more advanced certification option and requires project experience and foundational knowledge of SAP solutions. Some certifications at this level include platform basics and features, managing security aspects, understanding the search and navigation module, and building your application on Cloud Portal.

Related: 11 Business Strategies Examples (With Strategy Components)

SAP certifications

Consider the following certification options in the associate, specialist, and professional certification categories:

SAP Certified Application Associate - Quality Management

The quality management for application associate certification verifies knowledge of SAP quality management systems. The exam lasts 180 minutes and comprises 80 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as audit management, configuration and organization, quality management integration with sales and services, and configuration of quality control. This certification can show employers you can implement quality management solutions during company projects under the supervision of an experienced consultant. Once you earn this certification, you can display it on your resume.

The exam costs $713.00. Courses that support this certification exam include Quality Management and Quality Planning and Inspection.

Related: Quality Management Plan: How to Create One

SAP Certified Associate - Activate Project Manager

The SAP project manager certification verifies your understanding of using SAP solutions to manage company projects. Passing the exam shows that you have a basic understanding of important business skills, that you understand how to apply methodologies to plan and execute a project and can manage internal and external stakeholders. The exam lasts 180 minutes and comprises 80 questions. Exam topics include implementing project delivery strategies, achieving efficient work streams with SAP Activate methodologies, and leveraging project roles and responsibilities.

This exam costs $713.00. Courses that can help you prepare for this exam include SAP Activate Methodology and Agile Project Delivery.

SAP Certified Product Support Specialist

This certification validates your understanding of SAP products, allowing you to support SAP product users. Before taking this exam, you require the SAP Commerce Cloud 1811 Developer Certification or the SAP Commerce Cloud 1905 Developer Certification. The exam lasts 90 minutes and comprises 40 questions. It tests your ability to configure SAP Commerce Suite, analyze system performance, troubleshoot problems with SAP Commerce Suite, and understand product support processes.

This exam costs $713.00. It covers topics found in the “Expert Recommendations” section of the SAP training website, which include integrating the SAP Customer Data Cloud with the SAP Commerce Cloud, improving the performance of the Commerce Cloud promotion engine, and understanding SAP Commerce Cloud Architecture.

Related: What Is Sales Support? (With Definition and Benefits)

SAP Certified Technology Specialist

This certification improves your understanding of converting SAP S/4HANA and performing SAP system upgrades. SAP S/4 HANA is analytical software designed for large businesses or enterprises with planning and simulation options for increased efficiency and data-driven solutions. The exam lasts 90 minutes and comprises 40 questions. It includes preparing a SAP S/4 HANA conversion, understanding the 0manual preparation involved in the system upgrade manager (SUM), and troubleshooting issues with SUM.

This exam costs $713.00. Courses covering the exam concepts include SAP S/4 HANA Conversion and SAP System Upgrade. This course can teach you how to perform a conversion, use the maintenance planner, prepare conversion and post-conversion activities, and troubleshoot conversion processes.

SAP Certified Application Professional - Financials in SAP S/4 HANA for SAP ERP Finance Experts

The SAP Certified Application Professional certification in SAP S/4 HANA for finance experts verifies your proficiency in planning and executing projects using SAP s/4 HANA. The exam lasts 180 minutes and comprises 80 questions. Exam topics include preparing data for the conversion of transactions and balances, describing how an update enhances ledger function and how to customize features, customizing management account integration, and comparing the types of asset accounting for managing and monitoring fixed assets.

The exam costs $713.00. Courses supporting this exam's content include Conversion of Accounting to SAP S/4 HANA, Financial Accounting in SAP S/4 HANA for SAP ERP FI Professionals, and Management Accounting in SAP S 4/HANA for SAP ERP CO Professionals.

SAP Certified Associate from Design Thinking

This certification can verify your understanding of design thinking methodologies and processes to build a more creative problem-solving approach for a company. The exam lasts 180 minutes and consists of 80 questions. The exam covers fundamental design thinking principles, the history of design thinking, research in design thinking, prototyping within design thinking methodology, and an understanding of design thinking methodology.

The exam costs $713.00. A course that may improve your chance of earning a passing grade is Design Thinking for Business Innovation. This course introduces you to core design thinking attributes, such as communicating collected data to a team, pitching ideas for solutions using creative methods, presenting solutions, and integrating feedback.

Related: 7 Steps to Improve Your Creative Thinking Skills

SAP Certified Technology Professional from System Security Architect

This professional-level certification demonstrates your ability to integrate security and authorization concepts, such as system privileges, encrypted network traffic protocols, and auditing features that allow you to track actions in the database. The exam lasts 180 minutes and comprises 80 questions. It includes authorizing SAP S/4 HANA concepts, understanding various security scenarios and how to handle them, securing a SAP system, and troubleshooting security issues.

The exam costs $713.00. You can take courses that include the exam topics, such as Authorization Concepts for SAP Fiori on SAP S/4 HANA, SAP System Security and Authorization Academy, SAP System Security Fundamentals, and Secure SAP System Management.

Related: What Is Data Security? With 8 Protection Strategies to Use

The benefits of earning your certification

Consider the following benefits to help you decide if a SAP certification is right for you:

  • Increase your chances of getting hired.

  • Show employers you can apply core SAP concepts.

  • Increase your earning potential.

  • Improve customer service strategies with SAP solutions and troubleshooting techniques.

  • Gain more responsibility at work.

  • Increase your likelihood of earning a promotion.

  • Learn how to organize and connect company departments for higher productivity.

  • Help the company implement a sustainable marketing strategy.

  • Help the company visualize and integrate data to realize business objectives.

  • Make it easier for departments to access information.

  • Improve racking and security to protect data from theft or damage.

Related: How to Build a Career as an SAP Consultant (With Tips)

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