Despite the current economic downturn, a survey of IT jobs in the U.S. and Canada shows growing demand for a variety of service-oriented architecture skills and a growing need for SAP NetWeaver skills.
As companies move from the old SAP ERP systems to SOA-oriented NetWeaver there is a shortage skills that IT departments need, said David Foote, co-founder, CEO and chief research officer for Foote Partners. As a result, several SAP skills have grown between 25% and 30% in value in six months and by as much as 57% in the past 12 months, according to the latest quarterly update of Foote Partners' IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index.
Companies are having to pay a premium for people who have experience working in areas including SAP Web Application Server, production planning, business objects, quality management, strategic enterprise management, product lifecycle management, human capital management (HCM), and master data management (MDM), according to Foote.
This is good career news for people with those skills or students who wish to acquire them, especially at a time when Janco Associates reports that 13,000 IT jobs may be lost in recent restructurings at HP, Lehman Brothers, and Merrill Lynch.
To take advantage of this career opportunity, IT professionals and computer science students need to decide what specific SAP modules they want to work with and what industry and even department they want to work in, Foote said. Companies are not looking to train people themselves so they are seeking very specific skills such as patent records in the healthcare industry, he explained.
For those looking to make a career with SAP skills, Foote advises: "Decide what industry you want to work in. Do you want to work in casinos? Do you want to work in manufacturing? Do you want to work in financial services? Make that decision."
Both SAP and the IT departments that are implementing NetWeaver want IT professionals with very specialized skills and experience, Foote explained.
Beyond choosing an industry, the next decision is what department you want to work in, such as marketing, human resources, accounting, logistics, or operations."
An extensive press release on the Foote survey with charts and details on specific skillsets is available at http://www.footepartners.com/FooteNewsrelease_2Q2008skillstrends_091108.pdf.