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Career Definition for an SAP Solution Architect
SAP solutions architects serve as the conduits between businesses and technology. In general, they oversee all aspects of a systems solution, including those that are targeted towards customer relations, human resources, product life cycles and supply chains. Using their analytical and problem-solving skills, SAP solutions architects craft adaptable, comprehensive suites appropriate for each client. Converting large segments of a company's software can be a major undertaking, and SAP solution architects must design and implement the process in stages, to ensure a smooth transition.
|Education||Bachelor's degree in computer science, computer engineering or related field preferred, SAP training through provider or other outlets|
|Job Skills||Multiple computing platforms, communication, management, industry knowledge|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$85,647 for SAP consultants|
|Job Growth (2014-2024)**||13% for system software developers|
Source: *Payscale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
While educational paths for SAP solutions architects can vary, entry-level professionals may have a bachelor's degree in computer science, computer engineering, information science or another closely related field of study. Training and certification in SAP solutions is available directly from the provider, but many colleges, technical schools and online training outlets include instruction in SAP solutions in their curricula. On-the-job experience can be acquired through companies who are already using SAP solutions architecture.
SAP solutions architects must have the ability to work with multiple computing platforms, including hardware and software. Oral and written communication skills are key, especially when dealing with corporate executives and colleagues. Experience in managing a project from start to finish is a must. SAP solutions architects should also have the interdisciplinary background and industry knowledge necessary to work with a diverse range of companies.
Career and Salary Outlook
According to the SAP Training Hub, SAP is the leader in ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software. In 2010, the company had more than 75,000 clients in 120 countries around the globe, providing more than 25 different business solutions to different industries. While employment statistics specific to SAP solutions architects are unavailable, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that openings for systems software developers were expected to increase by 13% nationwide between 2014 and 2024. PayScale.com reported in January 2016 that the median salary for a SAP consultant was $85,647.
Alternate Career Options
You can also look into these career options in systems development:
Computer and Information Systems Managers
Computer and information systems managers use their knowledge of information technology (IT) to identify and address the communication and data needs of a company or an organization. Management positions typically require a four-year degree in computer or information science and experience in the field; some employers will only consider candidates who have earned master's degrees in business administration or management information systems. Due to an increased use of mobile and wireless networks, employment opportunities for computer and information systems managers are projected to increase by a faster than average rate of 15% nationwide through 2024, as reported by BLS. In May 2015, computer and information systems managers had median incomes of $131,600 a year.
Computer Network Architects
Computer network architects or engineers study organizational business plans and help corporations and offices meet their data communications goals. Projects can range from a small interoffice connection to a global communications system. While some employers may show a preference for candidates with a Master of Business Administration in Information Systems, a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Engineering or Information Systems may suffice for some positions. According to the BLS, opportunities for computer network architects nationwide are expected to grow by a faster than average rate of 9% between 2014 and 2024. As reported by the BLS, a network architect who was employed in the field in May 2015 earned a median salary of $100,240 a year.