These days, it can be so easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day and lose sight over our big-picture career goals. Where do we want to be five years from now? What kind of skills do we want to have a year from today?

While professionals may know they want to advance, they underestimate how much upskilling, learning, and certification can help them along that path. A recent study underscored the value of certification in career advancement, as more than 60% of participants garnered promotions following their IT certifications. Moreover, this study found intrinsic benefits to certification, including greater confidence, determination for professional success, autonomy, and job satisfaction.

And it’s true: the more we invest in ourselves – by taking the time and energy to complete certifications and stay current on the latest technologies – the better we feel about the trajectory of our careers.

As the SAP Learning team helps to expand the SAP ecosystem, which is estimated to grow the number of professionals by 60% and see partner opportunities reach $260 billion by 2024, we’ve kept this sentiment at the forefront of our commitment to creating easily discoverable and accessible upskilling opportunities for partners.

Expanding Opportunities for Growth among Partners and Individual Learners

Along the journey to the Intelligent Enterprise, it’s critical for organizations to upskill their workforce, not only to stay competitive but to foster professional development at the individual level. SAP has long supported learning and enablement throughout the ecosystem, and with the rapid speed of innovations today, we’re providing more and more affordable, role-based learning solutions.

For example, in February, we launched a new learning offering specifically designed for partners to advance continuous learning across the entire SAP portfolio and help partners stay up-to-date with SAP solutions. Developed with the SAP partner organization, it is designed to fit our partner’s specific business and learning needs. Since launch, it has been successfully adopted by the SAP partner ecosystem, with 30% net-new partners reached in the first six months of being live and thousands of learners currently using the offering to increase their knowledge and skills on SAP solutions and achieve certification.

What’s more, for the SAP PartnerEdge program, we recently launched a private cloud version of SAP Learning Hub, partner edition to help with increased customization and reporting functionalities.* With this private cloud version, various roles in a partner organization can benefit  from specific options: learners can upskill in a more private environment with company-specific learning content, while administrators can better monitor learning activities and understand the value derived from the solution.

Yielding Success through Certification

In addition to creating content to continuously build and maintain SAP skills, SAP Learning emphasizes validation of these skills through certification. As Nagesh Polu, SAP SuccessFactors lead consultant, YASH Technologies, noted, “SAP Certification is an important benchmark of expertise. It helps you gain key SAP knowledge and the confidence of your customers. It is a huge asset for any SAP partner.”

A recent whitepaper revealed several proven benefits of certification, including:

  • Fifty-nine percent of respondents agreed certifications improved implementation of technology.
  • More than 71% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed it has increased their ability to solve problems.
  • Ninety-four percent of IT decision-makers globally felt that having team members with certification provides value beyond the cost of achieving the certification.

Reflecting on her certification experience, SAP Analyst Stefania Pabon said, “Without a doubt, SAP Certification has brought me a wide range of possibilities in the job market because it is generally a requirement to have SAP software knowledge.” SAP Senior Analyst Abhishek Paul echoed this view: “SAP Certification opened up a massive sea of opportunities for me. It brings a certain level of respect and is an excellent step toward securing my future.”

As we make our way through the final quarter of the year and look ahead towards 2022, let’s embrace the learning opportunities in front of us for both our organizations and our own individual growth.

*The private cloud version is available exclusively for SAP PartnerEdge members (excluding basic SAP PartnerEdge open ecosystem) and requires a minimum subscription of 100 users.

Jan Meyer is senior vice president and head of Learning Systems for SAP Learning.