Powering the AI Revolution with New Learning, Certifications, and Simplified Access to Talent


Artificial intelligence (AI) is currently forcing the technology industry to undergo a paradigm shift, further accelerating the upheaval in business and society. We see AI embedded in tools we have been using for years, and we see software finding its way into every aspect of competition today. Against this background, it comes as no surprise that 94% of business leaders see AI as critical to success over the next five years. However, many report the lack of resources and talent to drive competitiveness with these new tools.

Taking Business to the Next Level in the Era of AI

To make it easier to develop relevant skills and secure business success in such a volatile environment, we embarked on a journey to upskill millions of people worldwide in search of opportunity. After launching a digital skills initiative for those underserved in tech, forging new partnerships, offering the first role-based certifications to help meet real-life business needs, and making future-focused learning resources available to all, we are now taking our efforts to an even higher level – with more free, self-paced learning and engagement opportunities, new solution demos to experience the latest innovations in SAP Business AI, cloud ERP, and SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP), among others, a full portfolio of role-based certifications and a new certification model, as well as an extended digital skills initiative.

More Than 250 Free Online Courses Now Available for All

From global talent shortages and changing job profiles to the digitalization of entire economies, many organizations see the gaps between skill supply and demand grow wider and wider while searching for ways to adapt to a business landscape where advancements like AI, machine learning, and a new era of Big Data come into play. In this ever-changing atmosphere, tens of thousands of organizations have deployed SAP solutions to support them on their path to bring out their best, leading to skyrocketing demand for SAP talent.

To help meet the increasing demand, we recently launched more than 50 new free, self-paced learning journeys – many of them touching on AI features embedded in our software – bringing the total number of digital courses on the SAP Learning site to more than 250. By allowing everyone with an Internet connection to quickly learn a new skill for free, keep up with the latest innovations, and prepare for an in-demand SAP Certification, more professionals can advance in the competitive technology labor market, while customers can draw on a deeper bench of skills to accelerate digital transformation.

Launching Role-Based Certifications for All Key Roles

As organizations need to be more adaptive and dynamic, traditional university degrees become less important and skills-based hiring is on the rise when trying to fill positions. In fact, recent reports show that up to 52% of job postings in the U.S. in the beginning of the year did not state an educational requirement. Instead, role-based certifications and practical experience have become more determining factors for career paths and hiring.

Recognizing the advantages role-based certifications can offer both individuals and organizations, we have further enhanced our certification program to better align with real-life business needs, now offering role-based certification for all key roles, including consultants, analysts, and architects. These role-based certifications come with a clear career path for individuals. Together with a new model to get and stay certified with continuous assessments, this is our way to help ensure skill sets are sharp, focused on core competencies, and more sustainable and valid for longer periods of time.

With these enhancements, we believe we have now taken an important next step to support professionals and organizations in the SAP ecosystem to bring out their best with ongoing and up-to-date knowledge of the latest skills, helping to maximize the ROI of SAP software, shorten deployment times, lower costs, speed innovation, and increase employee retention and satisfaction.

Simplified Access to Pre-Trained SAP Talent

However, we recognize that many people considered underrepresented in tech still do not have access to future-focused educational resources and with it, fulfilling careers. Launched in late 2022, SAP’s digital skills initiative was intended to equip 10,000 people from underrepresented and underserved groups for a career in the tech industry with free, self-paced learning resources and a free certification exam attempt to obtain an in-demand SAP Certification to show their expertise. Ever since its launch, the initiative has grown – and contributed to amazing success stories.

Hearing that SAP professionals like Lin Fan, a Chinese immigrant to Germany, could overcome gender bias because of our digital skills initiative, makes me proud. “[The digital skills initiative and SAP Certification] indeed opened new doors and helped me get noticed by recruiters,” Fan said. “I got several interviews from major SAP consulting firms shortly after handing in my application. In the interviews, I highlighted what I learned and expressed my confidence in accepting challenges for rolling out SAP S/4HANA. In the end, I got an offer and gladly started a junior role at a consulting firm that actively implements SAP S/4HANA projects.”

While Fan’s path is inspiring, she is not the only one who turned their life around with the help of SAP. Given the expectation-exceeding demand of now more than 14,500 candidates, we are overwhelmed by the positive uptake of the initiative. One of our recent graduates, Chelcie Scott, agreed to tell her story on camera and shared how intimidating the tech industry appeared to the single mother at first. Thanks to her willpower and commitment, plus a little help from the digital skills initiative, she recently got certified and hired by an SAP partner. And as organizations are still struggling to find skilled employees, we have decided to extend SAP’s digital skills initiative, bringing candidates and organizations together. With simplified access to SAP-trained talent, we are helping customers and partners to recruit talent and expand their workforce faster while also allowing for greater diversity and innovation.

At SAP, we recognize the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for customers, partners, and individual learners within and outside of the SAP ecosystem. With these enhancements, we have taken the next step to help organizations equip their existing workforce with the right tools and resources to future-proof their skill set while also paving career growth for those who do not have a seat at the table yet but can bring a fresh set of perspectives to it.

Break Down Barriers With the Help of SAP’s Digital Skills Initiative

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Break Down Barriers With the Help of SAP’s Digital Skills Initiative

Andre Bechtold is SVP and head of Solution & Innovation Experience at SAP.

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