Analyst: Demand for SAP Skills Keeps Rising

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The ongoing demand for workers skilled in SAP technologies grew dramatically stronger in recent months, according to Foote Partners, an analyst firm in Vero Beach, Florida, that tracks pay rates for IT jobs.

"Employers are feeling more pain than ever in their search for skilled and experienced SAP talent. We expect this to continue for the next year and a half, and maybe longer, " CEO David Foote said in a detailed report on the firm's findings.

During the six months ended July 1, noncertified SAP skills showed the largest increases in pay, rising between 25 percent and 30 percent in some cases, according to Foote's data.

Pay is particularly going up for skills centered on SAP's NetWeaver platform, but the hiring environment is "not peaches and cream for those hanging on to their SAP ERP 4.6 or ERP 6.0 systems either," Foote said in the report.

However, SAP skills are far from the only ones in high demand.

Other areas showing strong upticks in pay during the first half of this year include Oracle, wireless networking, PHP development, business intelligence and network security, according to Foote.

Meanwhile, compensation for other skills dropped, the firm said. Pay for Lotus Notes/Domino and Exchange skills both fell 14.3 percent, for example.

An SAP spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

But in an interview in July, SAP executive Joe Westhuizen said the company first examined its skills shortage 12 to 18 months ago and determined it needed another 50,000 specialists worldwide.

That number has since fallen to about 30,000, following increased hiring by SAP partners, better marketing and other efforts, according to Westhuizen.

"We've definitely got the right initiatives in place, but we still have a lot of work to do," he said at the time.

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