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ERP certifications

I have a bachelor's degree in Computer Science. Five years ago I started working as a PC technician and moved my way up to a network administrator in a small company. I am still working with NT, 2000, Exchange 5.5 and SQL 7.0 -- as you can see a little bit of everything. I am an administrator and not a programmer of developer. I want to do more, but I feel that I am limited here.

I have never done any certifications and I do want to stay within system administration, setup, etc.

I think I might be interested about ERP. Would you be able to tell me where to start on ERP? Also what specialty program could I get involved with given my background?
Thanks for your recent e-mail. It sounds like you've got the right kind of background and interest to start going after MCSA and MCSE in the short term. I'd recommend visiting www.microsoft.com/mcp/ and following the certifications links there to learn more about these programs. You will have to beef up your Windows 2000 knowledge and skills, however, since it's no longer possible to certify on NT 4. In addition, you'll want to start digging into Windows Server 2003 after you get your Windows 2000 credentials (it only takes one exam, 70-292, to upgrade an MCSA from 2000 to Server 2003; two exams, 70-292 and 70-296, to upgrade an MCSE from 2000 to Server 2003).

As for ERP, AFAIK SAP (SAP R3) is the only ERP company that still offers a certification program. But before you can consider certifying, you've got a lot to learn. I'd recommend getting some books and doing some reading to learn more about the environment and the technology, then digging into some trade magazines that deal with ERP topics and trying to learn more about the kinds of job roles working in ERP leads to. Then--and only then--would I recommend that you start thinking about a way to transition from your current type of work into other work that would let you get involved with ERP.

Because this is likely to take some time, there's no reason why you couldn't get started on the MS cert stuff for the shorter term, and start looking into ERP for the longer term, with an idea that your transition could start in somewhere from 2 to 5 years. You might decide, for example, that a Master's degree in business or MIS would help you move more effectively into the kind of work where you're likely to need ERP skills and knowledge. This also maps nicely into a 2-5 time horizon, BTW.

I hope you find this information useful and informative. Thanks again for writing. Good luck with your career planning.

This was last published in January 2004

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