According to a World Economic Forum (WEF) estimate, around 50% of all employees globally will need to be reskilled by 2025 due to incremental addition of technology in the world. This is a massive challenge for all of us as failure to skill, upskill and reskill people in the face of the changing technological developments will have great repercussions including unemployment, inequality, poverty and huge economic loss for countries.

In a recent interview with HT Digital, Max Wessel, Executive Vice President, SAP Learning, spoke about their plans to skill and upskill people, especially women and the underserved population. Max also spoke about ‘TechEd 2022 announcements’ and how they would play an important role in fulfilling their plans to upgrade a large number of people and generate employment.

Here are excerpts from that interview with Max Wessel:

The nature of jobs are changing everyday and a large number of people will become redundant in the coming years if they continue with their present skill sets. How do you plan to upskill them or upgrade them?


Skills or right reskills for the future are very important, and to help people acquire relevant skills SAP learning has been going through massive transformation over the last two years. Our estimation is that around 500,000 people will be hired in the world in the next two years to work in and around SAP. The challenge for us is how to enable such broad skilling in an easier, simpler and more accessible manner.

In 2021, at TechEd we announced, optimized for digital natives. One could easily google and get in and start learning at even without logging in.

In the last one year, we have more than tripled learning content on our platform, and also made improvements in terms of what we made available to the students. In 2022, we made student content available for anyone having a university root url across the globe. If a student visits, enters student zone and logs in with his/her university email id, he/she will have access to even more content, training systems and education material than one would have otherwise.

We have also partnered with Coursera to make professional certification for entry level jobs available on their platform for SAP roles. This should bring reach to more than 100 million students who spend time learning on coursera platform on an annual basis.

Further, one of the things we need to do is build a connection between what is needed and what skills people have today. We have launched a new part of the community that’s focused on careers. The SAP community has roughly 24.5 million people on an annual basis. We are allowing our partners for the first time to post open roles, types of roles on our platform. We will also have webinars, expert blogs around how one can go through and leverage our learning content in order to improve skill sets and find opportunities in the market.

Women are an important part of the workforce? How do you plan to increase their participation in tech jobs?

Max: An important step in this direction is the need to decrease the friction in accessing this content for women. We need to combine the free content which is available in the ecosystem with things like certification campaigns which are exclusively available to women.

Simultaneously, we need to build peer networks that help women make their way into the workforce. We have launched a woman in tech group for our community, which helps them go through actively building professional skills in technology, to ask questions and to have a space for that engagement. We have also piloted initiatives in order to understand how we build professional skilling content and how we develop peer networks in a way that helps women make that transition. We need to encourage women to get educated in stem fields and make it easier for them to transition. We are investing a lot in all this.

What is your plan for people in India who are tech savvy and are ready to acquire technology?

Max: Roughly between 35 and 40% of all our learners at SAP globally are in India and so when we build, and think of our end learners, we think of India first. We think about their tech profile. We have beginner, intermediate and advanced level technical learning content on our site. We want to make it easy for people to understand what is next in their journey. Learners can build recognition on the SAP platform, they can become SAP champions or mentors, earn a badge and can demonstrate as a technology expert how much they have in them in the way of skills.

SAP certification can help learners in getting new jobs or promotions. Can you tell us how can one get this certification?

Max: The best way to figure out what is in a certification, what certificates we offer and what is vis-a-vie accessible is to go to our learning site. We have not just our learning journeys but also a list of how these learning journeys lead to certification. So, one can know what skills they have and what they need to acquire in pursuit of certification. I must say that certifications are not just valuable in pursuit of jobs but more that 60% of those who get certified see promotions as a result of that. Simultaneously, we see 91% of people who respond to our survey follow-up, say that they have gained confidence in the work they were doing after going through the certification process. I am happy with the way we have integrated learning content together with the understanding of the certification process.

You have plans to provide certification to underserved people too. How will they be able to get certification?

Max: The benefit for underserved folks is that they can have subsidized certification. They have the same type of learning content available to them. We will also make available to them conversations around how to find their way into the technology workforce. The best part for their journey is that we will make sure that as they access certification attempts, those are covered by SAP.

Can you tell us about the low code, no code journey of SAP learning?

Max: Our low code, no code journey is the most successful journey that we have launched to date. More than one fifth of all the activities on SAP learning site today is on our citizen developer content or no code low code journey. For the first time we have one of the big enterprise application companies giving a clear and defined journey for people who don’t come from a traditional background when it comes to IT education. That unmet demand can be seen everyday in the kind of engagement we see around no code, low code content. And I think that engagement will only increase in the future.

What is the vision of SAP learning and what do you intend to achieve in the next 2-3 years?

Max: We have a very audacious goal, as part of our digital skills initiative, to equip 2 million learners with IT skills that are so relevant in the SAP workforce, by 2025. Our mission is creating opportunity through learning and development for all who want to be in our ecosystem. Our job is to bridge that demand which exists in the SAP ecosystem with professional opportunities for those who are interested.

What will you like to tell our Indian readers?

Max: I mentioned how much of our active learners are based out of India. I think there is such remarkable optimism that exists across India around the potential of technology to transform everything for the better. When I look at more than 77% of world commerce touching an SAP environment in some capacity, I see an opportunity for that active learner engagement that exists within India around SAP to not only create professional opportunity, to not only allow them find higher paying jobs, but also to impact the way global business across the world operates. This is another opportunity for India to demonstrate its global leadership in how business runs, and global enterprises operate.

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