With the number of businesses using SAP solutions growing, so is the number of people working in the industry. In addition to the 110,000+ individuals employed by the tech giant directly, hundreds of thousands more work for companies that use the ERP technology. These roles include everything from SAP administrators and engineers, to SAP architects and developers.
As SAP recruitment agency Eursap points out, a career in the industry “offers challenging work, teaching cross-transferable skills and offering on-the-job learning. It is well-paid and in demand and offers great career progression opportunities.”
Like many digital-based industries, the nature of working in SAP lends well to freelance work. Many workers choose to be contractors for multiple companies simultaneously instead of just for one permanently. For those that are considering working in SAP, or those that already do so but are evaluating their career path, the choice between permanent and contract SAP work is an important one.
What is the difference between the two and what are the advantages of both?
What are permanent and contract SAP jobs?
A permanent SAP job involves working for a fixed employer for a set number of hours a week. This organisation will pay them a pre-agreed salary in return, while also handling all of their taxes on their behalf — more on this later.
In contrast, an SAP contract job is where an individual is contracted to work for a particular employer for a set period of time. This might be for a few weeks, a few months or for the duration of a particular project. Unlike full-time workers, SAP contractors must deal with their own tax obligations. It’s important to note that a contractor (also known as a freelancer) is different from a part-time, temporary, or fixed-term worker.
Let’s look at the benefits of both types of SAP jobs in turn.
What are the advantages of permanent SAP jobs?
Greater job stability
One of the main advantages of a permanent SAP job is the stability involved, with a guaranteed role and pay. This is unlike a SAP contract job, where there are more risks — for example, the sudden cancellation of a project or being unable to find new contracts.
Better progression opportunities
Permanent SAP jobs generally involve a clear path for career progression, enabling employees to work towards scaling their career ladder and more senior positions.
Readily available training
It also tends to be easier and more affordable to expand your skillset as a permanent employee. It is worthwhile for a business to invest in their staff, meaning most provide ample training opportunities. In contrast, contractors generally have to seek out their own training.
Unlike contractors, a permanent SAP employee receives employee entitlements like sick pay, annual leave and maternity leave by law. In addition, permanent employers deal with all of their employee’s tax obligations on their behalf, saving them significant effort.
Working for a company permanently allows employees to fully assimilate themselves into the organisation’s work ethics and culture, something that can offer both professional and non-professional benefits.
What are the advantages of SAP contract jobs?
Greater earning opportunities
SAP contractors can expect to earn more than permanent SAP workers. This is because they can generally charge quite a lot, as companies tend to pay inflated fees for short term access to specialised skills.
In addition to this, freelance SAP workers are taxed differently to permanent employees, something that tends to lead to tax savings. What’s more, they can claim tax relief on various expenses, further saving them money.
Being a SAP contract worker gives you the opportunity to be your own boss. From choosing your employers to setting your own hours, there is so much more freedom involved.
By the same token, freelance SAP workers tend to enjoy more varied careers by virtue of being able to take on different jobs for different companies.
More networking opportunities
Working for various organisations enables SAP contractors to meet and network with a lot more people than permanent employees. This can open up a wealth of opportunities down the line that such workers are also more easily able to take on.
Which one is right for me?
There are many differences between permanent and contract SAP jobs, and which one suits any one person best is down to their own preferences.
Generally speaking, a freelance career is more suited to those looking to make more money and enjoy more freedom, whereas working as a permanent SAP employee is more risk-free and comes with significant support from one’s employer.