With the launch of SAP HANA, the new In-Memory DB platform from SAP, I decided that I needed to prove my skills with this popular new technology before it takes off mainstream.
Being in control of my own training plan means that I can see the issues large companies have.
Training is not cheap when you factor in the cost of the training, the overnight hotel stays, breakfasts, evening meals and car fuel, plus you have to pay the employee for the day.
Advances in technology mean you can now complete some training online. This is obviously sacrificing the usual face-to-face interaction and dynamism you get in a classroom, but if you are a capable learner (you need a specific technique), then you can benefit from the flexibility of online learning.
SAP launched the Learning Hub primarily to provide a method of easily selecting and following a training plan or certification path.
Secondly, the Learning Hub provides the perfect place to manage and distribute online training content.
Let's get to the point:
How does it compare cost-wise with classroom based training? Well here's how I worked it out:
(Certification C_HANATEC131 proposes that courses HA100 and HA200 should be completed.)
- SAP HANA HA100 classroom cost: £1040.
- SAP HANA HA200 classroom cost: £2600.
- Travel & overnight stay costs (for me): £120 per night = ~ £840
- C_HANATEC131 certificate exam: £350
TOTAL for classroom training & certification exam: £4830.
Compare the above total to the Learning Hub method that I used:
- 12 months subscription to SAP Learning Hub: £2400.
(Courses HA100E and HA200R are in the catalogue)
- Travel & overnight stay costs (for me) one night: £120
- C_HANATEC131 certificate exam: £350
TOTAL for SAP Learning Hub online training & certification exam: £2870.
As you can see, the Learning Hub route gave me much better value.
And the best is still to come...
With the 12 months subscription, I get access to ALL of SAP eLearning courses.
Not only can I now choose another set of courses, but should I decide to certify on another topic, I just need to pay for the exam and I've saved money yet again.
There must be a downside?
Not necessarily. It does mean that you have to be a certain type of learner. You need a learning technique that suits you and a method of time control that stops learning overload.
Being my own boss means I can take time to train in-between contracts, but you could also perform your training online in the evenings.
- Find the certification exam you want to complete, on http://training.sap.com
- Expand the "Topic Areas" section on the page and you will see the topic course recommendations on the right.
- Print the page with the areas expanded, so you can see the "%" of relevance to the certification exam.
- Use the Learning Hub to access the online version of the required/recommended training courses.
These usually also include a PDF document with the course content.
Don't forget to include the install and upgrade guides if relevant.
- Upload the PDF(s) to your tablet for a little easy reading when lounging (or when you have some dead time).
- Write key concepts on Post-It Notes and stick them somewhere you look at regularly (a wall maybe).
Don't move them once stuck, because this helps you visualise them in your mind whilst learning.
You'll come to know exactly on the wall where certain notes are. That's because you've remembered them with the associated place on the wall.
- Write notes in a book or notepad as you go through the learning material.
Don't write long paragraphs and definitely copy down diagrams, it helps reinforce the picture contents.
- Review and revise often.
You don't need long, maybe 20 minutes.
Sometimes, just staring and going through the Post-It Notes will help them stick.
- Look up any acronyms you don't know.
- Don't be too concerned with the test exams, they are not very accurate or good quality.
When you think you're ready, book your exam. You can always re-take it if you have been unsuccessful.