If you wanted to find an ERP system with the most dedicated fan-base, it would have to be PeopleSoft.
Now owned by Oracle, PeopleSoft is given especially high marks for its Human Capital Management (HCM) and financial modules. Frequently compared to the competing SAP ERP suite, it’s said to be leaner, more user-friendly and flexible.
Others disagree, of course. But ERP systems—and PeopleSoft is no exception—are enormously complicated and multifaceted, meaning they’ll never please everyone. What should please many job seekers about PeopleSoft are the generous salaries for people who can architect, administer and maintain the systems.
PeopleSoft: still playing in the big leagues
You don’t hear of PeopleSoft quite as much as you do of its main competitor, but make no mistake, it’s still running in countless enterprises, government departments and educational institutions across Canada. For example, Canada’s justice Department, counting around 5,500 employees, uses PeopleSoft’s Human Resources Management System, and much of the public sector for years.
Some organizations use only the HCM PeopleSoft applications, while others might buy the entire suite, including supply-chain management, procurement, billing, automation software, and so on. It’s really an end-to-end enterprise system.
Scarcity and salaries rise together
It’s no easy task to manage 5,500 employees, let alone virtually every business process, in one platform, and so people with a variety of PeopleSoft skills are in high demand. The salaries can be very high, especially since in both large enterprises and government departments, the system has become ingrained over many years of use.
When IT professionals have a skillset centering on ERP systems, it’s more likely to be in SAP. IT job seekers can be unsure about whether a technology has past its prime, so they’ll tend to learn the seemingly more popular platform.
But with a relative shortage of PeopleSoft architects, developers and so on, the value of those who do possess these skills goes up. It’s not as extreme as the situation COBOL is in right now, but there are a few similarities: a somewhat unexciting technology that not many people are willing to learn, a legacy problem, and big money for the modest number of professionals who have the skills for it.
Is certification worth it?
I’d go out on a limb here and say that certification is frequently misunderstood. They can be of great educational value, but they don’t count for nearly as much as experience on a resume. Plus, when you compare Oracle’s PeopleSoft certifications with SAP’s ERP certifications, you’ll note that they can be very expensive indeed. That said, if you’re looking to work only in a specific capacity (e.g., HR), you don’t need to take the full range of courses.
Here is a link to the PeopleSoft certifications currently being offered by Oracle.
Still, the best way to learn PeopleSoft applications is to use them in real-world scenarios. Get in a company that still uses the platform, keep your eyes and ears open, and you’ll cash in on your knowledge soon enough.