Business analysis is an exciting field and one in which certification is desirable, not just to prove your skills but also to find jobs in higher ranks. In this article, we'll take a look at some common certifications and a few reasons why it's a good idea get certified.
Business Analyst Certifications
Several organizations offer certifications in business analysis but one of the most recognized ones come from the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA):
● Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA). The ECBA is designed for people who are just getting started in the field. Getting this certification requires undertaking an examination and a minimum of 21 professional development hours.
● Certificate of Capability in Business Analysis (CCBA). The CCBA is intended for business people with 2-3 years of experience and requires references, an exam, 3,750 hours of business analysis experience in the last 7 years and 21 hours of professional development.
● Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP). The CBAP is an advanced certification that requires candidates to have 7,500 hours of experience in the BA field over the last 10 years as well as 35 hours of professional development in addition to two references and a passing score on the exam.
● Agile Analysis Certification (AAC). The AAC gives business analysis professionals in the agile field a credential to show they know their stuff. It requires a rigorous and online-administered exam.
● Certification in Business Data Analytics (IIBA-CBDA). The IIBA-CBDA is the latest certification and it’s at the intersection between data analytics and business.
1. Business Analysis Certification Programs Prepare You For Certification Exams
The certification exams are no picnic. They cover a lot of topics and challenge you in several ways. IIBA exams are based on the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK) Guide, a hefty text that now serves as a seminal text in the field.
As an example of what you'll face in a certification exam, the competencies for the ECBA cover topics from stakeholder engagement to requirements elicitation. It will test your ability to follow rules, perform common BA tasks and adhere to ethical practice. It touches on the most fundamental elements of BABOK Guide's Six Knowledge Areas:
● Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring
● Elicitation and Collaboration
● Requirements Life Cycle Management
● Strategy Analysis
● Requirements Analysis and Design Definition
● Solution Evaluation
BA certification programs are explicitly designed to help you pass these exams, giving you the core competencies, theoretical knowledge and practical skills to certify in the field.
2. BA Certification Programs Make You a Better Businessperson
Even if you have a degree in business, sufficient experience in businesses across different domains or you've been in the BA field for years, certification can help improve your skills. You’ll be exposed to topics like business analysis planning and methods, business solution development and delivery, requirements identification and management, business solution evaluation and validation, assessing organizational gaps and more.
3. BA Certification Programs Are Flexible
One of the main reasons why professionals decide not to pursue a certification is because of the time involved. These days, though, that's less of a concern — Business Analysis certification programs are available in all sorts of formats. Do you like going to an actual classroom to learn? You'll find courses that accommodate that. Want to flip on your webcam and attend a seminar virtually? That's out there, too. Love the idea of learning at your own pace in your spare time, and even in your pajamas, if you feel like it? Many programs have self-paced, online BA certification programs that will let you knock out courses whenever it's convenient for you.
4. BA Certification Programs Can Boost Your Salary
Tuition fees for certification programs can run up to a few thousand dollars and fees for the certification exams can also add another few hundred dollars. It involves a considerable investment of funds but when you look at the boost in salary that certification offers, it's well worth it. Payscale.com puts the average annual salary at AU$82,497 for BA professionals and AU$104,000 for certified business analysts (CBAP).
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