The Best Business Analyst Certifications to Enhance your Career

In this guest post, Simplilearn, a global training provider (who are also part of the Arras People training directory), provides an overview of the most popular Business Analyst certification courses in the UK.

SimplilearnThe business landscape today is a complex blend of money, technology, and management. As a company grows in size, ensuring that all three domains intersect and work in harmony become more and more difficult.

To bring order to this chaos is where a Business Analyst enters. Business Analysts look and find the best way to do more with less and to align all teams with the same goals to meet the final business objectives.

In this article, we’ve analysed the popular questions of Business Analyst certifications and have answered them for you

 

What do Business Analysts do?

According to the IIBA, business analysis is the practice of enabling change in an organisational context, by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders.

The typical role of a Business Analyst is to find ways to improve business operations. But this is just one of their functions. They also have to analyse business problems and identify business needs, design technical solutions to solve the mentioned problems and needs and ensure the proper implementation of these solutions.

Having said that, it must be noted that unlike traditional project management roles, the role of a Business Analyst is highly fluid. A Google search will show you how distorted the Business Analyst definition is. This distortion occurs because the role of Business Analysts differs according to their organisation.

For example: A Project Manager’s role is to deliver the project according to the requirements by ensuring that their team meets the deliverables on time, on budget and to the required level of quality (simply put, of course). This role remains more or less the same, irrespective of the company.

This constant role does not hold true for Business Analysts. In company A, where the focus is more on consulting, for example, a Business Analyst will sit down with the business team, jot down their requirements, move to the IT team and make sure they understand that what is required to make the project work.

On the other hand, in a more technical company like Google, a Business Analyst’s role would necessitate them to use SQL, SAS, R Programming and other statistical concepts to determine why an event has occurred (i.e., why fewer people are clicking on Google ads) and highlight the changes that need to reverse the situation (more relevant ads, better designs, etc.), and speak to necessary teams to make the changes happen.

 

Is a Business Analyst Certification Really Worth it?

Yes, a Business Analyst certification is definitely worth it. According to Payscale, a professional in the field of business analysis could potentially earn up to £75,000 a year.

Additionally, a Business Analyst certification can bring you other benefits. These are:

  • A Business Analyst certification from a respected accreditation body like IIBA or PMI will help you gain credibility in your interview. With this certification in hand, you can show potential employers that you truly have the knowledge necessary to perform the role of a Business Analyst.
  • A Business Analyst who has experience and certification on their side will have a bargaining chip when negotiating their salary or pay increase.
  • Professionals who have enrolled in a Business Analyst certification will be trained in industry-standard skill sets. As a result, they can understand industry jargon and will be more respected by their professional peers.
  • A Business Analyst certification will give professionals the training they need to perform optimally. Thanks to this training, they will be able to use tried and tested methods to enhance business processes in their organisations
  • Companies that use certified Business Analysts will be able to prove to stakeholders and clients that they adhere to industry-standard business analysis practices.

 

Which is the Best Business Analyst Certification?

The best Business Analyst certification for you depends on many things, including your professional experience, your educational qualification, and the type of role you have carried out in your organisation so far.

In this article, we’ll talk about the top 5 BA certifications that you can enrol in.

 

ECBA (Entry Certificate in Business Analysis)

IIBAThe ECBA certification is the first level of the Business Analyst certification. Created by the IIBA, the certificate is perfect for those who are new to the field of business analysis or haven’t had much experience in the field.

 

Accreditation Body

International Body of Business Analysis (IIBA)

Who can do the ECBA certification?

  • Business analysis students
  • Professionals making a career switch to business analysis
  • A professional managing a BA team

What are the eligibility requirements of the ECBA certification?

For candidates to get certified, they must first submit their application to the IIBA website and pay an application fee of $60.

After they pay the application fee, they must meet the following requirements to qualify for the certification.

Must have a minimum of 21 hours of Professional Development Training in the past four years

For this certification, candidates don’t need to have any prior business experience or knowledge area experience.

Candidates who qualify for the test must then pay an examination fee of $110 (for members) or $235 (for nonmembers).

What is the exam format of the ECBA certification?

Participants will have to give a written test to get certified. The exam can be taken from your home and is a live, web-delivered exam that requires a computer, a working webcam, and microphone. The exam format is given below:

  • 1.5 hours long
  • 50 multiple choice questions
  • Knowledge and competency-based exam format

Can the exam for the ECBA certification be retaken?

In the event where a student does not clear the exam on the first try, they can take the exam once more in the same year.

To write the retest, candidates must pay a fee of $85 if they are members of the IIBA and $195 if they are not members.

Does the ECBA certification expire?

This certificate has lifetime value and does not need to be renewed.

 

CCBA (Certification of Capability in Business Analysis)

The CCBA certification is ideal for professionals who want to be recognized as a mid-level Business Analyst with an average experience of 2-3 years. This is the second level of the IIBA Business Analyst certification levels. This certification level is tricky to clear. It helps if professionals can enroll in professional training courses like Simplilearn’s CCBA certification course, which will not only help them clear the exam with ease, but also meet the CCBA’s prerequisites of getting 21 Professional Development Training units.

 

Accreditation Body

International Body of Business Analysis (IIBA)

Who can do the CCBA certification?

  • Product owners/managers
  • Non-BA consultants
  • Trainers
  • Hybrid Business Analysis professionals (those with other business titles but who also perform business analysis) like Project Managers (PMs), Testers, and Quality Assurance (QA) personnel

What are the eligibility requirements for the CCBA certification?

For candidates to get certified, they must first submit their application to the IIBA website and pay an application fee of $125.

After they pay the application fee, they must meet the following requirements to qualify for the certification.

  • Minimum 21 hours of Professional Development Training in the past four years
  • Minimum business analysis work experience of 3750 hours in the last 7 years

From within the work experience, the participant must have:

  • A minimum of 900 hours in each of 2 of the 6 knowledge areas or
  • A minimum 500 hours in each of 4 of the 6 knowledge areas
  • 2 reference endorsements by a career manager, internal or external client, or a CBAP receipt. The reference endorsers must meet the criteria set by the IIBA.

Candidates who are deemed qualified to take the exam must then pay an examination fee of $325 (for members) or $450 (for nonmembers).

What is the exam format for the CCBA certification?

Candidates must clear a written test in a  Prometric center to get certified.

  • 3 hours long
  • Multiple choice questions
  • 130 questions
  • Scenario-based questions

Can the exam for the CCBA certification be retaken?

Candidates can take the exam twice in a year after they’ve been approved.

To write the retest, candidates must pay a fee of $250 if they are members of the IIBA and $375 if they are not members.

Does the CCBA certification expire?

Certified professionals will need to renew their certifications every three years by earning a minimum of 60 Continuing Development Units (CDUs) and paying a recertification fee ($85 for members and $120 for non-members).

 

CBAP (Certified Business Analysis Professional)

The CBAP certification comes third in the IIBA certification levels. This Business Analyst certification is for professionals who have been working in the field for over 5 years. This certification is one of the hardest BA certification levels to clear and professionals may need to enroll in any professional training courses like Simplilearn’s CBAP certification course to clear the exam. Simplilearn’s CBAP certification is a good investment to make, as participants can meet the IIBA’s prerequisite of 35 Professional Development Training Units and gain an additional 25 PMP PDUs with the course.

Accreditation Body

International Body of Business Analysis (IIBA)

Who can do the CBAP certification?

This certification helps recognize individuals who have already made a substantial investment in their Business Analyst role. Professionals who can take this course include:

  • Seasoned Business Analysts
  • Systems Analysts
  • Process improvement executives
  • Non-BA consultants
  • Trainers
  • Hybrid Business Analysis professionals (those with other business titles but who also perform business analysis) like Project Managers (PMs), Testers, and Quality Assurance (QA) personnel.

What are the eligibility requirements for the CBAP certification?

For candidates to get certified, they must first submit their application to the IIBA website and pay an application fee of $125.

After they pay the application fee, their application will be examined to ensure they meet the criteria, which are as follows:

  • A minimum of 7500 hours of business analysis work experience in the last 10 years
  • A minimum of 900 hours of experience in 4 of 6 knowledge areas
  • At Least 35 Professional Development Trainings in the last 4 years
  • 2 reference endorsements by a career manager, internal or external client, or a CBAP receipt. The reference endorsers must meet the criteria set by the IIBA.

Candidates who are deemed qualified to take the exam must then pay an examination fee of $325 (for members) or $450 (for non members).

What is the exam format for the CBAP certification?

To get certified, participants must clear a written test in an IIBA Prometric center

  • 3.5 hours long
  • 120 Multiple choice questions
  • Case study based questions (1-1.5 pages long)
  • Each case will have multiple questions on it

Can the exam for the CBAP certification be retaken?

Candidates can take the exam twice in a year after they’ve been approved.

To write the retest, candidates must pay a fee of $250 if they are members of the IIBA and $375 if they are not members.

Does the CBAP certification expire?

Certified professionals will need to renew their certifications every three years by earning a minimum of 60 Continuing Development Units (CDUs) and paying a recertification fee ($85 for members and $120 for non-members).

 

CBATL (Certified Business Analysis Thought Leader)

Not much is known about the CBATL certification. This certification is the fourth level of IIBA’s new certification levels. Professionals who have over 10 years of relevant Business Analyst work experience are qualified to get certified in this tier. These professionals will be considered thought leaders and will meet the following criteria.

  • Will possess skill and expertise in the Business Analyst domain that is well sought after
  • Will advance and give back to the BA profession and community
  • Will have the capacity to contribute to the evolution of the BA practice

 

Accreditation Body

International Body of Business Analysis (IIBA)

What are the eligibility requirements for the CBATL certification?

To be eligible for a CBATL certification, a candidate should have at least 15,000 hours of business analysis work experience.

What is the exam format for the CBATL certification?

The exam format for the CBATL is assessment-based and most likely focuses on testing the critical thinking skills of candidates.

 

PMI-PBA (PMI Professional in Business Analysis)

The PMI-PBA certification is also worth mentioning here. Most people aren’t aware of PMI’s certification.

This certification is at par with the CBAP and people who have been working in the business analysis field for over 5 years are suitable candidates for this certification.

Accreditation Body

Project Management Institute

Who can do the PMI-PBA certification?

  • Professionals working with project teams
  • Programme or Project Managers who use the principles of business analysis in their role

 

What are the eligibility requirements for the PMI-PBA certification?

For candidates to get certified, they must meet the following requirements.

  • Possess a secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree)
  • Have 7,500 hours of business analysis experience in 8 years
  • Have 2,000 hours working on project teams
  • Fulfill the required 35 contact hours of education in business analysis

Or

  • Possess a Bachelor’s degree or the global equivalent
  • Have 4,500 hours of business analysis experience in 8 years
  • Have 2,000 hours working on project teams
  • Fulfill the required 35 contact hours of education in business analysis

 

Candidates who are deemed qualified to take the exam must pay an examination fee of $405 (for members) or $555 (for non members) to take the exam.

What is the exam format for the PMI-PBA certification?

Participants must clear a test at an PMI center to get certified

  • 4 hours long
  • 200 MCQs (25 questions are pretest questions and will not considered during grading)

Can the exam for the PMI-PBA certification be retaken?

Candidates can take the exam three times a year after they’ve been approved.

To write the retest, candidates must pay a fee of $275 if they are members of the PMI and $375 if they are not members.

Does the PMI-PBA certification expire?

Certified professionals will need to renew their certifications every three years by earning a minimum of 60 Continuing Continuing Requirements (CCRs) and paying a recertification fee ($60 for members and $150 for non-members). However, PMI looks at continuing requirements a little differently than the IIBA. According to the PMI, for candidates to qualify for a certification renewal, they will need 35 of their 60 CCRs in education, and the remaining 25 CCRs in working as a professional, volunteering, and creating knowledge.

Conclusion

The field of business analysis is vague and organisation-specific. The role of a Business Analyst in one company would be entirely different from the role a Business Analyst performs in another company. However, the principles the same and a Business Analyst certification will help professionals go a long way in this field.

 

Author Bio

Akshata is a Content specialist for various companies. She has previously worked at Sears and had her start at ANSR source. She loves learning and caught the PM bug when doing research for an article. Since then, she has written multiple PM-related articles for various sites. She values curious minds and loves learning by trying and by talking to new people. Follow her on LinkedIn to learn more.

 

 

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