Business Analyst Certification: Why Is It Necessary & How to Get One?

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In recent years, business analyst (BA), as a profession, is becoming popular. More and more young people choose it for their career path in the long run. Even so, most newcomers do not know why a business analyst certification is important.

This article offers those who are interested in business analyst jobs an overview of business analyst certifications and a step-by-step guide to get one.

Let’s check it through!

Why do you need to get a Business Analyst certification?

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For a business analyst, besides the bachelor’s degree, a professional certification is worth taking into consideration. How is it necessary and crucial to a BA? Let me answer this question for you.

Business analyst certifications validate your skill set

It is obvious that a certification from an international trust-worthy organization is an ideal choice to prove that you have a standardized skill set. Hiring managers not only prefer the hands-on experiences in different companies but also highly appreciate your certification, which proves that your skills officially meet certain standards.

If you have valuable experiences as a business analyst, a certification will be a big plus. And if you are still finding new chances, why don’t you start with a business analyst certification? Perhaps it will be the golden key to open a new world for you!

It boosts your salary

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According to Payscale, the annual average salary for a business analyst is AU$82,497. However, do you know that the companies are willing to get approval for a salary of AU$104,000 if you have an appropriate business analyst certification (like CBAP)?

It is another important reason to pursue a certification, right?

A business analyst certification also helps you grow your business analysis career

Let’s think further. If you intend to dedicate your time to become a business analyst, a certification is a must-have to move forward in your career path.

The certification offers beginners a ticket to enter the world of business analysts and start to explore. For professionals, with different certifications, they can make huge progress in the industry to step up a notch higher in the market.

Top 4 business analyst certifications

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IIBA (International Institute Of Business Analysis) is the first and reputable organization to provide certificates to BA.

Owning an IIBA certification means the business analyst is recognized for professional skills and qualifications in this field. To take the IIBA certification exam, candidates need to have enough practical work experience, certain skills and qualifications at each specific level.

IIBA certificate includes 3 levels, ECBA, CCBA, and CBAP. Let’s see the details!

1. IIBA Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA)

The ECBA (Entry Certificate in Business Analysis) is the most basic certification in the IIBA’s certification system for BA. It is designed for novice and inexperienced analysts.

  • Requirements: 21 hours of professional development within the last 4 years
  • Application fee: $60
  • Exam fee: $110 for members and $235 for non-members of IIBA
  • Exam Re-Write Fee: $ 89 for members and $ 195 for non-members of IIBA
  • Recertification Fee: No renew required

Note: This certificate is suitable for beginners without experiences in business analysis. If you are a complete newcomer who plans to take the first steps in this path, this certification will be the best choice for you to cover the foundational skills and knowledge.

2. IIBA Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA)

CCBA (Certification of Competency in Business Analysis) is level 2 in IIBA’s certification system for professional BA. The professional business analysts usually choose this one.

  • Requirements: 21 hours of professional development within the last 4 years + 3750 hours of BA work in the last 7 years, minimum of 900 hours of 2/6 KA and 500 hours of 4/6 KA by BABOK.
  • Application fee: $ 125
  • Exam fee: $ 325 for members and $ 450 for non-members of IIBA
  • Exam Re-Write Fee: $ 250 for members and $ 375 for non-members of IIBA
  • Recertification Fee: $ 85 for members and $ 120 for non-members of IIBA

Note: This is the second level of certification for business analysts who have certain experiences of 2–3 years.

3. IIBA Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)

CBAP (Certified Business Analysis Professionals) is the highest level in IIBA’s BA certification system. Candidates are professional BA with at least 7500 hours of BA experience in the past 10 years (equivalent to 3.6 years of full-time BA experience). After passing the exam, to maintain and renew this certification, you’ll need to report 60 CDUs (Continuing Development Units) every 3 years to the IIBA.

  • Requirements: 35 hours of professional development within the last 4 years + 7500 hours of BA work in the past 10 years, a minimum of 900 hours of BABOK 4/6 KA.
  • Application fee: $ 125
  • Exam fee: $ 325 for members and $ 450 for non-members of IIBA
  • Exam Re-Write Fee: $ 250 for members and $ 375 for non-members of IIBA
  • Recertification Fee: $ 85 for members and $ 120 for non-members from IIBA

4. Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering (CPRE)

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The CPRE (Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering) of the International Requirements Engineering Board (IREB) includes 3 levels: Foundation, Advanced and Expert. With CPRE, you have to go through the previous levels to take the next one.

If you’re working in the requirements engineering field and handle business development, testing or design demands, this certification will help you develop your professional skills.

IREB is responsible for the entire program of CPRE. You need to obtain documents from authorized centers and participate in the test taken by different centers.

  • Fees: Vary depending on different centers
  • Recertification Fee: None

3. How to get a CBAP?

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Professionals with a business analyst certification from one of the world’s leading associations like the International Institute of Business Analysis or the Project Management Institute are in greater demand, more respected. Hence, it is easier to get credibility for their business analysis work.

There is no doubt that the CBAP applications and the exams are difficult. While there is no particular path to CBAP, the path you should take strongly depends on the time you want to invest, your budget and your schedule to become certified, there are certain general phases to prepare for this certification that each individual must pass through.

Step 1: Confirm your business analysis Experience

The application of the CBAP requires about 5–10 years (7,500 hours) of business analysis experience, as defined by the BABOK Guide. It means that in any given project, if you’ve worked 1000 hours in total, and only 25% of this time has been allocated to business analysis activities, then you can only use 250 hours to apply toward your eligibility. Your practical experience must align with at least 4 of the 6 areas of knowledge (900 hours).

This is a challenging task as it requires that you look back and recall information about each of the projects you’ve worked on. You will need to remember the project name, description, hours worked on each project, hours spent on business analysis tasks on each project, etc.

Document your experience, in itself, strengthens trust.

Step 2: Earn appropriate Professional Development Hours (PDs)

To complete your CBAP application, you must have 35 documented professional development hours. Many training courses in business analysis and some conferences qualify you for professional development credits.

Step 3: Prepare and submit your CBAP application

All applications are submitted to IIBA and the entire CBAP certification process is published on their website at iiba.org. In addition to your business analysis experience and PDs, you must provide proof that meets the minimum education requirement (high school or equivalent) and have two references.

Step 4: Understanding BABOK

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Becoming a CBAP represents that you are a senior business analyst professional, as IIBA defines it through A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK Guide). It means to prepare for the CBAP®, you are required to understand the content of the BABOK Guide and be able to pass an exam demonstrating your knowledge and application of the material.

The BABOK Guide is a dense text. It’s likely that several readings will be necessary to fully appreciate the information contained in it.

Many business analysts report improved experience at this stage from joining a BABOK Guide study group. Study groups can be informal, and focused mostly on reading and discussing the BABOK Guide contents, or more formal, and focused on exam preparation. Study groups can be hosted by an IIBA chapter, an employer, or anyone who wants to coordinate one.

Another beneficial resource here is the exam simulators to check their knowledge and ability to respond to the types of questions that must be responded in the exam.

Step 5: Schedule and Pass Your CBAP Exam

Once your application is approved, schedule an examination within 2–3 months. You can always reschedule the exam or, if you take the exam and do not pass, you can take it again within one calendar year of your application being approved. Scheduling the test instantly keeps you motivated.

Sit for the exam and try your best to gain the business analyst certification.

If there are any questions, you can leave your comment to let us know. Designveloper is willing to help you all the time!

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Designveloper is leading software development company in Vietnam. We offer Web development, mobile application, UI/UX Design, VOIP. www.designveloper.com

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