The 7 Best Business Analyst Certifications to Enhance Your Career

As a Business Analyst, you identify and merge business needs with IT resources to improve productivity and efficiency. Pursuing a certification can increase your chances of earning a higher salary.

A business analyst certification can help you stand out as an ideal candidate for available jobs and help you make a bigger impact at work. Some certifications available have specific requirements that you must meet before beginning the process. Be sure to verify that you meet the prerequisites before choosing to invest in a certification program.

The ECBA is the first level of certification you can earn with the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). Accreditation is for entry-level business analysts with less experience who are looking to improve their skills.

The IIBA requires you to complete 21 hours of professional education credits within the past four years before taking the exam. The ECBA is one of the few certifications that does not require renewal as you have the option of upgrading to the second or third level of certification after completing the ECBA.

Completing your ECBA tells employers that you have a basic knowledge of business analysis practices. If you’ve been thinking about getting certified for a while, you might have noticed that Coursera offers certifications. You might be wondering if a Coursera certificate can get you a job?

The CCBA is the second level of IIBA certification. It requires a minimum of 5,750 hours of business analysis work aligned with IIBA’s Business Analysis Book of Knowledge (BABOK) guide over the past seven years.

You also need 900 hours in two of the six BABOK knowledge areas or 500 hours in four of the six BABOK knowledge areas. The IIBA requires applicants to complete 21 hours of professional development training within the previous four years and two professional references.

The CCBA exam has scenario-based questions that require you to perform analysis. There are 130 multiple-choice questions in the exam, and they cover vital concepts, fundamentals, underlying skills, techniques, and the six knowledge areas covered in the BABOK.

The CCBA is a great choice for anyone with mid-level experience in business analysis who wants to improve their skills. Earning certification shows employers your ability to apply business analysis techniques to real-world situations.

CBAP is the third level of IIBA certification. The IIBA created this certification for people with substantial experience as business analysts. To qualify for CBAP, you need 7,500 hours of work experience in business analysis within the past ten years, 900 hours of work experience in four of the six BABOK knowledge areas, and a minimum of 35 hours of professional development over the past four years in addition to professional references.

The exam has 120 multiple-choice questions based on case studies, and the IIBA gives you 3.5 hours to complete the exam. After passing the exam, you must declare that you have taken 60 hours of continuous development units every three years. The CBAP is for professionals with a lot of experience in business, passionate about the subject and wishing to become an expert in business analysis.

The certification process equips you with the latest business analysis techniques and leadership qualities and is considered one of the essential certifications for business professionals. If you love data, you might be interested in Data Engineer and Data Architect certifications to enhance your skills.

The CBDA is a relatively new certification, recognizing your ability to perform analytics-related work in support of business analytics projects. Candidates should have practical skills in application areas, such as customer experience management, information security risk management, strategy execution, and change management.

To pass the exam, you must examine a real business problem, identify data sources, learn how to collect data, analyze it, interpret and report results from the data. You should also demonstrate how the results can influence business decision-making and guide enterprise-wide business analysis strategies.

Obtaining your CBDA lets employers know that you are qualified to help their organization manage data analytics initiatives and priorities. If you’re considering a job in data analytics, you might want to learn more about the highest paying jobs for data analysts.

The Professional in Business Analysis (PBA) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI) is designed for business analysts who work with programs or projects or program and project managers who work with analytics. The certification focuses on business analytics training with hands-on projects and testing on business analytics fundamentals, principles, and tools.

If you have a bachelor’s degree, you need three years of work experience or 4,500 consecutive hours in business analysis within the last eight years to earn your certification. You need five years or 7,500 hours of non-degree work experience. You must also achieve 60 Professional Development Units within three years of achieving certification to maintain your renewal status.

The PBA is one of the most widely accepted and recognized business analytics certifications. If you allow your renewal to expire, PMI may suspend your credentials for one year until you meet the requirements. If you are considering pursuing a project management certification, you might want to know why you should go for a PMP certification to advance your technology career.

According to the IIBA, agile methodology is becoming increasingly important for business analysts. The IIBA designed the exam to address the required skill set and certify business analytics professionals working in agile environments that require rapid adaptation and rapid change. The IIBA developed the exam using the agile extension of the BABOK Knowledge Guide released in May 2018.

Unlike other IIBA certifications that build on each other, the Agile Analytics Certification (AAC) is a standalone certification. The exam is offered via remote online proctoring and has 85 scenario-based multiple-choice questions that you have 2 hours to answer. The exam covers four main topics, and the breakdown is as follows:

  • Agile mindset — 30%
  • Strategic Horizon—10%
  • Initiative horizon — 25%
  • Delivery horizon—35%

The AAC is valid for three years, then you must renew it. When pursuing your CAA, it helps to work with a team that is focused on getting projects done quickly and dealing with ever-changing goals and requirements.

The Internal Qualifications Board for Business Analysts (IQBBA) offers the CFLBA program. The CFLBA is an entry-level certification that requires you to obtain higher levels of accreditation from the IQBBA.

The CFLBA is a globally recognized certification with accredited exams and training centers in international locations. The IQBBA designed the CFLBA for people involved in organizational business processes, modeling processes and business improvements. The foundational certification covers innovation and design, tools and techniques, investigation and business analysis process planning.

Once you have completed your CFLBA, you can pursue your Certified Advanced Level Business Analyst (CALBA) and Certified Expert Level Business Analyst (CELBA) certifications. IQBBA accredited examination and training centers in the United States are limited to centers in Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Maryland and Chicago. If you are not close to one of these cities, you have the option of taking the courses and exams online.

Which certification will you choose?

If you’ve ever decided to advance your career by pursuing a certification, you now know that there are many options to choose from. You need to do your homework and make sure you meet the minimum requirements before making a choice.

Don’t be afraid to share your plans with your manager or supervisor. They may be able to help you earn the hours you need by assigning you additional project tasks. If you’re unsure if a business analytics certification is what you want to pursue, you can learn about other certifications that can help you advance your career.

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