When we started out in a career as a formal Business Analyst (BA), there wasn’t any certification required. This requirement did not go into effect until early 2000. Most of us learned the role of a Business Analyst on the job and by exploring reading materials (mainly from IEEE for the management requirement) and case studies to strengthen our knowledge. Many of us created our own standard documents that were not part of the process.
Now, the Business Analysis field is a well-evolved field of study. There are many institutes that are working toward creating standards, as well as the options of training and certification to validate knowledge either at the beginning of one’s career or as a candidate goes along.
An aspiring Business Analyst has the following options to launch their career:
- Formal Training and Certification at the entry level
Since there is an option for aspiring Business Analysts to select entry-level education as well as certification through various private and public education systems, recruiters may prefer the candidate who has undergone formal and structured training and has proven his/her knowledge through credible certificates.
And at the mid-level section, Business Analysts who wish to keep their professional knowledge/ license up-to-date also have options to formally update their knowledge on a regular basis by keeping their certifications valid.
The following is a chart you can use as a guide for your BA career. The entry level BA certification are highlighted in yellow. In addition, there are also other certifications that may be useful at the various stages of BA career. Please note that these certification institutes (except ANISAN Technologies and university degree) do NOT offer training as it is outsourced to the private institutes who provide training and prepare for the certification.
ANISAN, on contrary offers comprehensive services such as training, valid certification, professional development units needed for certification and prepare students for the certifications exams mentioned below.
Comparison Chart of Certificate Options Available for Business Analyst at Entry Level:
Please note that PMI-PBA has the following eligibility criteria:
- Five years (7,500 hours) within the past eight consecutive years with project experience of 2000 hours (equivalent to 1 year).
- Three years (4,500 hours) within the past eight consecutive years with project experience/ 2000 hours (equivalent to 1 year).
For more information, please check this link: http://www.pmi.org/Certification/PMI-Professional-in-Business-Analysis-PMI-PBA.aspx
Note for Recruiters and aspiring Business Analysts: At the entry level, the emphasis must be on candidate’s ability to perform the job and for that (initial state) BCS (British Computer Society) certificate in Business Analysis or IREB’s CPRE-FL (International Requirement Engineering Board’s Certified Professional for Requirement Engineering – Foundation Level) is adequate, as these exams make a person understand the intricacies of the requirement management process over the project lifecycle. The certified candidates are not only aware of the basics of Business Analysis, but they’re also capable of producing deliverables.
The candidates with a master’s degree in Business Analysis may have a bigger advantage, as a university degree coupled with two years of rigorous course work will create a better knowledge foundation.
Once the candidate reaches mid-level, he/she can prove the knowledge via the next level certification i.e. CPRE-AL from IREB (International Requirement Engineering Board’s Certified Professional for Requirement Engineering – Advance Level), DIP in Business Analysis, or CBAP(Certified Business Analyst Professional.
A master’s degree in Business Analysis will give a person more of an advantage over someone who has only completed certificate courses. This statement can be backed with a similar analogy I can present with Management Degrees two decades ago. In the beginning, a certificate in management could get a job, but later, a Diploma in Management Degree was preferred over those certificates and, eventually, both certificates were replaced by a full-time or part-time Master Degree or Post Graduate Diploma in Management.
Going forward, an aspiring Business Analyst can use this comparative chart along with the latest updates in the education industry (Business Analysis) to see the trend before selecting the right education course to that can help launch their career successfully.
Lastly, the Business Analyst must know that this training offered is only one third of the requirement as along with Business Analyst Knowledge, the Business Analyst must possess knowledge in the following areas:
- Finance and Economics
- Domain Knowledge (for example – for Finance domain, aspiring BA can opt for formal Education CFA, MBA or on-the-job experience)
- Business Case Development
- SMEs (Subject Matter Experts)
- Principle of Information Technology
- Organization Structure and other Management skills
- Vendor Management
Before you plan your career in Business Analysis, you must evaluate your current capability in terms of knowledge and skill, and plan carefully to acquire remaining ones.
My next blog is based on howto acquire Business and IT knowledge before launching your career in BusinessAnalysis.
Here is the blog to help you stay ahead in your Business Analysis career when you have acquired 5-7 years’ experience – Which Business Analysis Certificate Suits Your Business Analyst Career Need? – Part II (Mid-Level)
Also included: How to Stay Ahead with Correct Certifications When You Are Already Working as a Business Analyst.
Disclaimer: This chart is provided by an independent professional and purely compared on the data available on their official website. Please note that these websites were accessed during the time period of September 10, 2014 through October 4, 2014.
I recommend everyone visit their website(mentioned in the picture) to check the latest updates or verify any doubt.
Business Analysis – The Question And Answer Book. It is way you can understand all… over 200 questions and elaborated answers.
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