Which business analyst certification is right for me?
If you are looking for business analyst certifications, you might have this question – Which business analyst certification is right for me? Read this article to get answer to this question.
I have considered the business analyst certifications on two counts:
- Popular and widely recognized certifications
- Certifications going to be popular soon
The business analyst certifications are based on expertise and business analysis experience. We will discuss these factors in the next section.
Eligibility criteria for certifications
Business Analysis experience
I am talking about your business analysis experience and not about your professional experience. If you are working as a sales professional for 5 years, your experience is not equivalent to 5 years of business analysis experience. What does business analysis experience mean? See the “Business Analysis expertise” section. The certifications typically don’t consider non-BA experience.
Business Analysis expertise
Business analysts are expected to acquire experience in the requirements gathering, requirement modelling, requirement management etc. There could be differences in the way different certification bodies define the expertise. But these differences are not significant. IIBA, PMI and BCS are the most prominent business analysis certification bodies. IIBA has categorised business analysis expertise into six knowledge areas. These are:
- Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring
- Requirements Management and Communication
- Enterprise Analysis
- Requirements Analysis
- Solution Assessment and Validation
These knowledge areas along with underlying competencies represent the business analyst expertise. We will discuss and explain each of these in a separate post. In simpler terms, if you are involved in the following activities, you have business analysis experience:
- Requirements gathering with the customer
- Requirements analysis and modelling like UML modelling
- Developing SRS
- Functional Testing
- Business case preparation
To help you choose the right certification, I have presented multiple scenarios based on experience and expertise.
If you don’t have any business analysis experience
In the case, you have no exposure to business analysis functions, you will be eligible for entry level certifications. This is true, even if you have industry experience. The certifications available for entry level business analysts are as follows:
Which one is more popular?
IIBA has a much wider acceptance world wide and should be your first choice. However, BCS is widely accepted and recognized in UK and European region and if you are from that region, you must go for BCS.
If you have less then 5 years of business analysis experience
If you have business analysis experience, ECBA and BCS foundation level certifications not worthy of your expertise. You can choose a certification, which is for experienced business analysts. If your experience is less than 5 years, you have the following choices:
IIBA CCBA certification eligibility requirements are as follows:
- Requires a minimum of 3,750 hours of work experience in the last 7 years ( This requirement translates to approximately 3 years of experience)
- Minimum of 21 hours of Professional Development in the last 4 years. This is acquired by attending a training program from an IIBA endorsed education provider like Techcanvass.
PMI PBA certification eligibility requirements are as follows:
- Bachelor’s degree or the global equivalent
- 4,500 hours of business analysis experience (translates to approximately 3.5-4 years of experience)
- 2,000 hours working on project teams
- 35 contact hours of education in business analysis
Which one is more popular?
This is a difficult one. PMI as well as IIBA are well recognized certification bodies. You can choose any one of them. However, if you are looking to go for PMP certification in the future, PMI membership will help you in more than one ways.
If you have 5 years or more of business analysis experience
You are a business analyst and have almost 5 years of business analysis experience, you are eligible for CBAP certification from IIBA. This is the flagship certification and is widely accepted certification currently.
IIBA CBAP certification eligibility requirements are as follows:
- Requires a minimum of 7500 hours of work experience in the last 10 years ( This requirement translates to approximately 5 years of experience)
- Minimum of 35 hours of Professional Development in the last 4 years. This is acquired by attending a training program from an IIBA endorsed education provider like Techcanvass.
You are in an IT professional with no experience of Business Analysis
If you are an IT professional but have no prior business analysis experience, then you have two options:
Option 1: Go for IIBA ECBA Certification (as discussed above)
Option 2: Go for an Agile Business Analyst or Scrum Product Owner certifications
Agile methodologies are used and adopted at a rapid rate. More and more companies have started to use it for projects. Agile methodologies also need business analysts and you need to understand and master the business analysis skills specific to Agile and Scrum. Here is a list of such certifications:
Agile business analyst certifications are relatively new, but are more generic in nature. It will be applicable for all types of Agile methodologies. Agile business analysts are future proof certifications.
Certified SCRUM product Owner
Product Owner is equivalent to Business analyst. The only difference is that Product Owner (PO) is for SCRUM version of Agile methodologies. There are two certifications available for this role:
Which one is more popular?
Certified Agile Business Analyst (CABA) and PSPO are relatively newer certifications. This means that you may not have heard of it. But these are promising ones. CSPO certification is the most popular one. By the way, Certified Scrum Master (CSM) from Scrumalliance is probably the most popular Scrum certifications in the market today.
I have tried and presented all the scenarios, I can think of and have also indicated the popular choices. Hope it helps you in selecting the right certification. Certifications are important as they provide a standardized minimum level of competence.
Techcanvass is an IT certifications training academy for professionals offering courses in Business Analysis, automation testing and analytics. We are an IIBA Endorsed education provider (EEP) and iSQI authorized training partner for conducting business analyst certifications courses.