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How to Get Business Analyst Certification – Step-by-Step Instructions

how to get business analyst certification

Businesses today need every advantage they can get. But, unfortunately, there’s a lot of competition out there, and the situation is made any easier by rapidly changing technology and economic uncertainties. So, when a company is looking for an edge, it turns to business analysts to give them a leg up. That’s why this article focuses on how to become a certified business analyst.

We will look at what a business analyst is, the requirements for a business analysis career, how to get a certification, who should apply to become a certified professional business analyst, and what salary an experienced business analyst can expect. We will even offer an opportunity to take a solid business analyst certification course.

But before we explore how to get business analyst certification, let’s tackle some definitions.

What is a Business Analyst?

A business analyst improves a company’s processes using data analytics to evaluate its IT needs and devise solutions to enhance business systems. In this case, processes refer to things like software, services, and other products. Business analysts bridge the gap between the company and information technology resources.

Business analysts typically analyze large data sets to find the best ways of boosting organizational efficiency. Then, they use data analytics to forecast the outcomes of the strategies implemented to improve business performance.

A Typical Business Analyst Job Description

Before you learn how to become a certified business analyst professional, you should get acquainted with the tasks expected of you. Here are the most common business analyst job duties.

1) Create detailed business analysis, which includes outlining problems, opportunities, and solutions for the company

2) Define the business requirements and report them back to company stakeholders.

3) Business budgeting and forecasting

4) Planning and monitoring strategies and procedures

5) Conduct variance analysis (studying deviations of actual behavior versus forecasted or planned behavior)

6) Pricing

7) Reporting

What Sort of Education Do You Need to Become a Business Analyst?

So you’ve decided to become a business analyst. Great! But where do you begin? How do you get a business analyst certification? The initial step for how to become a certified business analyst is getting your educational requirements squared away. A good business analyst needs at least a bachelor’s degree in business, information technology, management, or a related major. Business analysts with a BA may also decide to supplement their education by pursuing other valuable areas of study like economics or finance.

Many business analysts also have a master’s degree in business analysis or a similar study area. It’s not mandatory, but it helps. A master’s degree on your resume or CV will undoubtedly attract a prospective employer’s attention.

How to Get Business Analyst Certification: Steps to Take

Now let’s explore exactly how to get business analyst certification. First, we will break down the process into simple steps.

1) Choose your certification. There are many certification programs to choose from, ranging from entry-level to expert-level knowledge of business analysis. Decide which level meshes with your interest, experience, and career goals to determine which certification is best for you. Here is a list of popular certifications.

a) IIBA Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA). This certification is for entry-level analysts who want to expand their industry knowledge within the industry.

b) IIBA Certification of Capability in Business Analysis (CCBA).

This certification is ideal for business analyst professionals with a few years of experience who want to advance their careers and industry knowledge. In addition, this is a good certification for people who already have an ECBA certification or who train or manage business analysis professionals.

c) IIBA Certified Business Analyst Professional (CBAP). This certification is geared towards senior business analysis professionals with extensive industry experience. If you already have CCBA certification or are a hybrid business analyst professional who wants to improve your resume and industry knowledge, this certification is for you.

d) IIBA Agile Analysis Certification (AAC). This competency-based certification is perfect for business analysts who want to expand their agile perspective. In addition, the AAC is great for professionals working in agile environments or who wish to expand their knowledge of best industry practices and trends.

e) IQBBA Certified Foundation Level Business Analyst (CFLBA). This certification is excellent for any professional who wants entry-level knowledge in the business analysis industry. This certification is best for business and system analysts, product owners, managers, and requirements and requires finishing a course that covers the basics of business analysis.

f) IREB Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering (CPRE). CPRE certification is for professionals in the business analysis, software and systems development, or requirements engineering industries. The CPRE features three different levels and each build on the last. It begins with Foundation Level, covering the basics of requirements engineering. Next, it moves on to Advanced Level, focusing on whichever of the three different specialties in the requirements engineering industry you choose. The last is the Expert Level, offering professionals training on the most advanced knowledge and skills of the requirements engineering industry.

g) PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PBA) certification. This certification was created for business analyst professionals who work in project management or product development. Additionally, the certificate is suitable for product managers whose job includes business analysis.

2) Get familiar with your certification exam. First, be sure you grasp the basics of the exam’s content. Then, look over the exam blueprint, competencies, and sample test questions to see what material will most likely be covered.        

3) Time to study. At this point, it’s assumed that you have already taken the correct courses on your way to certification. So now it’s time to review the material or standards that align with your chosen certification. You can access different guides that can help prepare you for the exam.

4) Register for the exam and take it. Once you feel sufficiently prepared for the certification exam, it’s time to register or apply for the exam and pay the application and exam fees. Applications typically ask for these items.

a) Your contact information (address, e-mail, phone)

b) Level of education attained

c) Experience in the chosen domain (summary of employment dates, roles, projects, programs, qualifying hours, organization details, references, and experience summary)

d) Education in the chosen domain (complete courses, institutions attended, earned qualifying hours, dates attended)

Once the application is received, the eligibility criteria are verified, and the experience or education (or both) is validated and found consistent with the standard guidelines. Reviews typically take between five and ten days.

You did it! You passed the test and earned your business analysis certification. Congratulations! Now go out and get that perfect career in business analytics.

How to Study for Your Business Analyst Certification Exam

We already have listed “study time” as a step towards getting your business analyst certification, but what’s the best way for you to go about it? Create an exam study plan by following these steps.

1) Review the appropriate certification handbook and the exam content outline

2) Read current articles and books relating to your domain topic

3) Consider an exam prep course or forming a study group with friends and colleagues

Who Should Apply for Business Analyst Certification?

If you want to stand tall in the field of business analytics, you must get certified. Certification provides a prospective employer with verifiable proof that you’ve completed the work, completed the hours, and acquired the skills and experience necessary to successfully fill the position.

If you’re already a business analyst but have no certifications, you should upskill and get a certificate.

Finally, if you’re doing the work of a business analyst in addition to your regular duties, by all means, make it official! Get your certification as a business analyst. Then, once you’ve aced your certificate, consider getting another job!

In summary, the only people who should apply for business analyst certification are those who want to be the absolute best business analysts possible, professionals who wish to upskill and boost their value, and people who want a far better career.

How Would You Like to Gain Business Analyst Certification?

Suppose all this talk about how to get business analyst certification has piqued your curiosity or generated enthusiasm for a new career. In that case, you should consider gaining business analyst certification by taking a  business analyst course online.

The University of Minnesota’s Carson School of Management course, conducted in collaboration with IBM, offers you a six-month bootcamp that promises a high-engagement learning experience combined with real-world applications that teaches you the skills you need to succeed at business analytics.

You will learn critical business analytics-related skills such as:

1) Business Analytics

2) Data Visualization

3) Descriptive Statistics

4) Hypothesis Testing

5) Linear Regression

6) Logistic Regression

7) Predictive Statistics

8) Prescriptive Statistics

Once you finish the business analyst certification course, you will get your certificate from the Carlson School of Management and Simplilearn and join the prestigious UMN Alumni Association.

According to Glassdoor.com, the annual business analysts in the United States make a yearly salary of $81,880, ranging from $54K minimum to $125K maximum. Wages fluctuate based on geography, demand, and experience level. So, start a new career as a business analyst, or upskill your current business analytics skill set. Sign up for this fantastic bootcamp today!

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