Business Analyst Certification – Mixed Benefits

Throughout his career, the business analyst will be called upon to bridge the gap between IT and the business field. He could, if he wishes, obtain up to 4 certifications awarded by the IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis): ECBA, CCBA, CBAP and CBATL.

The ECBA (Entry Certificate in Business Analysis) is obtained at the beginning of the career; the CCBA (Certification of Capability in Business Analysis) after 2 to 3 years; the CBAP (Certified Business Analysis Professional) after 5 years; and finally the CBATL (Certified Business Analysis Thought Leader) is awarded to a business analyst after 10 years of experience, with supporting achievements.

Holding one of these certifications — a voluntary process conducted with the IIBA — demonstrates that the business analyst has the knowledge and experience required, according to the IIBA, and that he applies best practices in business analysis. Thus, the certified business analyst seeks continuous improvement of his effectiveness and performance. Opportunities to advance in his carer may appear, but there are no positions reserved exclusively for certified business analysts.

Not an end in itself

According to Alain Fortier, program vice president of the board of directors for IIBA in the Quebec Region and senior advisor at CGI Quebec, “Certification helps a lot early in a career to get some recognition, but it is not required to work in the field.”

“Certification is good way to learn. It will serve to obtain the vocabulary that is common to the field, but it will not necessarily make a better business analyst. It’s a body of knowledge. If you have read the guide (designed by the IIBA), you can do the work just the same. The number of certified business analysts is small compared to those who are not certified,” says Mr. Fortier, who is not certified himself.

“It does not structure the market, because there is no real demand for it,” he concludes. Worldwide, IIBA has 29,166 members and 120 chapters. In 2016, 1,185 business analysts obtained their CCBA certification and 8,406 obtained CBAP certification.

On the same subject: PMP Certification – to get certified or not? 

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