This article has been approved by an Indeed Career Coach
Advancing your career through the business world often requires obtaining additional knowledge and training. To prove that you have this supplemental experience, certifications can be awarded to you by various organizations. There are many different business certifications available, although some will help to advance your career more than others, so it is important to learn about your options so you can decide which is the best choice for you. In this article, we will list the best business certifications to help you advance your career.
What are business certifications?
Business certifications are industry-recognized credentials an individual can use to demonstrate their abilities in different areas. A person wishing to bolster their resume or improve their job performance can obtain additional training in important areas and receive a certification as proof of completion. These business certifications typically consist of training materials or course instruction, followed by an examination.
6 best business certifications to advance your career
Below are six of the best business certifications you should consider if you want to progress in your career. These certifications are the most well-known throughout the business community, therefore helping you advance your career in more locations. They also cover a wide range of topics, from leadership and business analysis to sales and marketing. You can put any one of these certifications on your resume, and it will help you stand out, no matter where you want to work.
- Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)
- Project Management Professional (PMP)
- Professional Certificate in Team Leadership
- HubSpot Inbound Marketing
- APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional certification (CSCP)
1. Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)
The CBAP certification is offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis. It is intended for individuals who have an interest in analyzing businesses and coming up with solutions to fit their needs. To enroll in this certification, you will need at least a few years of prior experience working in business analysis. Specifically, the course requirements include:
- 7,500 hours of business analysis work experience
- 35 hours of professional development
- Two references
To receive this certification, individuals will need to pass an exam. The exam consists of 125 multiple-choice questions and must be completed in under 3.5 hours. Topics covered within the exam include strategy analysis, solution evaluation, life cycle management and business analysis planning.
2. Project Management Professional (PMP)
Advancing your career in business means taking on more leadership responsibilities. You will need to be effective at managing both people and projects. The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is an industry-recognized certification for project managers. With it, you can improve your hiring and salary prospects.
To acquire this certification, you will need to pass an exam of 200 multiple-choice questions without using reference materials. The exam covers topics such as project planning, project implementation and monitoring projects.
To enroll in this program, you will need some prior experience managing projects, at least a secondary degree, such as an associate's degree and 35 hours of previous project management education. The course costs $555 for non-members of the Project Management Institute.
Related: Learn About Being a Project Manager
3. Professional Certificate in Team Leadership
Another leadership certification, the Professional Certificate in Team Leadership, focuses on improving your ability to lead other people. This internationally recognized certificate will allow you to demonstrate your leadership abilities. You can use it either in your current senior role or advance your career.
During the certification process, you will learn things like:
- Different team leadership styles
- How to communicate positively
- How to effectively manage your time and priorities
- Ways to improve team performance
- How to lead a team through changes
To receive this certification, it is recommended that you first take the training program. The training program takes place at one of the Chartered Institute for IT's training providers, which can be found all over the world, or you can study from your home via e-learning.
Once you've completed training—or if you decide to skip it and study on your own—you will then need to pass their exam. You can take the exam at any Pearson VUE center around the world, and the exam costs around $380. There are no prerequisites needed to complete this certification program.
Salesforce is one of the most popular customer relationship management (CRM) platforms currently available. Many businesses are now specifically requesting Salesforce experience in their job descriptions because they rely on this CRM.
Salesforce offers several different certifications, some related to IT and software development and others related to marketing and sales. Which certification you should get will largely depend on where you want to take your career. The available certifications include:
This certification focuses on managing users, data and security. You will also learn to create reports and workflows. A Salesforce Administrator certification demonstrates your advanced ability with the Salesforce CRM.
There are several certifications available related to Salesforce development. These certifications demonstrate your ability to build and implement applications on the Lightning platform. It is designed more for programmers and engineers who want to build custom applications.
A Salesforce marketer will learn to create targeted marketing strategies on the Salesforce platform. There are several certifications under this category, such as Marketing Cloud Administrator or Marketing Cloud Email Specialist.
A Salesforce consultant works with customers and clients to help them get the most out of the platform. These certifications will provide you with in-depth knowledge of the Salesforce platform so that you can help businesses find technical solutions to their problems.
5. HubSpot Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing plays a big role in the sales process for many businesses. With inbound marketing, you work to bring customers to you, rather than going out and getting them yourself. If you can demonstrate your proficiency with inbound marketing tactics, you will make yourself a much stronger candidate and employee. A great way to do this is with the inbound marketing certification provided by HubSpot.
This certification is free to get and can be completed entirely online. You will learn all about the fundamentals of inbound and how you can apply them to a business. The courses consist of about two hours' worth of video, with several quizzes located throughout. After completing the certification, HubSpot offers additional certifications you can take, including ones for content marketing and social media. With these certifications, you will make yourself a stronger candidate in any sales or marketing-related position.
6. APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional certification (CSCP)
The CSCP certification recognizes your ability to develop streamlined operations. It is focused more on the supply side of a business, rather than the sales or marketing aspects. Through this certification, you will learn things such as how to manage global end-to-end supply chains and how to maximize your organization's ERP investments.
There are several ways you can prepare for this certification. One option is to study on your own, using materials provided online. Another option is to attend classes taught by APICS instructors all over the world. Finally, you can take courses offered through the Fox Valley Technical College.
After completing your preparation, you may sign up to take the exam at a location near you. The exam consists of three sections that focus on supply chain design, supply chain planning and execution and supply chain improvements and best practices. The cost for residents of North America is $965 for non-members of the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM).