11 Business Analyst Certifications for Career Growth

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated February 22, 2022 | Published December 12, 2019

Updated February 22, 2022

Published December 12, 2019

A business analyst certification can help you become a more competitive candidate for open positions and increase your earning potential. In this article, we review the benefits of earning a business analyst certification, the different types of certifications available and how you can earn a business analyst certification.

Why should you get a business analyst certification?

An active business analyst certification can show potential employers that you have the skills, knowledge and dedication to excel in your career. Additionally, many employers seek certified professionals, so you are likely to expand your job opportunities by earning a certification.

Related: Learn About Being a Business Analyst

Common business analyst certifications

There are several business analyst certifications you can earn. Here are four institutes that offer a variety of options:

1. International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA)

The IIBA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the business analysis profession. It follows the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge standard, which defines knowledge areas and perspectives that business analysts should study. Business analysts may pursue one or more of these certifications: 

Academic Business Analysis Certificate (ABAC)

This is an entry-level certification you can obtain from a college or institution partnered with the IIBA. The ABAC can help students prepare for competency-based IIBA certifications.

Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA)

The ECBA shows an individual has a foundational knowledge of business analysis practices. You must have at least 21 hours of professional development and pass an exam to earn this certification.

Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA)

This certificate shows a candidate’s ability to apply business analysis techniques to real-life scenarios. To earn a CCBA, candidates need to have at least 3,750 hours of business analysis experience, provide references, complete 21 hours of professional development and pass an exam. 

Certified Business Analysis Professional

The CBAP is the highest competency-based certification a business analyst can earn from the IIBA. It demonstrates mastery of business analysis and the ability to lead others. Applicants must have 7,500 hours of business analysis experience, complete at least 35 professional development hours and pass an exam. 

Agile Analysis Certification

Many businesses are beginning to adopt the Agile project management framework. This certificate shows a business analyst’s knowledge of Agile methods and how to work in that style. To earn the AAC, applicants must pass an exam. 

IIBA certifications require you to get recertified every three years. You must earn 60 continuing development units (CDUs) during each period. You can earn CDUs through professional and volunteer experiences.

Related: 8 Reasons To Become a Business Analyst

2. International Qualification Board for Business Analysts (IQBBA)

The IQBBA focuses on business analysis in the information technology field. Analysts working in fields such as software development or website security may find certifications from the IQBBA ideal. It offers two certifications:

Certified Foundation Level Business Analyst (CFLBA)

This certification shows an individual has a basic knowledge of business analysis practices. To earn a CFLBA, applicants must pass an exam. 

Certified Advanced Level Business Analyst (CALBA)

This certification expands on the CFLBA and also focuses on business analysis process management. Applicants must pass an exam to earn a CALBA.

Both the CFLBA and CALBA certifications are lifetime certifications, meaning business analysts don’t need to apply for a renewal or earn continuing education hours. 

3. Project Management Institute (PMI)

The PMI’s focus is to teach and maintain the best standards of project management practices. It offers one business analysis certification:

Professional in Business Analysis (PBA)

This certification is for analysts that work closely with project teams. For PBA certification, candidates must pass a multiple-choice exam consisting of 200 questions. Those who hold a PBA must keep it active by submitting a renewal application every three years, which includes proof of completing 60 professional development units. 

Related: 11 Business Analyst Goals for Achieving Success

4. International Requirements Engineering Board (IREB)

IREB is a requirements engineering institute. Since gathering and maintaining requirements is a function of business analysis, some companies look for individuals to have one of these lifetime certifications:

Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering Foundation Level (CPRE-FL)

This entry-level certification demonstrates a holder’s knowledge of business analysis as it relates to requirements engineering. Applicants must pass a multiple-choice exam at an approved testing site. 

Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering Advanced Level (CPRE-AL)

Recipients of this certification have advanced knowledge of requirements engineering. To earn it, applicants must have a CPRE-FL and pass a multiple-choice exam at an approved testing site. 

Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering Expert Level

IREB’s highest level of certification shows a mastery of business analysis and requirements engineering techniques. Candidates applying for this certification must have a CPRE-AL, experience as a requirements engineer and experience leading a team as a requirements engineer. They must also pass a written exam at an approved testing site and complete an oral evaluation.

Related: Top 8 Business Analyst Interview Questions and Answers

How to get a business analyst certification

Following are the basic steps for earning a business analyst certification. Depending on the certification you choose, you might need to renew your credential. 

1. Determine the certification you need

There are many certifications you can obtain, so consider each choice. It can be helpful to review business analyst job postings in your area to determine if companies typically seek a certain certification. If you are working as a business analyst for an organization, contact your manager to see if there’s a certification they prefer.

2. Make sure you have the requirements

Most certifications have prerequisites you must meet before passing an exam. Some require a degree, experience and business analyst education hours. Review each institute’s website to learn more about the requirements for the available certifications.

3. Prepare for the certification exam

Most boards and institutes offer courses tailored to the certification exams. There are also external courses that help you prepare. Depending on your region, you may be able to find an in-person course, though you can always complete one online.

4. Take the exam

Exams typically last about an hour and include a variety of multiple-choice questions. Most tests can be retaken as many times as needed.

Jobs for business analysts

If you're interested in helping organizations grow their business and advance their operations, there are a variety of positions to pursue. Here are 6 jobs similar to business analysts:

1. Data analyst

National average salary: $65,074 per year

Duties: A data analyst organizes and analyzes data, usually through the assistance of computer programs and accounting principles. They then compile reports that are used to identify business inefficiencies and areas for improvement.

2. Business consultant

National average salary: $73,010 per year

Duties: Business consultants examine existing processes and procedures to identify areas of inefficiency and opportunity for improvement. They make recommendations for new system implementations.

3. Budget analyst

National average salary: $77,153 per year

Duties: Budget analysts examine financial records and help companies establish budgets and remain on track. This role also involves preparing budgetary reports and monitoring a company’s income and expenses.

4. Quantitative analyst

National average salary: $135,565 per year

Duties: Quantitative analysts work with complex models to help companies identify investments and mitigate risk. They may work for private companies, as well as banks and insurance companies.

5. Financial analyst

National average salary: $67,617 per year

Duties: This role involves analyzing a company’s financial data in order to offer guidance on business decisions and potential investments. 

6. Market research analyst

National average salary: $60,247 per year

Duties: Market research analysts analyze data concerning consumers and marketplace competitors to help their clients design marketing strategies, as well as identify such things as target demographics and accurate pricing for products and services.

Related: Business Analyst Resume Examples and Templates

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