In last week’s Business Analyst Career Strategies for 2017 webinar, several of you asked about my opinion on the new Entry Certificate in Business Analysis™ (ECBA™) from the International Institute of Business Analysis™ (IIBA®). This is an interesting move by IIBA®, to bring a certificate to the market that is not backed up by work experience. (In contract, the CCBA® and CBAP® are both certifications that are backed up by documented work experience in business analysis.)
I know. It can be compelling as an entry-level business analyst, to pursue a certificate or certification as a foot-in-the-door to a business analyst job. However, we are still not seeing that this career strategy works. Employers are still hiring for work experience, more than they are for training, knowledge, and certificates.
However, like with any certificate, it is possible that earning a certificate like the ECBA™ could help you get an interview for a business analyst job. Any extra credential you have can slightly stack the deck in your favor.
My career advice for getting started as a business analyst remains the same, even with the introduction of this new certificate offering.
- Find yourself employment in a professional role in an office setting. (This may be a transitional role.)
- Complete an analysis of your transferable business analysis skills.
- Expand your experience to include business analysis responsibilities, focusing on those where you have actual skill gaps.
- Update your resume to highlight your business analysis experience and pursue both internal and external positions that you are closely qualified for. (At this point you would probably qualify to sit for either the CCBA® or CBAP®, as you will have built documented professional work experience as a business analyst.)
And yes, our virtual business analyst training programs do qualify for the professional credits you need to apply for the ECBA™, CCBA®, or CBAP® (as well as the PMI-PBA℠ and PMP® certifications from Project Management Institute®). But perhaps more importantly, they help you build the business analysis work experience you need to actually move into a full-fledged business analyst career. This principle of integrating learning and action is foundational to how we structured our training programs at Bridging the Gap.