Is the CBAP® Right for You?

Author: Adriana Beal

Many business analysts and aspiring BAs ask me if I think that becoming a Certified Business Analysis Professional™ (CBAP®, offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis – IIBA® ) would help their careers. I’m offering my opinion here based on experience on both sides of the table: as a business analyst looking for a job, and as a consultant helping client organizations recruit business analysts for their teams. This experience is limited to the USA: NY, NC, PA, TX, so keep that in mind as you read.

There are some situations in which I would strongly recommend acquiring the CBAP® designation, assuming that you are interested in pursuing a career as a business analyst and have accumulated significant experience in business analysis (7,500 hours, as required for certification):

  • the job titles on your work history do not reflect your experience in business analysis (they include other titles such as programmer, software developer, financial analyst, etc.) and/or;
  • you spent many years doing business analysis work for one company (perhaps even with the title of BA), but never obtained post secondary education, and is finding it difficult to get your resume noticed by other companies.

In both cases, having the CBAP® title on your resume can make a huge difference in getting interviews for a business analyst position. Without a BA title listed in your work history, or any type of higher education degree, the chances of passing the pre-screening process for business analyst jobs are highly reduced, even if you have developed an excellent level of competence in the principles and practices of business analysis in your previous positions.

Aaron Whittenberger is a good example of experienced professional who saw the potential of being recognized as a business analysis professional via the CBAP®:

I realized that I had been doing business analysis for a long time, even though I had never held the title nor been aware of the profession. As I learned about the role, I kept realizing that I had done so many of the pieces multiple times throughout my career. When I realized I could be qualified to sit for the CBAP® exam I was surprised. At the time, I was interested in getting my PMP® , but with the CBAP® having less than 500 designees worldwide, I thought it could have a bigger impact on my career.

Clearly, there are other reasons people pursue a certification, including

  • to take advantage of the incentives and bonuses offered by your company for relevant certifications;
  • to serve as evidence your dedication to the profession, which may become instrumental in getting a promotion.

When asked in an interview with Laura Brandenburg what benefits the CBAP® provided him, Dave Schrenk said:

A lot of business analysts interview stakeholders and then move directly to writing a requirements document. They miss that middle part where analysis happens. As part of reading the BABOK, I learned about all the analysis tools that sit in the middle of elicitation and detailed requirements and have become a better business analyst.

I completely agree with Dave’s views of the benefits of studying A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK® Guide). The BABOK® guide is an invaluable reference for analysts looking to develop solid knowledge of business analysis practices and techniques. Is it necessary, though, for someone to go through the process of certification to achieve the same level of knowledge acquisition? Maybe, if you need extrinsic motivation to put the effort and learn.

What about recertification? The IIBA® certification needs to be renewed every three years; all CBAP® recipients are required to “meet continuing proficiency requirements” in order to maintain their designation.

Not being a certified BA, I can’t say how I would feel about going through the renewal process every 3 years. After using the initial certification to advance your career, it is possible that by then you would be in a position, as a consultant or employee, to be recognized by your knowledge, experience, and commitment to professional development, without the need for a renewed certification to continue to prove these traits.

One could argue that recertification encourages ongoing professional development, since it requires that you continuously invest in your BA knowledge. However, I would be much more inclined to hire a business analyst working on professional development for intrinsic motivation reasons, than one pursuing professional development activities merely as a means to achieve or retain a certification. For this reason, if due to time constraints I had to choose between interviewing for a BA position an analyst with a CBAP® designation and another who was an active member of the organization that offers the certification, I would undoubtedly choose the latter. Joining IIBA® is not required for the certification process, and to me it represents a much a better indicator of a BA’s commitment to high performance and excellence in the area of business analysis.

It would be great for all the BAs considering this certification program to hear from more CBAP® holders:

  • what concrete benefits have you obtained from becoming a Certified Business Analysis Professional™ that studying the BABOK® on your own or as part of a study group wouldn’t have provided you?
  • what would be your reasons for going through (or not) the recertification process when your certification expires?

>>Learn More About Becoming a CBAP or CCBA

Interested in becoming a CBAP or CCBA? We cover 8 steps to the CBAP certification, that will take you to just learning about the certification to successfully sitting for the exam.

Click here to read the article

Free Training - Quick Start to Success

(Stop the frustration and earn the respect
you deserve as a business analyst.)

Click here to learn more

By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Policy.

Comments

  1. Hi, Prabha,

    After a year in which I had both the opportunity to hire several BAs, and help others find a new job, here’s my take on this subject (obviously I don’t expect to take it without doing your own homework and consulting other trustworthy advisers, but at least it’s a perspective to consider):

    First, user guide preparation, end user training, implementation support, are all great things from which to extract BA experience for a resume. See, business analysis is about problem-solving, identifying the optimal solution, and communication — making sure both business and technical groups develop a shared understanding about what needs to be built.

    When you write a user guide, or train users, you are developing your communication skills — for example, practicing how to translate technical information into user-friendly information. Also, as you do implementation support, you develop problem-solving skills, and so on. And lots of BA job actually include these activities as part of the BA role, so it’s good experience to have and describe on your resume.

    Because I didn’t take the CBAP, and the people I hired this year for BA jobs don’t have the CBAP. I can’t tell you whether that experience will count or not for the certification (others here who went through the process will be in a better position to do so). But in your shoes, here’s what I’d do:

    1) Look in the archives if bridging-the-gap.com for tips on how to showcase the experience you have in your resume.
    2) Find gaps in your experience that could be making it difficult to get a job in your area (use a job board to identify the skills listed — for example, requirements management: if you don’t have that experience, and it’s being repeatedly listed in job openings, then it’s a gap for you to address).
    3) Find ways to address that gap. Depending on your situation, it could mean asking a senior BA you know, from the same organization, or whom you met at IIBA, to allow you to shadow his/her work for a while, and perhaps help with some tasks related to the skill you want to develop. Volunteer for an organization, and adopt a free web-based tool to organize and manage evolving requirements (using the example above), so you can list this experience on your resume.
    4) Network like crazy. Honestly, I think that if any BA going through the CBAP process used half the time spent on the process to network (going to IIBA meetings, where I always see hiring managers and recruiters announce open positions), talking to ex-colleagues about the fact that they are looking, keeping in touch with ex-managers so they can be good references, etc.), his/her results would be drastically better.

    Yes, there are a few managers who will look for a certificate as proof that a BA has experience and knowledge about BA tasks and techniques, but if you are networking, and preparing to talk about your experience and accomplishments in interviews, I guarantee you that the lack of CBAP will not get in the way of you finding a great job. Any manager worth the title will know how to verify, in an interview, the same things the CBAP is supposed to convey.

    Here’s another article I wrote that I recommend for you and other people in the same situation:
    http://bealprojects.com/stop-asking-me-for-advice-for-preparing-for-the-cbap/

    Good luck with your BA career!

  2. Hi Adriana

    I have to 8 years of experience working as BA in an IT environment and this experience is different domains for different customer organizations. I’m looking at taking up the CBAP certification examination in the near future. As true to any role in IT, there a number of tasks that I have done which do not count as BA role -like user guide preparations, end user training, implementation support etc. in addition to the typical BA role.

    I wish to check my eligibility and chances for qualifying for exam and completing it successfully. Do you have any suggestions?

    Thanks

  3. Thirupathi Salver says

    Thank you so much.

  4. Thirupathi,

    I was asked to review the curriculum of the CPRE-AL (advanced level) and my impression was positive. I believe the curriculum for the CPRE-FL (foundation level) will be useful for you to study, but I’m not in a position to recommend any courses that could help you with this goal.

  5. Hi, Thirupathi,

    As indicated in the article, for the CBAPdesignation, you must accumulate first significant experience in business analysis (7,500 hours), as a requirement for certification. The CCBA designation requires least 3750 hours of hands-on business analysis experience.

    The best way for you to get to a certification would be to start documenting the hours of business analysis work you have accumulated so far in your role as a software developer. Even if you don’t hold the title, I’m sure you perform a series of BA-related tasks that would count for certification. The sooner you start documenting, the easier it will be to get to the number of hours required.

    On this website you will find many articles with tips on how to identify BA tasks that would count for the purpose of certification. Look up CBAP-related articles as a starting point.

    Just to make it clear to everyone reading this thread, I’m not a big fan of certifications. I don’t have a CBAP, and find it irrelevant for growing my career. If a BA asked me for advice, I’d recommend putting your effort into gaining experience as a business analyst while you are in another role (for example, asking to be involved in the requirements elicitation process when you are a developer or tester; asking to interview stakeholders; offering to document change requests you are going to implement, and so on). And then look for a chance to switch roles in your current organization, before applying for BA jobs in other companies, as it’s typically easier to switch that way.

    I am yet to see a professional who put the effort into developing good communication skills, the ability to quickly establish rapport with stakeholders, and excellent requirements facilitation and documentation skills, to be dismissed from consideration because they don’t have a certificate. The opposite is more likely to happen: I’d be surprised to see a candidate with the CBAP designation and little else to provide in terms of accomplishments in the BA field being chosen over a BA who doesn’t have the CBAP but shows a proven record of successfully performing business analysis and producing quality requirements documents.

    Whichever path you decide to take, good luck!

    • Thirupathi Salver says

      Thank you so much Adriana.
      Then I would like to go for CPRE-FL exam. Please provide me if you have information on this.

      Thanks in advance.

  6. Thirupathi Salver says

    Hi Adriana,

    I am having 3 years of experience in IT field as a software developer. I do not have Business Analysis experience.Could you please give me the details if I am eligible for CBAP or CCBA exam.Thanks.

    Thanks,
    Thirupathi

  7. Hi, Mandy,

    I get the same question you are asking almost every week. I get that the answer you and other readers would like to get is, “yes, go for the CCBA or XYZ certification and you will be well-positioned to starting your BA career!”.

    But unfortunately that’s now how it works. I recruit BAs and help recruiters find good candidates for their positions all the time in various U.S. states, and NEVER certification came into play in a decision to hire.

    A resume that shows accomplishments and prove you have the right skills, a good work sample, and excellent recommendations from previous managers (even in a QA role) will trump a certification any day. That’s the reality. The CCBA or another certification won’t hurt, but I’m not convinced at this point that the time, money and effort are worth it.

    Needless to say, this is just my opinion (which I’m giving because you asked here in a post I wrote). Instead of looking for external confirmation of your abilities through a certification, I’d strongly recommend you start finding opportunities to build a portfolio of sample requirements documents, and experience facilitating meetings and with other BA techniques, as these efforts will bring you much closer to being hired as a BA than any exam will. Good luck!

  8. Hi ,

    I have 2.5 yr IT experience as a QA and i am interested in pursuing a career in BA role. I am interested in taking up CCBA exam .Is it the right time for me to take up the exam ? and is there any other certification which you would recommend .

  9. Hi,
    I have published a White Paper “Business Analysis Certifivates 2013” where CBAP and CCBA are compared to the more European CPRE: http://www.masventa.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/media/pdf_en/Business_Analysis_Certificates_2013.pdf

  10. Hi, Yogendra — since I never went through the CBAP certification, I’m definitely not the right person to answer your questions. Regarding question #2, I suggest you start here: http://www.bridging-the-gap.com/steps-to-becoming-a-cbap/ — Laura’s article will give you a good idea of what it takes to prepare to the certification.

  11. Hi Adriana,

    1- in 2010, there were around 1000 CBAP cettified BAs, what is the aprox count as of now ?

    2- As I am planning to have CBAP now, how much time required for preparation and how difficult this exam is. pls take the example of PMP to compare for this if you want.

  12. @Kiran: I’ll provide my answers in “quick Friday mode: 3 short answers to 3 short questions” :-). Others are welcome to chime in.

    1. What kind of training I should go through to start improving my BA skills?

    A.: Start by doing an assessment of your competence gap (http://businessanalystmentor.com/2009/06/12/becoming-a-business-analyst-assessing-your-competence-gap/) and create your own development plan. I never went to any sort of BA training and developed a successful business analysis career anyway, so don’t think formal training is essential for growing your career as a BA.

    2. Would CBAP help you get a BA job?

    A.: Opinions will vary, but here is mine: no. The CBAP may help you get the foot in the door (secure an interview), but after that, you still need to be able to demonstrate you can apply the BA knowledge in the real world. With a CBAP you prove you have the necessary years of experience and was able to pass a test, but you still need to provide evidence that you did learn and developed your analytical skills in your work experience, as opposed to just having repeated your first year’s experience multiple times, with no increase in productivity and value added.

    3. Will my previous experience will help me to eligible for BA?

    Of course! To learn how, start here: http://www.bridging-the-gap.com/becoming-a-business-analyst/

  13. Hi Adriana,

    Thanks for creating such wonderful and most helpful platform for aspiring BA. I am regular reader of your comment and guideline in forum.
    Currently I am working in Software Company as Sr Consultant for ITSM module. I have experience of 5+ years in Same domain of ITSM Technology. I am Professional certified Consultant as well as ITIL V3 Certified. As consultant my involvement in ITSM project is right from gathering requirement from customer to deliver project on production.
    Most of the time I involved in course of workshops with customer where below activity comes in
    1. make customer to understand business aspects of technology being offered by us.
    2. Study and Understand organization structure of customer.
    3. Understand and study their IT/Management process like Incident Management, Change Management, Configuration management, Vendor/Supplier management, Asset Management, Licenses.
    4. Based on above study and understanding as a team we implement enterprise system to fulfill customer’s requirement.

    Complete implementation involves day to day interaction with all stake holder, PMO, Process owners, Operational owner from customer side and Technical Team. We also prepared SRS, Solution Design document, Test Cases, Architecture of system, Coding, Developement, Integrations with different technology.

    I used to do coding and development during early years of career and now it has reduced to almost 30-40%. I wants to pursue the career in BA.

    Please suggest me what kind of training I should go through and start improving my BA skills. CBAP would help me to get an BA job? Will my previous experience will help me to eligible for BA? Please suggest me how should I proceed with BA career.

    Thanks in Advance.
    Kiran

  14. @Deepak: No, CCBA is not globally recognized yet (it may or may not become in the future). In all my talks with recruiters in the U.S. I haven’t seen yet a certification make a difference in getting a candidate even an interview, let alone a job. The only think I can advise you is to do your own research. Go to a “job posting aggregator” and do a search for business analysis positions in the locations where you are interested in living. Do you see any that mention CCBA or CBAP as a requirement or nice-to-have? If not, in your place I’d use my time and energy elsewhere, getting more varied experience (different industries, different project sizes, development approaches, etc.). I do believe this would make a much bigger difference in your resume. Not all this experience need to be obtained at work — I know a lot of BAs who improved their changes of getting an interview for a BA position volunteering in a business analysis capacity.

    @Makesh: “Can an individual designated as Market Analyst with a Market Research firm opt for this certification? ”
    I doubt someone with that title would even qualify for the CBAP. You don’t need to be an IT business analyst (like me) to have the required experience, but you would have to be doing enterprise analysis or something related to determining solutions for business problems for a while in order to match the requirements. A market analyst (if the title is being correctly used) collects and analyze data to evaluate existing and potential product and service markets. It’s a different role that does not fit the profile of a business analyst in the context of the BABOK and CBAP.

    Anyone, feel free to write your replies as well. There are several consultants with experience with CBAP and CCBA in this thread and you are welcome to share your views even if they don’t agree with mine.

  15. Hi Adriana,
    I’ve been following your opinions and expert comments related to CBAP and IIBA.
    I have had certain discussion with institutes in India regarding my decision to take up a certification from IIBA,but, their response hasn’t been quite convincing as they all say that I’m eligible.

    Having read the CBAP exam modules I felt that most of it is related/suitable for an individual working in an IT Organization. But when I had pointed this out ti a training provider in India the reply was the CBAP certification is “Generic” in nature and individuals across sectors can opt for the certification.

    Is the CBAP certification suitable for individuals from/working in an IT organization?
    Can an individual designated as Market Analyst with a Market Research firm opt for this certification? Will the certification stream be suitable/beneficial for him/her?

    Kindly clarify..

    Best,
    Mak

  16. Hi Adriana,

    I have 4.5 yrs of work experience as a Business Analyst. Kindly let me know whether CCBA certification would add value to my CV/profile with reference to job opportunities in India and abroad? Is CCBA globally recognized?

    Thanks,
    Deepak

  17. Tamer Hassan says

    Hello,

    Will BA add value to information security officer or CISO ? if yes, How?

    Thanks

  18. You are welcome, Preethi! I’m confident that your efforts connecting with peers and improving your skill set will be rewarded with valuable opportunities in 2011.

  19. Adriana, Thank you very much for the quick response. I will sure try the steps that you have mentioned and see the response from the employers. I am trying my best to improve my BA skillsets in my current organization. But I very much like the networking idea where I will get to know other BAs in my geographical area. Thats where I am going to start now. 🙂

  20. Hi, Preethi,

    I’m happy to know that you liked the article. About your question (please keep in mind it’s just my personal opinion, based on what I experience as a consultant and hear from recruiters):

    You have an excellent foundation to develop a successful career in business analysis. Unless you get serious evidence that a CCBA designation will get your resume noticed by recruiters and hiring managers in your specific geographic location, in your place I would not spend time pursuing it. Other initiatives that most likely will give you much better results include:

    – Making sure you log your BA experiences, categorizing them by knowledge area (elicitation, analysis and specification, validation, communication). Highlighting these experiences in your resume will most likely bring more attention to your profile than any BA certification would.

    – BA jobs comes in all kinds of flavors. What type of job are you looking for? Is it more industry-focused, or does it require expertise in specific tools or software packages? Identify the most important skills to develop by researching job descriptions that match the type of job you want, and start planning how you will accumulate more experience in these areas. For example, if you are working for a financial firm, and are interested in taking a BA job in the same industry, you should be making an effort to get involved in projects that will expose you to new concepts in the financial domain that you can then include in your resume.

    – Leverage the connections you already have, and also reach out to BAs in your geographic location. Let them know you are looking for a new opportunity (don’t forget to make it a mutually beneficial relationship, by listening to them, making introductions between people who might benefit from meeting each other, sending them relevant information such as book recommendations, thanking them for their time, etc.).

    I’m sure that if you follow these steps (which, by the way, are mentioned in the excellent “How to Start a Business Analyst Career” by Laura Brandenburg), soon you will find the job you are hoping for. Good luck!

    (To anyone interested, “How to Start a Business Analyst Career” can be found here: https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=276598&c=ib&aff=80220).

  21. Hi Adriana,

    Excellent article. I have a total of 6 years experience in IT having designaionas as Support Analyst, Process Executive, Business system analyst and Senior Systems Analyst. Right now I believe I will be a qualified applicant for CCBA and not CBAP. I am still not sure if I should get certified as CCBA or wait for 2 more years to meet the eligiblity criteria for CBAP. I am interested in this certification because I want to move out from my current organzation and apply for new jobs. I want to do the best to get my resume notified by the potential employers. I have a masters in Information systems and 4 years of work experience in India + 2 years in US. I’d greatly appreicate your advice on this regard.

    Thank you!

  22. Peter Johnson, CBAP says

    All,

    Certification opens many doors, and recertification keeps them open.

    There are only 1000 CBAPs in the world as of July 2010 which is why companies do not expect job applicants with CBAP status (yet!). However, as noted, everyone looks to CBAPs for leadership since they have demonstrated not only the competency but extensive application of business analysis. The new CCBA program will help those entering business analysis focus on career development as they broaden their range of skills and improve performance .

    Both CBAP and CCBA certifications demonstrate to employers that a BA resource understands the key concepts, terminology, tasks, deliverables and skills to perform business analysis as they apply to real situations.

    The Corporate Member program will give employers further incentive to adopt the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge ™ within their centers of excellence, and standardize professional responsibilities within project teams and business operations.

    Having just recertified, I can agree that it is not easy. It requires more than just additional work experience and training. It is important to give back to the business analysis community by publishing, speaking, training, mentoring, and volunteering time as a BA. It is important to work on IIBA chapter committees or hold elective office. The different ways to earn CDUs demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the profession.

    Peter Johnson, VP Professional Development NJ IIBA Chapter

  23. Thanks for your quick reply…Regards Raj

  24. Raj,

    I don’t know that a certification would be the right move for you right now. Aaron Whittenberger just wrote an article about certification targeted to the intermediate BA who has not yet achieved the 5 years of BA work experience required by the CBAP®. I recommend you read it:

    http://blog.starbaseinc.com/blog/it-consultant/0/0/ba-am-i-certifiable

    I also recommend Laura’s eBook (the first listed on this page): http://2wtx.com/business-analysis/books/ because it will teach you what will add value to your resume and give you the direction you need to develop your BA skills and shape your career.

  25. Hi

    I have 3.5yrs of experience as a BA (role not designation) and wants to persue a career as a Business Analyst. I am a post graduate from India. Can you please suggest me the certification that would add value to my Resume and help me to learn Business analysis and shape up my career.

    Regards
    Raj

  26. Vivek,

    At some point in the future, some industries and regions might follow what happened with the PMP, and start to require the CBAP certification to hire someone as an experienced business analyst. Right now, it is not something that most companies are looking for in a resume, as you’ve noticed.

    If you read my article, you saw that I mentioned the situation of someone who has experience as a BA but whose job titles and responsibilities are not very good at “advertising” this experience. In this case, adding a certificate like the CBAP and explaining in your resume how it requires proof of 7,500 hours of BA work would probably help you get the “foot on the door” for a BA job. This is because even if the recruiter didn’t know about the CBAP before, the designation will probably help convince him/her that you indeed have experience with business analysis work despite having disparate job titles.

    In other circumstances, like mine, when the experience in the resume speaks for itself, the certification wouldn’t make a difference, because it’s already easy for me to get interviews for BA jobs. Someone experiencing difficulty having their resume noticed by recruiters and hiring managers, however, would probably benefit from it regardless of it being listed as a required or desired in the job description.

  27. vivek kumar says

    Hi,

    This is vivek and i am working as Asst. Manager – Support in a software company India .My profile is more or less like Analyst. I haven’t seen anywhere or any company who is asking this certification. So i am confused after this certification how huch I will get the weightage in my resume.whereever regarding the knowledge point view its seems to good.
    Please suggest me .

  28. Aaron, first thank you for explaining about the BACP.

    You make a great example of someone who is using the CBAP the right way. I’m sure people see your level of commitment by your attitude as a whole, not just for maintaining your certification, but also for writing articles, contributing to discussions on forums for BAs, being involved in IIBA initiatives, etc. I hope other CBAP holders will follow your lead and use the CBAP as part of a professional development plan, not as an end in itself, as it ended up happening with some PMP holders who admit that they go through the motions to re-certify only to keep their designation and consequently the opportunities that come with it (e.g., getting government contracts that require the title).

    Many thanks for sharing your experience with everyone here.

  29. Kapil, the BACP is a training program from the International Institute for Learning, Inc. (IIL) (http://www.iil.com) They are an Endorsed Education Provider (EEP) of the IIBA®. The BACP is several courses covering a broad spectrum of BA topics, including business process modeling and facilitation. It is an excellent set of courses for someone starting a BA career. As IIL is an EEP, the courses are in line with the BABOK®. So this is BA training as opposed to a “certification” of competency or expertise in the BA field. You may wish to take this course along with the eBook and other suggestions from Adriana.

  30. Adriana, I always marvel at how thoroughly you cover a subject. I particularly like the two situations in which you, and I, recommend someone to get certified. As you pointed out, I fell into the first situation, where I have done BA tasks for a long time, but never held the BA title.

    As to what has the CBAP® done for me, it has set me up as a leader in my firm in the BA arena. It has allowed me to talk to the management of my firm about BA services that we should be offering to the market, and they are listening. Other consutants look to me as a coach for certifications. I am discussing certifications with one of our consultants to decide if he wishes to get his PMP® or CBAP®.

    I will go through recertification because I have the intrinsic motivation to do so. I wish to continue to invest in my professional development and my career. As Dave said, I have invested too much time and effort to allow it to slide after 3 years. Also, I see that it still has value to my career. I put together an Excell workbook to track my CDUs and I already have enough to recertify.

  31. Great, Kapil. Feel free to contact me at any time via my email, hello [at] adrianabeal [dot] com. I’ll be happy to help you with any additional questions you may have.

    If you don’t just buy the book, but also follow the actions suggested in it (all pretty doable), I’m sure you will be making excellent progress toward your goals.

    In regard to my MBA, it is of great use for me because I also come from a technical background, in Electronic Engineering. If it weren’t for the MBA, many of my consulting clients wouldn’t have felt as comfortable hiring me, because they are typically less interested in the technical skills I have and more in my ability to understand and communicate the business needs. The MBA always helps to reassure them that I have the necessary skills to develop a good understanding of the business problems and opportunities we are going to address.

  32. Kapil Sharma says

    Adriana: Thanks a lot for your guidance and support.
    I will jump-start by purchasing the e-book recommended by you from the given link. I will get back to you once I find out what do the recruiters demand in India for business analyst role.

    Just wanted to know how did MBA helped you to leverage your BA career?

    I am looking forward to your next article .
    Thanks a lot for your blessings.

    Warm Regards 🙂

  33. Kapil, I’m glad you found the article helpful.

    As for your question, I believe that the CCBA (Certification of Competency in Business Analysis, created by IIBA for people with less experience than required for the CBAP) could potentially help open some doors for you to go from a more technical role to the business analyst one.

    However, before making it a priority in your career development plan, I would speak to recruiters in your target geographic area, and start studying the type of BA profile that companies you would like to work for are targeting. If job descriptions favor industry expertise, for example, I don’t think it would be a good idea for you focus your effort on getting a BA certification at this point — getting the necessary exposure to the business side would be much more valuable under those circumstances.

    Laura’s eBook “How to Start a Business Analyst Career: A guidebook to help you explore the business analyst profession and find entry-level business analyst jobs” is full of extremely valuable advice for people on your situation, explaining in practical and actionable terms how to transition to a business analyst role, find a business analysis job, and plan your future growth. I think it would be a great investment for you at this point.

    You can find it here on BTG, but if you decide to buy the ebook, please consider using the affiliate link on this page: http://2wtx.com/business-analysis/books/ (this will trigger a donation to a worthy charitable project at no extra cost to you).

    Also, keep an eye on my next article, to be published on September 1st. I’ll be offering advice for new and aspiring BAs who like you come from a technical background and are interested in moving into a business analysis career. Good luck with your goal of becoming a business analyst!

  34. Kapil Sharma says

    Hi Adriana,

    Thanks a lot for this informative article. I will finish my MBA from UK in September 2010. I have 2.8 years of work experience as software engineer (in India). My only goal now is to get a business analyst profile and grow as you did to become a consultant later in my career.

    Please guide me that what should I do to get into a business analyst profile . IIBA has launched a new program- Business Analysis Certificate Program (BACP). Will that be helpful for me?

    Please please !! guide me. I am very confused and excited.

  35. Constance Barton, CBAP® says

    Great discussion, all. To Michelle – I prepared for the CBAP® exam by attending a study group and then meeting with a study partner weekly for a few months. I needed the study group to get through all the material in a structured manner and to wrap my mind around the way BABOK® presented the material. My study partner and I used some of the on-line practice test questions. It was especially helpful when we disagreed on an answer and had to refer to the BABOK® to understand the correct response. I’ve been a Sr BA for about 15 years but hadn’t thought of my profession in such a structured way. I also needed to “unthink” some of the terminology I was used to and get on board with the BABOK® terminology in order to successfully pass the exam.

    As to benefits from becoming certified, I am the first in my organization to become a CBAP®. I was asked to give a presentation at our Town Hall to the rest of the team and an internal Study Group is now forming. I’m assisting with the curriculum development and planning. Also, the company is in the process of becoming a corporate member. This is a large company, a leader in the media industry. I do plan to recertify when the time comes, so I’m looking at the requirements and planning – isn’t that what we BAs do?

  36. I want to build on something Dave said a bit because I think this concept of recertification is an interesting one. Dave, I can fully appreciate the intrinsic motivation to continue to develop professionally and I know from speaking with you previously that you have it. I have also been impressed in this same regard with the other CBAPs I’ve interviewed — the certification and recertification process seems to be attracting the best of the best. This is something that has shifted my views on certification over time as I’ve had the opportunity to speak with you all.

    In this light, can we look at recertification as an opportunity provided by our professional association to earn an extrinsic designation for doing something we do for intrinsic purposes? Or, to put this another way, is a CBAP who becomes so based on an extrinsic motivation but lacks the intrinsic motivation to continue to develop professionally, likely to become recertified? Like you said Dave, recertification will likely be a viable option because of activities you are doing anyway. I wonder if this is the case for many other CBAPs out there.

    Michelle, I am actually working on a CBAP article for next week documenting what I’ve learned about the CBAP process from current CBAPs. This should help you consider your path!

  37. Hi, Michelle, thank you for the compliment and let’s hope someone who went through the CBAP process will jump in to answer your question about mentoring/coaching and in which situations it would be a good idea for someone preparing for the CBAP. Good luck!

    Dave, thank you for your views on recertification, I’m sure it will help others decide what works for them.

  38. Dave Schrenk says

    In regards to recertification … Even though I may have already obtained my most recent promotion due to having the CBAP designation, I still feel the need to maintain it. I committed alot of time and effort in obtaining it and do not just want to let it expire after 3 years. Besides, I am intrinsically motivated to continue to learn about my “craft” so that I seem to be earning CDUs just by doing stuff I normally do anyway. Although, it seems that the recertification qualifications are pretty tough. I haven’t had a chance yet to add all my CDUs up yet but, because they limit how many CDUs you can earn in any specific category, I may not have enough. We’ll see how it goes but I know that I am going to pursue it for both my own satisfaction and to serve as evidence of my commitment to the BA profession.

  39. Michelle Swoboda says

    Hi Adriane, great article and information. I have decided that I am pursuing the CBAP designation next and I am excited. I hear it is quite a rigorous exam and that lots of work is required – bring it on. Would you recommend working with someone to coach you and prepare you?

  40. Dave, thank you for your comment. I can certainly relate to your frustration with unprepared project managers and lack of a solid framework to ensure project success.

    I’m just not sure I agree with your statement that certification is recommended for “someone starting out” — at least for the CBAP one needs to have accumulated 7,500 hours of business analysis, so it’s hardly for someone just starting his/her career. Perhaps you mean starting out in an official business analyst role, having had previous BA experience under another job title? In that case yes, it would fit the first reason I listed for someone to go through the certification process.

  41. I have mixed feelings regarding certification. Following a 2 year stint on a disastrous project I left that place thinking certification was a must. What brought me to that frame of mind was the total absence of any structure or reason behind the requirements analysis. I was also annoyed that when I started to elicit and document using either UML or BPMN the vendor pushed me out of the way and said they had their own hybrid. (of course they did).

    But thinking back, and after talking to others, the problem will continue to exist until there are sufficiently trained project managers. It really is the project manager I complained to in my instance who told me he “never believed in all that crap”.

    I still think certification is a great starting point for someone starting out, at least their is a structure around BABOK, and having sat the exam, it shows the individual understands.

Before you go, would you like to receive our absolutely FREE workshop?

(No formal experience required.)

21689
21690

Quick Start to Success
as a Business Analyst

By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Policy.