Is it a good idea to enroll in a business analyst certificate program?
I will be graduating this upcoming semester with a BA in Psychology.
I don’t want to pursue a career in Psychology right away.
I was thinking of enrolling in a business analyst certificate program.
Is it a good idea to pursue this particular field?
Do I need a business analyst certification to become a business analyst?
The business analyst industry is a unique one that does not immediately demand certification to get a job, unlike other professions such as law, accounting or medicine.
The business analyst career requires hands-on experience or real-world business analysis skills.
So whilst a certification would look nice and fancy, years of experience will be more valuable and make you more marketable to hiring managers, for the following reasons:
1. Hiring managers know that some job seekers cheat or cram their way through certification exams.
2. Certifications are not a true representation of an applicantâ€™s actual skill level, expertise and experience.
3. Business analysts without hands-on experience, practical skills and in-depth knowledge cannot perform on the job.
4. You develop practical skills by performing a task repetitively.
For example, you may read about software from a book or study and pass the software certification, but unless you have used your knowledge of the software to answer a business analysis problem, you really donâ€™t have the skill.
5. The purpose of certification is to boost your career following years of hands-on experience and a mastery of the core business analyst knowledge areas.
Certification is a great addition to the resume of someone who has done this, but not before! Certification should not be sought for the sole purpose of getting a job.
6. Authentic certification providers now require a minimum number of verifiable hands-on experience and real-world practical skills before sitting for a certification exam.
For example the Certified Business Analyst Professional Exam (CBAP) requires 5 years real-world business analysis work skills and experience, whilst the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification requires 3 â€“ 5 years verifiable hands-on project management experience.
7. Begin your business analyst career by first getting business analyst training, then gaining hands-on skill and experience, then using your skills and experience on a job and then finally, a certification will be worthwhile!