You want to learn or master all the core business analysis skills, and get a lot of hands-on experience before you start working on your business analyst certification for the following reasons:
Hands-On Experience Is Now Required For Certification: Nowadays, more certification providers are requiring lots of hands on experience (3, 4 or more years). It is now becoming accepted that you there is not much value in pursuing a certification except you’ve actually worked in an industry for a number of years and you have hands-on business analyst experience.
Certification Is Not A Replacement For Hands-On Experience: Certification is not a replacement for hands-on experience. IT Managers, Hiring Managers and Certification providers know that. The certification process has been abused in the past by professionals trying to bypass the hands-on experience required for business analyst jobs. The goal of certification is not to get you into a business analyst job or to shortcut the requirement for hands-on experience but to add value to your career if you already have many years of hands-on experience and you’ve thoroughly mastered all the core business analyst knowledge areas! Therefore, certification is of value in the proper sequence, if you have mastered all the business analyst core skills and you have the requisite hands-on business analysis experience!
Business Analyst Certification Is Not A Replacement For Business Analysis Skills: Business Analysis Skills are developed by performing business analysis tasks repetitively. For example, you can read about Use Cases from a book or study and pass a Use Case test, but you don’t have Use Case skills until you are using them to solve real-wotrld business analysis problems. Likewise, the goal of business analyst certification is not to give you business analysis skills but to help you sharpen the business analysis skills that you already have! That is why IT Managers, Hiring Managers and certification providers are looking for a lot of strong business analysis skills first before business analysis certification!
Hiring Managers Are Looking For Business Analysis Skills: The Business Analyst career works different other professional careers. In professions like medicine and law, you need to have a professional medical or law degree before you are allowed to practice. The Business Analysis or Information Technology (IT) Industry is remarkably different because you are not required to have a professional degree or certification before you allowed to get a job! You are however required or expected to have hands-on business analysis experience and real-world business analysis skills before you can get a business analysis job! So, hiring managers are really looking for your business analysis skills and hands-on experience when they are hiring! If you do already have a business analysis job, lots of years of business analysis experience, and are knowledgeable or trained in all the business analysis knowledge areas, then you get your CBAP business analyst certification.
So, the steps for improving your business analyst career are in the following order:
- get business analyst training
- get business analyst hands on skills and experience
- use your business analyst skills on the job
- get business analyst certification
If you already have 5 years or 7500 hours or more of verifiable business analyst skills, experience and expertise gained from real-world Business Analyst (BA) work experience, you may consider getting training to become a Certified Business Analyst Professional (CBAP).
If you don’t already have 5 years or 7500 hours of verifiable business analyst skills, experience and expertise, consider getting trained on all the business analyst core subjects and getting more hands-on business analyst training, skills and experience.