What Should I Pursue - CBAP or AAC?
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Business analysis professional qualifications help business analysts in many ways. It proves their competence on the subject. It helps organizations to ensure their business analysts are rightly skilled in the business analysis process. However, there is some confusion in the business analyst’s minds as to which business analysis certification they should pursue.
IIBA certifications have been the most popular and sought-after certification among business analysts globally. Both CBAP Certification and AAC certification come from the International Institute of Business Analysis™ (IIBA). IIBA® has been doing amazing work on making the business analysis profession more recognized among the professional field and in the corporate segment.
CBAP – Certified Business Analysis Professional – is primarily targeted towards senior-level business analysis professionals who have served at least 7500 hours (roughly about 5 years) as business analysts in the industry performing BA approved tasks as per IIBA®.
AAC – Agile Analysis Certified - is primarily targeted towards mid-level business analysis professionals who have 2+ years’ experience in an agile environment
Here is a short comparison of both the certification:
High-Level Overview of Comparison
|Brand value||Very High||Low|
|# of certified professionals||~10,000||~1000|
|Targeted at||Senior Business analysis professionals||Mid-level Business analysis professionals|
|Curriculum||BABoK 3.0 – 500+ Pages||Agile Extension Guide – 200 Pages|
|Eligibility criteria – Work Experience||Minimum 7500 hours of BA work experience aligned with the BABOK Guide in the last 10 years||No such requirement, although 2 years of agile experience expected|
|Eligibility criteria –Knowledge Area expertise||Minimum 900 hours in each of four of the six knowledge areas||No|
|Eligibility criteria – Training/PD Hours||Minimum of 35 hours of Professional Development Training in the past four years||Not required|
|Eligibility criteria – Reference Requirement||Two references from a career manager, client or CBAP® recipient||Not required|
|Exam mode and pattern||Online exam with PSI Online||Online exam with PSI Online|
|Multiple-choice questions||Multiple-choice questions|
|Exam Fees||Membership Fee – $125||Membership Fee – $125|
|Application Fee – $125||Application Fee – $0|
|Certification Fee – $325 (for members)||Certification Fee – $250 (For members)|
|Exam/Question Pattern||3.5 hours long||1 Hour-long|
|120 multiple-choice questions.||50 multiple-choice questions.|
|Questions are longer cases (1 to 1.5 pages of information).||Short sentence questions|
|Multiple questions about the case.||No case questions|
|Study aids availability||High||Low|
If you are a senior BA professional, CBAP is much more recommended as it carries significant brand recall. BABoK is far more exhaustive than Agile Extension. If you are not eligible for CBAP, AAC is a good option. If you an existing CBAP, AAC proves your credentials for agile-based projects.
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