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New Post 10/9/2008 4:29 AM
User is offline Kimbo
454 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: BA certification - why bother? 

Hi Guy (& Larimar),

Seeing as how you asked, I thought I'd offer my opinion on this. Being a cynical old coder at heart, I'm very suspicious of any certifications unless they are industry accepted standards e.g. the various microsoft certifications, PMP & Prince for project managers. In my opinion they only serve to enrich the people offering the certification. Over the years I've seen various organisations unsuccessfully attempt to introduce certifications. With no exception they were introduced in order to create new revenue streams first and foremost.

Larimar mentioned that it can help people get jobs and perhaps it can. In some markets maybe its true. I see there are 2 certifications doing the rounds. Which one will win? Is it worth taking a certification without knowing this. Think of the blu ray v toshiba high definition DVD wars. You may end up with the Toshiba high definition certification!

Now I once got a job in a bar without any experience on the basis that I had attended a bar training course. So education is never wasted. If you need to pay for this then I wonder what other alternatives there are to certification courses? Are their university (college) courses? I personally don't know. In time maybe this certification will become an industry standard. Until it does though I'll spend my money on more useful things. Like beer for instance :-)

Kimbo

 
New Post 10/9/2008 5:24 AM
User is offline Guy Beauchamp
257 posts
www.smart-ba.com
5th Level Poster




Re: BA certification - why bother? 

Hi Kimbo,

Nice analogy with the blue-ray / toshiba hd! The point where the analogy doesn't quite work for me is that there was a driver behind these formats: high definition dvd which SOMEBODY was going to set the standards for. There doesn't seem to be a driver like this for Business Analysis - there is no 'given' or mandatory driver in BA which says it must be to a certain standard and which would then allow the BCS and IIBA fight over market dominance...

I like your point about education for the sake of education - i.e. learn what need to learn to be able to do the job, not pass some arbitary 'standard'...

And finally...I wonder why this subject area (is certification for BA worth it) seems to attract little interest in the world of Business Analysis? It's not like it's being debated intensely anywhere I know of. I wonder why? The BAs I come in to contact mostly seem to want (unquestioningly) certification and the employers all seem mostly unbothered by it.

I'd be interested in a 'cynical old coders' view of this...

Hope the beer fund is healthy!

Guy

 
New Post 10/9/2008 8:47 AM
User is offline Matt
3 posts
No Ranking


Re: BA certification - why bother? 

Hi,

Cynical I can be, I won't go into the age thing.

If you do a job search based on ISEB you will be inundated with 'test' related roles but very few BA roles.  Maybe that will start to change and if it does then having those certificates becomes a necessity to getting the job you want, rather than a job.

I think Guy, you posted a repsonse to someone about how BA's are mutations and that is most likely how many of us started on that career path.  But as more people stress projects fail due to poor requirements then more employers are likely to start wanting to employe people who can prove they have been trained to elicite, validate, manage and document requirements and hence in the longer term the likely benefit of certification to the individual.

Matt

 
New Post 10/9/2008 9:07 AM
User is offline Guy Beauchamp
257 posts
www.smart-ba.com
5th Level Poster




Re: BA certification - why bother? 

Matt,

"...in the longer term the likely benefit of certification to the individual" - I would be interested in what you see as "longer term".

I mutated in to BA formally in 1992 (was involved in spirit from around 1989) and though the point that "projects fail due to poor requirements" was being made then and has since been has been re-made, validated, substantiated, corroborated, demonstrated and (as far as I am concerned) proved there is still nothing I can see that is going to drive the need for certification from an employer perspective.

The bottom line is BAs seem to want certification and employers aren't that bothered.

So why do BAs want it and is it really any use? Is it - in fact - the best way to demonstrate BA capabilities? My exaple (in an earlier post in this thread) of a brain dead but certified candidate vs a non-brain dead but uncertified candidate makes the case for it not being the best way. So, if not, what is the best way and why (as a profession) don't we go in for that?

And why - as a profession - do we seem reluctant to find a better way of demonstrating our worth than an un-called for (by employers) certification?

Guy

 
New Post 10/9/2008 3:20 PM
User is offline Kimbo
454 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: BA certification - why bother? 

Guy,

Now I may be wrong but I think the people doing the certification are trying to become BAs or are junior BAs trying to gain more credibility. I think they are being somewhat gullible if they think in the current market that a certification is a step up into a job. I'm much more interested in work experience and proper qualifications like university (college) degrees. But most important is work experience.

If someone isn't currently a BA then they probably won't get interviewed regardless of any certification. In a tight job market, something like a job progression from programmer to systems analyst indicates a project background and exposure to BA concepts on the job. Other relevant experience is business background in the project business area. A certification in this context is still pretty irrelevant - just a week long training course equivalent or so. Nice to have, sure, but largely irrelevant. In terms of education I'd be more interested in a degree with some analysis components or a relevant business degree.  

It could be argued that certification is just a means to exploit people looking for something, anything to give them a leg up in their career.

Kimbo

 
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