PMP is a globally recognised project management certification. It was listed as one of the top 15 skills for earning a higher salary . Business Analysts work in project environments and often wonder if a PMP Is good for Business Analysts to acquire.
PMP certification is good for Business Analysts who are interested in working in the capacity of a Project Manager. It validates and certifies the Business Analysts ability to manage the people, processes and business environment of a Project. However, a PMP certification is not required to be or function as a Business Analyst.
While it is not a required criterion for becoming a Business Analyst, there are instances where a PMP certificate might be useful. This article explores all these areas.
What is PMP?
PMP is an acronym for Project Management Professional and is one of the most respected and popular projects management certifications.
It is a worldwide recognised project management credential that assesses a candidate’s ability to manage the people, processes, and business priorities of a project.
The PMP certification certifies that you have the soft skills required to effectively lead a project team.
It shows you have the technical knowledge and know-how to manage technical aspects of the projects and, finally, certifies you know how to connect the project to the overall organizational strategy.
It is specially designed for professionals who aspire to be project managers or are currently Project Managers.
The PMP certification is administered by PMI (Project Management Institute), which estimates there are over one million PMP certification holders worldwide.
It applies to project managers in virtually any industry, including health, construction, information technology (IT), and business.
To get the certification, you are required to meet the experience criteria and pass a certification exam.
Is PMP Necessary For Business Analysts?
A PMP certification is not necessary for a Business Analyst.
The PMP certification is mainly for aspiring and existing Project Managers that are involved in the active management of projects.
Project managers are responsible for initiating, planning, and executing a project. They are responsible for defining the project, breaking down tasks, providing adequate resources, and building the team that will work on the project.
Furthermore, project managers monitor and mitigate the potential risks as the project advances. The PMP simply validates that an aspiring/existing Project Manager has the ability to perform these tasks on a project.
Now, Business Analysts work on projects but in a different capacity.
Business Analysts assess the business problems to gather, analyse and document the requirements for the project.
Business Analysts’ main focus is understanding the business needs and working with the developers to build a solution for the problem.
Once built, the Business Analysts validate the solution built meets the requirement of the business.
Where the Project Manager oversees the entire project, the Business Analyst is embedded in the details of the project.
The Project Manager’s function is to provide the resources required to help the team deliver the solution on time while the Business Analyst’s function is to provide the requirement that will enable the software team to build the required solution.
Thus, Project Management and Business Analysis are essentially different disciplines requiring separate skillsets. This is why a PMP certification is not necessary for Business Analyst.
That said, I know there are instances where the Business Analyst functions as the Project Management of the project. I have many colleagues who have been in this situation, and I personally had a stint in a role where I was the interim Project Manager.
In these instances, the Business Analyst will have to apply Project Management skills and principles to manage the Project. This is where the Business Analyst will benefit from the knowledge of project management principles.
Is it necessary for you as a Business Analyst to possess a PMP certificate? NO! but is it nice to have a PMP certificate? Perhaps yes, if you are willing to invest the time and resources to acquire the certificate.
Besides, there are other ways to acquire project management skills and experience without holding a PMP certification.
As I always say, employers don’t care a great deal about your knowledge. What they care about is how that knowledge can be translated into value for their business. My poll here proved it.
Once you can demonstrate this with actual experience, then you’re just as good (if not better) as holding a PMP certification.
How Does A PMP Help Business Analysts?
There are certain advantages of earning a PMP certification as a BA:
#1 Better Career Opportunities
As a BUsiness Analyst, acquiring a PMP certificate opens you up to Project management job opportunities.
Since you’re a certified Project Manager, you can also now get Project Manager roles.
The demand for hiring a Project Management Professional is increasing day by day. The recent PMI analysis states that this profession will grow 33%, equal to 22 million jobs, through 2027.
In addition to expanding your employment opportunities, you also become a more desirable BUsiness Analyst in the market.
This is simply because an organisation will view you as a better return on investment since you have both Business Analysis and Project Management skills.
As a result, you’ll probably be preferred over a business Analyst who does not have project management skills.
#2. Potential Increase in Salary
As a Business Analyst with Project Management skills and Project Management certification, you are more valuable in the marketplace and can demand a higher salary.
According to a recent PMI survey, the median salary for PMP holders in the U.S. is 25% higher than those without PMP certification.
Global Knowledge reported that the PMP certification ranked seventh among IT certifications that were linked to the highest salaries in the IT sector.
#3 Recognition and Connections
PMP is a reputable certification and is currently the symbol of excellence in the Project Management field. This certification adds a greater value.
Organizations or companies that have employed a PMP have seen a significant improvement in their business projects, as they help in completing the project on budget and on time.
With recognition comes powerful and stronger connections. When you get the project management concept, you can connect with other professionals more easily, ultimately getting better opportunities and potential collaboration deals.
#4 Improves Interpersonal Skills
Whether it is a business analyst or a professional project manager, they know that ability to communicate properly is the key!
As a PMP, you may have to get on with many projects and that too with many teams, so speaking confidently and correctly will ensure that everyone stays on the same page as you are.
As you advance, you will learn about Procurement Audits and Performance Reviews, and these are no general industry terms but are significant parts of this field.
#5 Chance to Learn and Master New Skills
Having these certifications will not only maximise your career opportunities but will also enhance your skills and knowledge. This exam is not easy, and you need to grind every hour to earn this certificate.
You need to master the fundamentals and material methodologies implemented in project management. You will master critical hard and soft skills such as leadership, management, organizing, resource management, conflict resolution, problem-solving, time management, etc.
How to get PMP qualified?
Looking forward to pursuing this certification, here is how you will be able to achieve it! Read this guide, and you will have an idea about how to earn this certification.
#1 Eligibility Check
First, you need to meet the requirements before you take this examination. To sit for the exam, you need to satisfy any of the following conditions –
- 36 months or three years of experience in project management, and at least 35 hours of project management training, in case you have a 4-year long degree program
- 60 months or five years of experience, and 35 hours of project management course training, if you have a high school diploma or an associate degree
Also, you are required to keep track of the following things:
- Information about all projects and training.
- Information about roles, responsibilities, duration of the projects, etc.
- Information, such as the name of the institutions attended, number of courses completed, and qualifying hours.
However, you can waive this training requirement if you have a CAPM Certification.
Get started by making an account in Project Management Institute. Then hop into the PMI app.
This will require you to share your basic information, such as your educational background and what are the projects you have worked on. Once you complete this, you will receive a notification regarding your approval. Once approved, you will need to pay the examination fees and fix the test!
#3 Prepare and Take the PMP Exam
After you have fixed the date for the test, you have to get going and prepare yourself for the exam. You can do this yourself or through coursework.
Exam prep providers recommend that one should study for at least 60 to 120 hours, and only then will you be able to prepare yourself fully.
There are two possible ways of taking this examination, one is online, and another is at the nearest testing site. You get a total of 4 hours to complete your paper.
#4 Maintaining the Qualification
The PMP certification has a validity of three years, and you need to have at least 60 hours of work experience in professional development activities during the three years to maintain it. Failing to maintain it, you need to sit for the exam again.
In conclusion, while a PMP certification is not a necessity for becoming or functioning as a Business Analyst, it can be a good investment.
The benefits of PMP certification include an increase in salary, a wider job range, and an increase in knowledge and skills.
Business analysts who are not certified may want to consider getting certified to stand out in a competitive job marketplace and take their careers to the next level.
Wishing you the very best!
 Global Knowledge “15 Top-Paying IT Certifications for 2020