Best Business Certifications for 2024

Best Business Certifications for 2024

Overview

Business professionals often change positions to improve their salary, benefits, and explore new opportunities. Pursuing business certifications is a smart move toward such changes.

Defining a “business certification” can be tricky. To focus on specific areas, we looked at general business and management credentials, along with certifications in customer resource management (CRM), supply chain, sales, and purchasing. Most of these certifications are vendor-agnostic, meaning they are not tied to a specific system or application. Our research also included credentials from companies like SAP, SAS, and others that specialize in business applications.

The Best Business Certifications

Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

The Project Management Institute (PMI) has been supporting professionals in project management since 1969, offering certifications and professional development opportunities. The CAPM is particularly suitable for aspiring project managers. To qualify, you must have a high school diploma, GED, or global equivalent. The exam consists of 150 questions and costs $225 for PMI members or $300 for nonmembers. It is available through Pearson VUE. Before taking the exam, you need to complete 23 hours of project management education. The certification is valid for five years, after which you must retake the exam to maintain your credential.

PMI also offers other certifications for the business community, such as the Project Management Professional (PMP), PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA), Portfolio Management Professional (PFMP), Program Management Professional (PGMP), and PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP).

Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)

The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) offers the CBAP, an advanced certification for experienced business analysts. To qualify, you need more than five years of business analysis experience, with at least 7,500 hours of experience over the last decade. Additionally, 900 of those hours must directly relate to four of the six BABOK Guide knowledge areas. You also need at least 35 hours of professional development credits earned over the last four years, plus two references.

The CBAP exam consists of 120 multiple-choice questions based on scenarios and case studies. It costs $350 for IIBA members or $505 for nonmembers, with an additional $145 application fee. To maintain the CBAP, you must earn at least 60 continuing development units within three years of achieving certification.

The IIBA also offers related certifications, such as the Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA), Certificate of Capability in Business Analysis (CCBA), Agile Analysis Certification (IIBA-AAC), and Certification in Business Data Analytics (IIBA-CBDA).

Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)

APICS specializes in supply chain management and offers the CSCP certification. This certification is for professionals with a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, at least one other approved certification, and at least three years of related business experience. The exam costs between $1,365 and $1,900, depending on your APICS membership status. It covers supply chain concepts, technology, and strategies for end-to-end operations, from supplier to company to consumer.

Project Management Professional (PMP)

The PMP certification from PMI is highly recognized and sought after in both business and IT industries. The requirements are stringent. Option one requires a high school diploma, associate degree, or global equivalent; 60 months of experience leading projects and completion of 35 hours of project management education. Option two requires a four-year degree, 36 months of leading projects, and 35 hours of project management education.

To earn the PMP certification, you must pass a 180-question exam, which is available through Pearson VUE. The exam costs $405 for PMI members and $575 for nonmembers. To maintain the certification, you must earn 60 professional development units every three years.

SAP Certified Application Associate – CRM

The SAP Certified Application Associate – CRM recognizes a consultant’s skills in understanding and using SAP CRM software, including its integration with other SAP solutions like NetWeaver. SAP recommends candidates have a combination of experience and training before taking the certification exam. Training courses are available if needed. The exam consists of 80 questions and costs between $208 and $519, depending on the number of attempts. The exam can be taken through the SAP Certification Hub.

Salesforce Certified Administrator

Salesforce is a widely used CRM platform that helps businesses manage various operations, including help desk, lead management, sales, and customer service. Since its launch in 1999, Salesforce has become an industry leader in CRM solutions.

The Salesforce Certified Administrator certification program is designed for those looking to leverage the platform at an administrative level. The program requires candidates to take several classes and workshops before completing a proctored credential exam. The classes and exam typically cost a few thousand dollars.

Salesforce recommends that candidates seeking this certification should already have a good understanding of the platform. The certification aims to build upon their existing knowledge of features and functions. Upon completion, Salesforce also offers the Advanced Administrator certification to further enhance your platform knowledge.

HubSpot Inbound Marketing

HubSpot is a CRM platform that assists businesses in managing their marketing, sales, and customer service needs. While HubSpot covers various specialties, the HubSpot Inbound Marketing certification focuses on teaching how to leverage content creation, social media, and other inbound marketing strategies effectively.

The certification course is free and consists of seven lessons, including 24 videos and seven quizzes, which can be completed in almost five hours.

Oracle Certified Professional (OCP)

Oracle is a prominent cloud database software company that helps businesses apply digital solutions to various functions. Over 2.2 million people have earned their OCP credentials, and our research has identified more than 1,000 job openings for this designation.

Oracle offers numerous certification paths covering its cloud-based and on-premises software and hardware solutions. They also provide free learning courses in a wide range of specialties. When you’re ready to take the exam, you need to purchase a voucher, which costs between $95 and $245. These vouchers are valid for six months, giving you enough time to prepare and enhance your skills with the Oracle platform before taking the exam.

Job Site Search Results

The table below shows the top business-related certifications based on the number of open positions that specifically require each certification. These numbers are based on a single day’s search results and are not a comprehensive analysis of every job description.

Certification SimplyHired LinkedIn Jobs Total
Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) 929 1,976 2,905
Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) 366 5,423 5,789
Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) 647 1,029 1,676
Project Management Professional (PMP) 18,230 79,715 97,945
SAP Certified Application Associate – Business Planning and Consolidation 23,263 168,382 191,645
Salesforce Certified Administrator 636 38,055 38,691
HubSpot Inbound Marketing 728 101 829
Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) 400 645 1,045

Important: Business certificates can help you succeed in your profession regardless of your industry.

Other Business Certifications to Consider

The American Purchasing Society offers several certifications, including the Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP), Certified Professional Purchasing Manager (CPPM), Certified Green Purchasing Professional (CGPP), Certified Professional in Distribution and Warehousing (CPDW), and Certified Professional Purchasing Consultant (CPPC) programs.

If your career involves managing business records, consider the certifications offered by the Institute of Certified Records Managers (ICRM), such as the Certified Records Analyst (CRA) and Certified Records Manager (CRM) programs.

For a global focus, consider the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) certification from the Institute of Management Consultants or the Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) from NASBITE, which covers global business management, marketing, supply chain management, and trade finance.

Lastly, the Business Relationship Management Institute offers the Business Relationship Management Professional (BRMP) and Certified Business Relationship Manager (CBRM) certifications.

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