Best Business Certifications of 2024

Business professionals often switch jobs to secure better pay, improved benefits, and fresh opportunities. Obtaining business certifications is a key step toward making such a change.

Defining “business certification” can be challenging. To narrow down the scope, we examined general business and management credentials, as well as certifications in customer resource management (CRM), supply chain management, sales, and purchasing. Most of the certifications we chose are vendor-agnostic, meaning they are not tied to a specific system or application. We also researched various credentials from companies such as SAP and SAS, which specialize in business applications.

Best Business Certifications for Advancing Your Career

Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

The Project Management Institute (PMI) has been helping professionals in project management since 1969. The CAPM is perfect for those starting in project management. To qualify, you need to have a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent. The exam consists of 150 questions and costs $225 for PMI members or $300 for nonmembers. It’s available through Pearson VUE. Before taking the exam, you must complete 23 hours of project management education. The certification is valid for five years, after which you need to retake the exam to maintain it.

PMI offers other certifications for the business community, including 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 CBAP, offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), is for those interested in analyzing business needs and proposing solutions. It’s an advanced certification for managers and leaders with over five years of business analysis experience. You need at least 7,500 hours of business analysis experience in the last ten years, with 900 of those hours directly related to four of the six BABOK Guide knowledge areas. Additionally, you need at least 35 hours of professional development credits earned in the last four years, along with two references.

The CBAP exam consists of 120 multiple-choice questions based on scenarios and case studies. It’s available through PSI and 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 certification.

The IIBA also offers related certifications like 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 focuses on supply chain management and offers the CSCP and other certifications to develop qualified professionals. The CSCP covers supply chain concepts, technology, and strategies for end-to-end operations, from supplier to company to consumer.

To earn the CSCP, you need a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, at least one other approved certification, and at least three years of related business experience. You must also pass an exam that costs $1,365 to $1,900, depending on your APICS membership status.

Project Management Professional (PMP)

The PMP certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI) is highly recognized in both business and IT fields. To qualify, you can choose between two options:

  • A high school diploma, associate degree, or global equivalent, 60 months of project management experience, and 35 hours of project management education.
  • A four-year degree, 36 months of project management experience, and 35 hours of project management education.

The PMP exam consists of 180 questions and costs $405 for PMI members or $575 for nonmembers. To maintain certification, you need to earn 60 professional development units every three years.

SAP Certified Application Associate – CRM

If you’re proficient in SAP, a leading software used for managing business operations and customer relationships, the SAP Certified Application Associate – CRM certification is for you.

It validates your skills in understanding and using SAP CRM software, including its integration with other SAP solutions like NetWeaver. Candidates should have a combination of experience and training, with training courses available if needed.

The exam has 80 questions and costs between $208 and $519, depending on the number of attempts. You can take the exam through the SAP Certification Hub.

Salesforce Certified Administrator

Salesforce is a leading CRM platform used by companies worldwide for managing various business operations and customer relationships. The Salesforce Certified Administrator certification program is designed to enhance your knowledge of the platform at an administrative level. Before taking the proctored credential exam, you need to complete several classes and workshops, which typically cost a few thousand dollars.

Salesforce recommends that candidates already have a good understanding of the platform, as the certification aims to build upon their existing knowledge. After completing the program, you can also pursue the Advanced Administrator certification to further enhance your skills.

HubSpot Inbound Marketing

HubSpot is a CRM platform that helps businesses manage their marketing, sales, and customer service needs. One of its certifications, the HubSpot Inbound Marketing certification, focuses on teaching how to leverage content creation, social media, and other inbound marketing techniques effectively.

This certification course is free and consists of seven lessons, including 24 videos and seven quizzes. It takes about five hours to complete.

Oracle Certified Professional (OCP)

Oracle is a leading provider of cloud database software, offering solutions for various business functions. Over 2.2 million people have earned their OCP credentials, and there are more than 1,000 job openings for this designation.

Oracle provides free learning courses in a wide range of specialties, covering both cloud-based and on-premises software and hardware solutions. To take an exam, you need to purchase a voucher, which costs between $95 and $245. These vouchers are valid for six months, allowing you enough time to prepare before taking the exam.

Job Site Search Results

The table below shows the number of job openings that specifically require certain business certifications, as of March 13, 2023. Please note that this is not an exhaustive analysis, but rather a snapshot of job search numbers.

 

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

These numbers provide an overview of the demand for these certifications in the job market.

Tip: No matter what field you work in, business certifications can help you excel in your profession.”

Other Business Certifications to Consider

The American Purchasing Society offers several certifications for professionals in purchasing and supply chain management. These include 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.

For those involved in managing business records, the Institute of Certified Records Managers (ICRM) offers the Certified Records Analyst (CRA) and Certified Records Manager (CRM) programs, focusing on the creation, use, retrieval, and disposal of business records.

On the global stage, the Institute of Management Consultants offers the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) certification, while NASBITE International offers the Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) certification, focusing on global business management, marketing, supply chain management, and trade finance.

If you’re an entrepreneur looking to become an expert in the art and science of starting and scaling your company than our list of the best business podcasts will provide you with priceless insights to boost your business.

For professionals in business relationship management, the Business Relationship Management Institute offers two certifications: the Business Relationship Management Professional (BRMP) and Certified Business Relationship Manager (CBRM). These certifications can enhance your skills and credentials in various aspects of business management and operations.

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