fbpx

CBAP vs. PMP: Which One Should You Take?

  • Home
  • I
  • CBAP vs. PMP: Which One Should You Take?

Having a globally recognized certification on your resume can open up a whole new world of opportunities for you. PMP and CBAP are two of the most popular certifications that qualify experienced professionals to advance their careers by validating their proficiency in their respective fields of work.

But when it really comes down to it, CBAP vs. PMP, which one should you take? In this article, we’ll help you understand more about both and what you can do to earn them, as well as their global demand and potential salaries.

FREE TRAINING: Get PMP Certified in 6 Weeks!



CBAP vs. PMP: The Full Comparison

In a nutshell, the question of whether you should pursue certification in either CBAP or PMP largely depends on your career goals and previous experience. 

If you mainly work as a business analyst, then go for the CBAP certification. On the other hand, if you’ve led several projects in the past and managed to complete them effectively, you can take the PMP certification to validate your success and improve your skills.

The CBAP and PMP certifications aren’t the same when it comes to the jobs they qualify the holders for. Their knowledge areas are quite different, too. Let’s explore how that is!

CBAP

CBAP (Certified Business Analysis Professional) is mainly designed for business analysts who have extensive professional experience in the field. The certification is considered a validation of your proficiency in business analysis. 

The body responsible for awarding this certification is the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), and it’s based in Toronto, Canada. However, the exam itself is computer-based, making it easy for anyone around the globe to take the exam and earn the certificate.

The CBAP certification is based on 6 BABOK Guide Knowledge Areas, including:

  • Strategy Analysis
  • Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring
  • Solution Evaluation
  • Elicitation and Collaboration
  • Requirements Life Cycle Management
  • Requirements Analysis and Design Definition 

PMP

PMP (Project Management Certification) is an internationally recognized designation that demonstrates your ability to lead and complete a project from A to Z. It’s based on ten knowledge areas, including:

  • Project Integration Management
  • Project Scope Management
  • Project Schedule Management
  • Project Cost Management
  • Project Quality Management
  • Project Resource Management
  • Project Communications Management
  • Project Risk Management
  • Project Procurement Management
  • Project Stakeholder Management

After completing the certification, you should be more confident in leading projects and large teams. The training materials cover all the aspects of project management, allowing you to understand how to manage time, people, money, and resources. 

The certification is awarded by the Project Management Institute (PMI) in Pennsylvania, United States. Just like the CSA certification, the exam is computer-based, and anyone can take it remotely.

Minimum Requirements

Both CBAP and PMP require some prerequisites before you’re eligible to take their exams. The PMP requires you to have 7,500 hours of leading projects, but you only need to have 4,500 hours if you have a four-year degree. You also need 35 hours of project management training in both cases.

On the other hand, CBAP’s minimum requirements are a bit more complicated. Just like PMP, you need to complete a minimum of 7,500 hours working in business analysis in the last ten years.

You also need to have completed a minimum of 900 hours in 4 of the 6 BABOK Guide Knowledge Areas, which add up to a total of 3,600 hours of the required 7,500 hours. You also need to complete 35 hours of professional development in the last 4 years.

Demand

By doing a quick analysis using Google Trends, we’ve noticed that the interest in PMP is much higher than CBAP in most parts of the world, especially in Asia. 

However, CBAP has shown a noticeably high interest in Canada, which makes sense considering that the certification body that awards it is based in Toronto. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that there are no jobs for CBAPs. In fact, being a CBAP can give you an advantage considering that not many people have it.

Generally speaking, the PMP certification is more popular than the CBAP certification, which translates to more job opportunities and better career advancement.

Mean Salary

According to Payscale, the average salary for a CBAP in the United States is $91,655, and $106,719 for a PMP.

While several factors influence the salary of a PMP or CBAP, like years of experience and industry, there’s no doubt that the PMP certification can help you earn potentially higher salaries than CBAP certification.

You should also keep in mind that this data is only for the United States. There are other countries where CBAPs can potentially earn more than PMPs.

Advantages

As a PMP, you get multiple advantages that can boost your career advancement, including:

  • Better career opportunities. Due to its global recognition, the PMP certification can get you better jobs as well as more frequent, and higher salary raises.
  • Proven demonstration of your project management skills. Having such a powerful certification on your resume can say a lot about your project management capabilities.
  • Showcasing your dedication. Pursuing certification in project management shows that you’re passionate about the job, and passing the exam can imply that you’re a dedicated and self-motivated person.

On the other hand, here are the pros of earning a CBAP certification:

  • Developing a better understanding of business analysis principles and practices. The learning materials for the CBAP can help you learn dozens of new business analysis concepts and practices.
  • Globally recognized certification. IIBA’s certifications are widely recognized as the highest level of certification in business analysis.
  • A chance to get better job roles. The CBAP certification makes employers more confident in your business analysis skills, allowing you to take on better job roles.
  • Dedicate yourself to keep learning. The CBAP has to be renewed every few years, which can only be done if you keep yourself engaged by continuously learning more and expanding your knowledge.

Exam

Both PMP and CBAP exams are pretty challenging, and there’s a chance that you could require more than one attempt to pass them.

Whether you’re taking the PMP or CBAP exam, you need to prepare yourself very well if you want to pass from the first attempt. Here’s a detailed comparison between the two exams:

ExamFees (Per Attempt)Passing ScoreTime LimitQuestionsFormatLanguageDifficultyPractice Assessment
PMP$555, $405 for PMI membersVariable240 mins200Multiple ChoiceEnglish onlyHardYes, third party
CBAP$450 ($325 exam + $125 application)More than 70%210 mins120Multiple Choice English onlyHard Yes, third party

The PMP exam has more questions, but the exam time is 30 minutes longer than the CBAP exam. It’s also worth noting that the PMP exam doesn’t have a specific passing score; it’s set according to the exam model’s difficulty.

Also, keep in mind that factors like the passing score, number of questions, and fees may change from one time to another.

Maintaining or Renewing Certification

Renewing your PMP certification is pretty simple. You must earn 60 PDUs (Professional Development Units) every 3-year cycle. These are one-hour blocks of time that you spend learning, volunteering, or teaching other people. You also have to pay the required $60 fee.

The renewal system for the CBAP certification is very similar to that of the PMP certification. You need to renew it once every three years by earning 60 CDUs (Continuing Development Units) and paying the required $85 renewal fee.

Which One Should I Take First?

While it’s unlikely for you to have the minimum requirements for both certifications simultaneously, some people with multi-role jobs can have experience in the two fields and thus become eligible for both certificates.

In that case, it can be hard to decide which one you should consider taking first. The best thing to do in that case is to evaluate your job’s nature and see whether business analysis or project management has more weight on your daily calendar.

If you’re mainly a business analyst who sometimes takes on some project management roles, take the CBAP certification first. Similarly, if you’re chosen as a project manager all the time, but may often need to be involved in some critical business decisions, go for the PMP certification first.

Final Thoughts

CBAP and PMP are two completely different fields of professional study. However, there are areas where the two overlap, considering that a project manager would greatly benefit from having high business analysis skills, and the opposite is true.

There’s no doubt that both certifications are of great value, and you’ll learn a lot no matter what certification you choose to pursue. 

If you have a high interest in project management and your leadership skills are on point, consider taking the PMP certification. On the other hand, if you’re more into business analysis and working with data, the CBAP certification would be the better option for you.

Having a globally recognized certification on your resume can open up a whole new world of opportunities for you. PMP and CBAP are two of the most popular certifications that qualify experienced professionals to advance their careers by validating their proficiency in their respective fields of work.

But when it really comes down to it, CBAP vs. PMP, which one should you take? In this article, we’ll help you understand more about both and what you can do to earn them, as well as their global demand and potential salaries.

CBAP vs. PMP: The Full Comparison

In a nutshell, the question of whether you should pursue certification in either CBAP or PMP largely depends on your career goals and previous experience. 

If you mainly work as a business analyst, then go for the CBAP certification. On the other hand, if you’ve led several projects in the past and managed to complete them effectively, you can take the PMP certification to validate your success and improve your skills.

The CBAP and PMP certifications aren’t the same when it comes to the jobs they qualify the holders for. Their knowledge areas are quite different, too. Let’s explore how that is!

CBAP

CBAP (Certified Business Analysis Professional) is mainly designed for business analysts who have extensive professional experience in the field. The certification is considered a validation of your proficiency in business analysis. 

The body responsible for awarding this certification is the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), and it’s based in Toronto, Canada. However, the exam itself is computer-based, making it easy for anyone around the globe to take the exam and earn the certificate.

The CBAP certification is based on 6 BABOK Guide Knowledge Areas, including:

  • Strategy Analysis
  • Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring
  • Solution Evaluation
  • Elicitation and Collaboration
  • Requirements Life Cycle Management
  • Requirements Analysis and Design Definition 

PMP

PMP (Project Management Certification) is an internationally recognized designation that demonstrates your ability to lead and complete a project from A to Z. It’s based on ten knowledge areas, including:

  • Project Integration Management
  • Project Scope Management
  • Project Schedule Management
  • Project Cost Management
  • Project Quality Management
  • Project Resource Management
  • Project Communications Management
  • Project Risk Management
  • Project Procurement Management
  • Project Stakeholder Management

After completing the certification, you should be more confident in leading projects and large teams. The training materials cover all the aspects of project management, allowing you to understand how to manage time, people, money, and resources. 

The certification is awarded by the Project Management Institute (PMI) in Pennsylvania, United States. Just like the CSA certification, the exam is computer-based, and anyone can take it remotely.

Minimum Requirements

Both CBAP and PMP require some prerequisites before you’re eligible to take their exams. The PMP requires you to have 7,500 hours of leading projects, but you only need to have 4,500 hours if you have a four-year degree. You also need 35 hours of project management training in both cases.

On the other hand, CBAP’s minimum requirements are a bit more complicated. Just like PMP, you need to complete a minimum of 7,500 hours working in business analysis in the last ten years.

You also need to have completed a minimum of 900 hours in 4 of the 6 BABOK Guide Knowledge Areas, which add up to a total of 3,600 hours of the required 7,500 hours. You also need to complete 35 hours of professional development in the last 4 years.

Demand

By doing a quick analysis using Google Trends, we’ve noticed that the interest in PMP is much higher than CBAP in most parts of the world, especially in Asia. 

However, CBAP has shown a noticeably high interest in Canada, which makes sense considering that the certification body that awards it is based in Toronto. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that there are no jobs for CBAPs. In fact, being a CBAP can give you an advantage considering that not many people have it.

Generally speaking, the PMP certification is more popular than the CBAP certification, which translates to more job opportunities and better career advancement.

Mean Salary

According to Payscale, the average salary for a CBAP in the United States is $91,655, and $106,719 for a PMP.

While several factors influence the salary of a PMP or CBAP, like years of experience and industry, there’s no doubt that the PMP certification can help you earn potentially higher salaries than CBAP certification.

You should also keep in mind that this data is only for the United States. There are other countries where CBAPs can potentially earn more than PMPs.

Advantages

As a PMP, you get multiple advantages that can boost your career advancement, including:

  • Better career opportunities. Due to its global recognition, the PMP certification can get you better jobs as well as more frequent, and higher salary raises.
  • Proven demonstration of your project management skills. Having such a powerful certification on your resume can say a lot about your project management capabilities.
  • Showcasing your dedication. Pursuing certification in project management shows that you’re passionate about the job, and passing the exam can imply that you’re a dedicated and self-motivated person.

On the other hand, here are the pros of earning a CBAP certification:

  • Developing a better understanding of business analysis principles and practices. The learning materials for the CBAP can help you learn dozens of new business analysis concepts and practices.
  • Globally recognized certification. IIBA’s certifications are widely recognized as the highest level of certification in business analysis.
  • A chance to get better job roles. The CBAP certification makes employers more confident in your business analysis skills, allowing you to take on better job roles.
  • Dedicate yourself to keep learning. The CBAP has to be renewed every few years, which can only be done if you keep yourself engaged by continuously learning more and expanding your knowledge.

Exam

Both PMP and CBAP exams are pretty challenging, and there’s a chance that you could require more than one attempt to pass them.

Whether you’re taking the PMP or CBAP exam, you need to prepare yourself very well if you want to pass from the first attempt. Here’s a detailed comparison between the two exams:

ExamFees (Per Attempt)Passing ScoreTime LimitQuestionsFormatLanguageDifficultyPractice Assessment
PMP$555, $405 for PMI membersVariable240 mins200Multiple ChoiceEnglish onlyHardYes, third party
CBAP$450 ($325 exam + $125 application)More than 70%210 mins120Multiple Choice English onlyHard Yes, third party

The PMP exam has more questions, but the exam time is 30 minutes longer than the CBAP exam. It’s also worth noting that the PMP exam doesn’t have a specific passing score; it’s set according to the exam model’s difficulty.

Also, keep in mind that factors like the passing score, number of questions, and fees may change from one time to another.

Maintaining or Renewing Certification

Renewing your PMP certification is pretty simple. You must earn 60 PDUs (Professional Development Units) every 3-year cycle. These are one-hour blocks of time that you spend learning, volunteering, or teaching other people. You also have to pay the required $60 fee.

The renewal system for the CBAP certification is very similar to that of the PMP certification. You need to renew it once every three years by earning 60 CDUs (Continuing Development Units) and paying the required $85 renewal fee.

Which One Should I Take First?

While it’s unlikely for you to have the minimum requirements for both certifications simultaneously, some people with multi-role jobs can have experience in the two fields and thus become eligible for both certificates.

In that case, it can be hard to decide which one you should consider taking first. The best thing to do in that case is to evaluate your job’s nature and see whether business analysis or project management has more weight on your daily calendar.

If you’re mainly a business analyst who sometimes takes on some project management roles, take the CBAP certification first. Similarly, if you’re chosen as a project manager all the time, but may often need to be involved in some critical business decisions, go for the PMP certification first.

Final Thoughts

CBAP and PMP are two completely different fields of professional study. However, there are areas where the two overlap, considering that a project manager would greatly benefit from having high business analysis skills, and the opposite is true.

There’s no doubt that both certifications are of great value, and you’ll learn a lot no matter what certification you choose to pursue. 

If you have a high interest in project management and your leadership skills are on point, consider taking the PMP certification. On the other hand, if you’re more into business analysis and working with data, the CBAP certification would be the better option for you.

Good luck!

Do you want to get PMP certified in the next 6 weeks? Sign up for a free class to learn the exact study plan, tips & tricks!


Read more certification comparisons