Business Intelligence Certification recognizes achievement in mastering the relevant technical skills for a specific product or application. It demonstrates a high level of proficiency in the subject matter and provides you with recognition of your skillset. It will help you stand out with employers and peers, and shows you as someone who is ambitious and enjoys what they do.
As well as putting your career on the fast track by helping you gain additional job opportunities, certified staff can also help employers accelerate the adoption of technology solutions and maximize their return on investment in Business Intelligence technology. Certification also provides opportunities to earn MORE, on average, than non-certified colleagues.
Achieving a certification in your chosen area tells current and prospective employers that you are serious about your work. It demonstrates in-depth knowledge, helping you gain a competitive advantage over your peers and open up your career opportunities.
Consider these two quotes from Redmond magazine’s 2006 survey of compensation for Microsoft IT professionals:
“43 percent of survey respondents report salary increases as a result of Microsoft Certification.”
“More than 40 percent of survey respondents report that Microsoft Certification was a factor in improving their ability to find or keep a job or get a promotion.”
These quotes can apply to any type of formal certification gained though hard work and study.
There are many ways to become certified, depending on the career path you have decided to take.
The first thing to decide is whether you want to aim for a generalist certification or a specialist certification.
A generalist certification, as in not specific to a particular technology or vendor, is that offered by The Data Warehouse Institute (TDWI). Their certification is the Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP) certification. This is the industry’s only independent professional certification program and builds upon your core Business Intelligence knowledge.
If your work focuses on a specific technology or software, you may want to consider studying towards a Certified Professional certification. These are offered by Microsoft, Business Objects, Oracle, SAS and others. Qlikview also run a certification program. However, this is currently restricted to consultants working in partner companies.
For those considering working with Microsoft technologies consider Microsoft Certifications such as the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP), Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) or the Microsoft Certified Information Technlogy Professional (MCITP). Microsoft offer a wide range of certifications for their products with a particular focus on the career path or job title you are working in or seeking. In this case, Microsoft offer several Business Intelligence certification routes which are well worth pursuing.
For those that work with Oracle technolgies, Oracle certification can be gained. There are three levels of Oracle Certification – Oracle Certified Associate (OCA), Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) and Oracle Certified Master (OCM). Each require an increasing level of expertise in a particular product or suite of products.
In the past few years, Business Objects have introduced three Certified Professional programs (BOCP). Depending on your skillset, you can gain your Business Objects Certification in either Business Objects, Crystal Reports or Data Integrator.
SAS also run the SAS Certification program, which leads to the SAS Certified Professional accreditation.
Each one of these certifications require a great deal of hard work and product knowledge. It helps immensely if you have several years experience using the products in which you wish to certify. Once acheived, these certifications really do help you stand out from the crowd.