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Top 10 Strategic Planning Analyst Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications available for strategic planning analysts, including information on requirements and benefits.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are important to a strategic planning analyst in the job market because they demonstrate a level of knowledge and expertise that goes beyond what can be learned through traditional educational paths. A certification is an industry-backed recognition of a person's expertise in a particular area, and it can give employers confidence that their potential hire has the necessary skills to do the job. Certifications also show that the analyst has taken the initiative to advance their knowledge, which is valued by employers. Additionally, certifications can provide access to higher paying jobs and can help an analyst stand out among other applicants when competing for positions.

The purpose of this article is to review the top certifications for Strategic Planning Analysts and explain how they can help further their career.

What are Strategic Planning Analyst Certifications?

Strategic planning analyst certification is a professional designation that demonstrates an individual's expertise in the field of strategic planning. This certification is offered by a number of professional organizations, such as the Institute for Certified Professional Managers (ICPM) and the Chartered Strategic Planning Society (CSPS). It is designed to help individuals develop and hone their skills in areas such as data analysis, financial modeling, performance metrics, market research and forecasting.

The certification is beneficial for those looking to advance their careers in strategic planning, as it gives them an edge over other applicants for positions in this area. Employers often prefer candidates with this type of certification due to its rigorous standards and its ability to demonstrate a candidate’s mastery of the subject matter. Additionally, the certification can be used to differentiate oneself from other candidates when seeking promotions or new roles.

For those interested in pursuing strategic planning analyst certification, courses are typically offered online or through universities and colleges. These courses cover topics such as project management, organizational behavior and corporate strategy. Upon completion of these courses, individuals must pass a comprehensive exam before they can become certified. Once certified, they will have access to exclusive networking opportunities and career resources that can help further their career prospects in the field of strategic planning.

Pro Tip: When considering a strategic planning analyst certification, make sure to research the requirements and benefits of each program thoroughly. It's important to understand the scope of the certification and what skills you will need to demonstrate in order to qualify. Additionally, find out if the certification is recognized by employers in the field and if it can be used as a stepping stone for further career advancement.

Related: What does a Strategic Planning Analyst do?

Top 10 Strategic Planning Analyst Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Strategic Planning Analysts today.

1. Certified Strategic Planning Analyst (CSPA)

Certified Strategic Planning Analyst (CSPA) is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to be successful in the field of strategic planning. The CSPA credential is awarded by the Association of Strategic Planning Professionals (ASPP), an international organization that provides education and resources for strategic planning professionals.

The CSPA program consists of three levels: Level I, Level II, and Level III. Each level requires a different level of knowledge, experience, and skill. To achieve the CSPA designation at each level, candidates must pass a written exam as well as demonstrate their proficiency in strategic planning through case studies or other projects.

It typically takes 3-6 months to complete the CSPA program depending on how much time you are able to dedicate to studying for the exams and completing any required projects. In order to get started with the CSPA program, you will need to register with ASPP and pay a registration fee. After registering, you can then purchase study materials from ASPP which will help prepare you for the exams.

The cost of the CSPA program depends on which level you are pursuing:

  • Level I: $395 USD
  • Level II: $495 USD
  • Level III: $595 USD

2. Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)

Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) is an industry-recognized certification for business analysts. It is a professional credential offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). The CBAP certification validates a business analyst's knowledge and skills in areas such as requirements management, solution assessment and validation, enterprise analysis, planning and monitoring, and stakeholder engagement.

It typically takes around 12 to 18 months to prepare for the CBAP exam. This includes studying the BABOK Guide (Business Analysis Body of Knowledge), attending training courses or webinars, taking practice exams, and gaining experience in the field.

To get certified as a CBAP, you must meet certain eligibility criteria set out by IIBA. These include having 7500 hours of business analysis experience over the past 10 years and 21 hours of professional development activities within the past four years. Once you have met these criteria, you can register for the exam online through IIBA’s website.

The cost for registering for the CBAP exam is $325 USD for IIBA members or $450 USD for non-members.

3. Certified Six Sigma Green Belt (CSSGB)

Certified Six Sigma Green Belt (CSSGB) is a professional certification that recognizes an individual's expertise in the Six Sigma methodology. This certification validates an individual’s ability to identify and solve problems, improve processes, and create value for organizations. It is designed for professionals who want to demonstrate their knowledge of the Six Sigma principles and methodologies.

How long does it take to get it?

The time required to obtain a CSSGB certification varies depending on the provider and the type of course you choose. Generally, it takes between four and eight weeks to complete a training program and pass the exam.

How to get it?

To become certified as a CSSGB, you must first complete an accredited training program. After completing your training, you must then pass an exam administered by a recognized certifying body such as ASQ or IASSC.

How much does it cost?

The cost of obtaining a CSSGB certification depends on the provider and type of course you choose. Generally, courses range from $500-$2,000 USD.

4. Certified Project Management Professional (PMP)

Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) is a professional certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated knowledge and experience in project management. It is one of the most sought-after certifications for project managers.

To become a PMP, you must meet certain education and experience requirements, pass an exam, and agree to adhere to PMI’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. The certification process typically takes 3-6 months to complete.

To get started, you need to create an account on the PMI website and submit an application for the certification. This includes providing information about your work experience, educational background, and other qualifications related to project management. Once your application has been approved, you can register for the exam. The cost of the exam varies depending on whether or not you are a member of PMI; it typically ranges from $405-$555 USD.

You will then need to prepare for the exam using study materials provided by PMI or third-party vendors. Once ready, you can schedule your exam at a testing center near you or online through Pearson VUE. You will have four hours to complete the 200 multiple-choice questions on the exam; passing requires a score of at least 61%.

Once you have passed the exam, you will receive your official PMP certification within 6 weeks of completing it. Your certification will be valid for three years before needing to be renewed; this involves completing 60 PDUs (professional development units) every three years as well as paying an annual maintenance fee ($60 USD).

5. Certified Scrum Master (CSM)

Certified Scrum Master (CSM) is a professional certification for individuals who want to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the Scrum framework. It is designed to help professionals understand how to effectively use Scrum in their projects, teams, and organizations.

The CSM certification is offered by the Scrum Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting the use of Scrum. The certification requires that applicants complete a two-day classroom training course and pass an online exam. The training course covers topics such as the basics of Scrum, roles within a Scrum team, Agile planning techniques, and more.

The cost of the CSM certification varies depending on where you take the training course, but typically ranges from $800-$1,500 USD. After completing the training course and passing the exam, you will receive your official CSM certificate from the Scrum Alliance.

Once you have earned your CSM certification, it is valid for two years before needing to be renewed. To renew your certification, you must either retake the two-day classroom training or complete 20 continuing education units (CEUs).

6. Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Certified Financial Planner (CFP) is a professional certification granted by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. to individuals who have met certain educational, experience, and ethical requirements. A CFP is an independent financial advisor who provides comprehensive financial planning services to their clients.

To become a CFP, individuals must complete the following steps:

1. Complete an approved college-level program in personal financial planning or a related field;

2. Pass the CFP Certification Examination;

3. Meet the applicable ethics and experience requirements; and

4. Submit a completed application for certification to the CFP Board.

The CFP Certification Examination consists of two parts: Part I (Financial Planning Practice) and Part II (Financial Planning Knowledge). The exam is administered twice per year in May and November at locations throughout the United States and Canada. The cost of taking the exam is $695 USD plus applicable taxes and fees. In addition to this fee, there are other costs associated with becoming a CFP including registration fees, educational courses, textbooks, study materials, etc., which can range from several hundred dollars up to several thousand dollars depending on individual circumstances.

7. Certified Business Process Professional (CBPP)

Certified Business Process Professional (CBPP) is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated an advanced level of knowledge and expertise in the field of business process management. The CBPP credential is awarded by the Association of Business Process Professionals (ABPP), which is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting excellence in business process management.

The CBPP certification requires candidates to pass an exam that covers topics such as process analysis, design, implementation, optimization, and governance. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and can be taken online or at a designated testing center. Candidates must also submit proof of their work experience in the field of business process management.

It typically takes about three months to complete the CBPP certification program. During this time, candidates should prepare for the exam by studying materials provided by ABPP or attending courses offered by approved providers.

The cost for the CBPP certification varies depending on whether you are taking it online or at a designated testing center. The online version costs $795 USD while the testing center version costs $995 USD.

8. Certified Management Consultant (CMC)

Certified Management Consultant (CMC) is a professional designation awarded by the Institute of Management Consultants USA (IMC USA). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of professional excellence and ethical standards in management consulting.

The CMC designation requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge and experience in the field of management consulting, as well as their commitment to ethical practice. To be eligible for the CMC designation, applicants must meet certain educational and experience requirements, including having at least five years of professional management consulting experience, or three years with a master’s degree in business or related field. In addition, applicants must pass an examination that covers topics such as project management, financial analysis, and business strategy.

It typically takes around 6-12 months to complete the application process for the CMC designation. The process includes completing an application form and providing evidence of your qualifications and experience; passing the CMC exam; submitting letters of recommendation from clients or colleagues; and completing an ethics review.

The cost of obtaining the CMC designation varies depending on whether you are already a member of IMC USA or not. For non-members, the cost is $1,000 for first-time applicants; $750 for re-certification applications; and $400 for renewal applications every three years. For members of IMC USA, there is no fee for first-time applications; however, there is a fee of $500 for re-certification applications every three years.

9. Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is a professional designation for financial analysts, portfolio managers and investment advisors. It is awarded by the CFA Institute, a global organization that sets ethical and educational standards in the finance industry. The CFA credential is recognized globally as one of the most prestigious certifications for financial professionals.

The CFA Program consists of three levels of exams, each taking approximately six months to complete. To become a CFA charterholder, candidates must pass all three levels of the exam and have four years of qualified work experience in the investment decision-making process. The exam topics include ethics, quantitative methods, economics, financial reporting and analysis, corporate finance and portfolio management.

To get started with the CFA Program, you will need to register with the CFA Institute and pay an enrollment fee. This fee includes access to study materials such as practice questions and mock exams. After registering for the program, you can begin studying for your Level I exam which typically takes about six months to prepare for depending on how much time you dedicate to studying each week. After passing Level I, you can proceed to Levels II and III which also take around six months each to prepare for.

The total cost of enrolling in the CFA Program depends on when you register but typically ranges from $1,000 - $2,500 USD depending on your location and other factors such as whether or not you are eligible for any discounts or scholarships offered by the CFA Institute. Additionally, there may be additional costs associated with purchasing study materials or attending review courses or seminars offered by third-party providers.

10. Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (LSSBB)

Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (LSSBB) is a professional certification that demonstrates expertise in the Lean Six Sigma methodology. It is designed to help organizations improve their processes and reduce waste, while increasing efficiency and customer satisfaction.

The LSSBB certification requires a minimum of three years of experience in process improvement, data analysis, and project management. In addition, applicants must pass an exam administered by one of the approved certifying bodies. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as Lean Six Sigma philosophy, Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control (DMAIC) methodology, process mapping, statistical tools and techniques, root cause analysis, and project management.

The cost of obtaining the LSSBB certification varies depending on the certifying body chosen. Generally speaking, it can range from $500 to $3,000 USD for the exam fees alone. Additional costs may include training courses or materials required for preparation.

It typically takes between two to four months to prepare for the LSSBB certification exam depending on how much prior knowledge you have in Lean Six Sigma methodology. To prepare for the exam you should review relevant materials such as books or online courses offered by various providers. You should also practice with sample questions provided by your chosen certifying body to ensure you are familiar with the types of questions asked on the actual exam.

Do You Really Need a Strategic Planning Analyst Certificate?

The answer to this question really depends on your goals and career objectives. If you are looking for a job as a strategic planning analyst, having a certificate can definitely be beneficial in helping you stand out from the competition. A certificate will show potential employers that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in this role. However, if certification is not required for the job you are applying for, then it may not be necessary to obtain one.

In many cases, relevant work experience and good references are more important than any particular certification when it comes to getting hired. On the other hand, if you are considering entering the field of strategic planning analysis and want to demonstrate to potential employers that you have the qualifications needed for success, then obtaining a certificate could be a valuable asset. It can also help open up opportunities for advancement in your chosen field.

Ultimately, whether or not a strategic planning analyst certificate is necessary depends on your individual circumstances and career goals. If it's something that will make sense for your situation, then it may be worth considering obtaining one.

Related: Strategic Planning Analyst Resume Examples

FAQs About Strategic Planning Analyst Certifications

Q1: What is a Strategic Planning Analyst Certification?

A1: A Strategic Planning Analyst Certification is a professional designation that recognizes an individual’s expertise in the field of strategic planning. This certification demonstrates that an individual has the skills and knowledge necessary to develop and implement effective strategies for their organization.

Q2: What are the prerequisites for obtaining a Strategic Planning Analyst Certification?

A2: To obtain a Strategic Planning Analyst Certification, individuals must typically have at least five years of experience in strategy development or implementation within their industry. Additionally, many certifying organizations require applicants to pass an exam demonstrating their knowledge of strategic planning principles and practices.

Q3: How long does it take to complete a Strategic Planning Analyst Certification?

A3: The amount of time it takes to complete a Strategic Planning Analyst Certification will vary depending on the certifying organization and individual applicant’s level of experience. Generally speaking, applicants should anticipate completing the process within six months to one year.

Q4: What are some common topics covered during a Strategic Planning Analyst Certification program?

A4: Common topics covered during a Strategic Planning Analyst Certification program include project management, financial analysis, market research, organizational development, customer relationship management, and communication strategies.

Q5: What are some benefits of obtaining a Strategic Planning Analyst Certification?

A5: Obtaining a Strategic Planning Analyst Certification can provide numerous benefits including enhanced credibility with employers, increased job opportunities in the marketplace, higher salaries due to specialized skillset, and improved performance in current position due to increased knowledgebase.

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