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Top 11 Strategist Certifications

This article will explore the top certifications for strategists, including their benefits, requirements, and potential career paths.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are important for a strategist in the job market because they demonstrate a certain level of expertise and knowledge. They can help demonstrate to potential employers that the strategist is knowledgeable about the specific strategies and tactics needed to succeed in their field. Additionally, certifications may also provide access to higher-level positions and more prestigious roles within a company or organization. By having these certifications, strategists can show potential employers that they possess the necessary skillsets to be successful in their role. Ultimately, certifications can give strategists a competitive edge when it comes to applying for jobs and getting hired.

The purpose of this article is to review the most beneficial certifications for strategists and explain how they can enhance a strategist's career.

What are Strategist Certifications?

Strategist certification is a program designed to help professionals become experts in the field of strategic planning. It provides training and resources to equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to develop, implement, and evaluate strategic plans that help organizations achieve their goals. Through this certification, strategists learn how to effectively analyze opportunities and risks, create innovative solutions, craft effective strategies, and measure progress against objectives. The certification also helps strategists develop the leadership skills necessary to lead teams towards successful outcomes. By becoming certified as a strategist, individuals can demonstrate their expertise in the field of strategic planning, gain recognition from employers, and increase their chances of career advancement.

Pro Tip: When considering a strategist certification, look for one that is accredited and offers a comprehensive curriculum. It should cover concepts such as market analysis, customer segmentation, brand positioning, and communication strategies. Additionally, look for a program with hands-on training or case studies to ensure you are gaining practical experience in the field.

Related: What does a Strategist do?

Top 11 Strategist Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Strategists today.

1. Certified Management Consultant (CMC)

A Certified Management Consultant (CMC) is an internationally recognized professional designation that is awarded to qualified management consultants who have demonstrated a high level of knowledge, experience and expertise in the field. CMCs are highly sought after by organizations for their ability to provide strategic advice and guidance on complex business issues.

To become a CMC, a management consultant must meet certain criteria set by the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI). This includes having at least five years of professional consulting experience, completing an approved training program, and passing a comprehensive certification exam.

The process of becoming a CMC typically takes between 1-2 years to complete. To begin the process, you must first apply for membership with ICMCI and pay an application fee. Once accepted as a member, you will be required to complete an approved training program that covers topics such as strategy development, organizational change management, financial analysis and project management. After completing the training program, you must pass a comprehensive certification exam administered by ICMCI before being awarded the CMC designation.

The cost of becoming a CMC varies depending on the country in which you live and the type of training program you choose to take. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $3,000 - $10,000 USD to become certified.

2. Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)

Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) is a certification program offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in the field of business analysis. The CBAP designation is globally recognized and provides recognition for professionals who demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities in the field.

How long does it take to get it?

The CBAP certification requires applicants to complete at least 21 hours of professional development activities within the past four years prior to applying for the exam. After this, applicants must pass an exam that consists of 150 multiple-choice questions. The entire process can take anywhere from 6 months to 1 year depending on how quickly you are able to complete the required activities and pass the exam.

How do I get it?

In order to become certified as a CBAP, you must meet certain eligibility requirements. These include having at least 7500 hours of business analysis experience over the past 10 years, or 3500 hours if you hold a post-secondary degree in a related field. You must also complete 21 hours of professional development activities within 4 years prior to applying for the exam. Finally, you must pass an exam consisting of 150 multiple-choice questions.

How much does it cost?

The cost for taking the CBAP exam is $325 USD plus applicable taxes and fees. Additionally, there may be additional costs associated with completing any necessary professional development activities prior to taking the exam.

3. Certified Strategic Planning Professional (CSPP)

Certified Strategic Planning Professional (CSPP) is a certification program offered by the International Association of Strategic Planning (IASP). The CSPP certification is designed to recognize professionals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in strategic planning. It is intended to provide recognition for those who have demonstrated their ability to develop and implement effective strategies that lead to successful outcomes.

It typically takes around four months to complete the CSPP program, depending on how quickly you are able to complete the required coursework and exams. To obtain the certification, you must successfully complete two courses: Introduction to Strategic Planning and Advanced Strategic Planning. After completing these courses, you must pass an exam administered by IASP.

The cost for the CSPP program varies depending on your location and whether or not you choose to take the courses online or in-person. Generally speaking, it costs around $2,000 USD for both courses and the exam fee combined.

4. Certified Business Strategist (CBS)

Certified Business Strategist (CBS) is a professional certification program offered by the Institute of Certified Business Strategists (ICBS). The program was created to recognize business professionals who have demonstrated expertise in developing, implementing and evaluating business strategies.

The CBS program requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge and skills through a comprehensive exam. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as strategic planning, competitive analysis, market research, financial analysis, and organizational development. Applicants must also submit a portfolio of their work that demonstrates their ability to apply strategic thinking in real-world situations.

The CBS program typically takes between six and twelve months to complete. During this time, applicants must complete the required coursework and pass the comprehensive exam. The cost of the CBS program varies depending on the provider but generally ranges from $2,000 to $4,000 USD.

5. Certified Strategy and Innovation Professional (CSIP)

Certified Strategy and Innovation Professional (CSIP) is a professional certification program designed to help professionals in the field of strategy and innovation develop their knowledge and skills. The CSIP certification is offered through the International Association of Strategic Planning (IASP).

The CSIP program consists of three levels: Certified Associate, Certified Professional, and Certified Master. Each level requires completion of a series of courses, exams, and projects. To become certified at each level, candidates must demonstrate mastery of the material by passing a proctored exam.

The Certified Associate level takes approximately four months to complete. This includes completing all required courses, passing an exam, and completing one project related to strategic planning or innovation. The Certified Professional level takes approximately six months to complete. This includes completing all required courses, passing an exam, and completing two projects related to strategic planning or innovation. The Certified Master level takes approximately eight months to complete. This includes completing all required courses, passing an exam, and completing three projects related to strategic planning or innovation.

The cost for the CSIP certification varies depending on which level you are pursuing. For the Certified Associate level it costs $1,000; for the Certified Professional level it costs $2,000; and for the Certified Master level it costs $3,000.

In addition to these fees there may also be additional fees associated with taking proctored exams or attending in-person events such as workshops or conferences related to strategy and innovation topics.

6. Certified Competitive Intelligence Professional (CCIP)

Certified Competitive Intelligence Professional (CCIP) is a certification offered by the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP). It is designed for professionals who want to demonstrate their expertise in competitive intelligence and gain recognition for their skills.

The CCIP certification program consists of two parts: a written exam and an oral presentation. The written exam covers topics such as market analysis, competitive analysis, strategic planning, and research methods. The oral presentation focuses on the individual's experience with competitive intelligence and how they have applied it in their professional life.

It typically takes six months to one year to complete the CCIP certification program. To get started, applicants must first become members of SCIP and submit an application form. Once accepted into the program, applicants will be required to attend a series of workshops and webinars to prepare for the written exam and oral presentation.

The cost of obtaining the CCIP certification varies depending on whether you are already a member of SCIP or not. For non-members, the total cost is approximately $2,000 USD which includes membership fees, course materials, exam fees, etc. For current members, the total cost is approximately $1,500 USD which includes course materials, exam fees etc.

7. Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB)

Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB) is a professional certification that demonstrates the holder’s expertise in applying the principles of Six Sigma to improve business processes. This certification is offered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ).

A CSSBB certification requires a combination of education and experience, as well as successful completion of an examination. To be eligible for the exam, candidates must have at least three years of full-time work experience in one or more areas of the Six Sigma Body of Knowledge, which includes quality management, statistical analysis and process improvement. Candidates must also have completed an approved training program or have earned a college degree in engineering, mathematics, science or business.

The exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions and takes four hours to complete. The cost for the exam varies depending on where it is taken, but typically ranges from $400-$600 USD.

Once certified, CSSBBs can expect to earn higher salaries than non-certified professionals and are often sought after by employers looking to improve their organizational efficiency.

8. Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (LSSGB)

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (LSSGB) is a certification program designed to help professionals develop and apply Lean Six Sigma principles in their workplace. Lean Six Sigma is a set of tools and techniques used to improve the quality of processes, products, and services. The LSSGB certification program focuses on teaching individuals how to use these tools and techniques to identify and eliminate waste, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction.

The Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification requires a minimum of 20 hours of instruction. This instruction can be taken in person or online. Upon completion of the coursework, participants must pass an exam in order to receive the certification.

In order to get the LSSGB certification, you must complete the required coursework and pass the exam with a score of at least 70%. You will also need to provide proof that you have completed at least three projects using Lean Six Sigma principles.

The cost of obtaining the LSSGB certification varies depending on where you take the coursework and whether or not you choose an online or in-person option. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $1,000 - $3,000 USD for the entire process.

9. Advanced Project Management Professional (APMP)

Advanced Project Management Professional (APMP) is a certification program offered by the Association for Project Management (APM). It is designed to assess and validate the skills and knowledge of project managers in the areas of planning, scheduling, risk management, cost control, resource management, and governance.

The APMP certification requires individuals to demonstrate their proficiency in these areas through a combination of education and experience. The certification process includes passing an exam that tests the candidate's knowledge and understanding of project management principles. Candidates must also submit a portfolio that demonstrates their experience.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete the APMP certification process. This time frame depends on how much time you can dedicate to studying for the exam and completing your portfolio.

To get started with the APMP certification process, candidates must first register with APM and pay an application fee. Once registered, they will be provided with access to study materials and resources to help them prepare for the exam. After passing the exam, candidates must submit their portfolios for review by an independent panel of assessors who will evaluate their work against industry standards.

The cost of getting an APMP certification varies depending on where you are located, but it typically ranges from $500-$1000 USD. This cost includes registration fees as well as any additional materials or resources needed to complete the certification process.

10. Global Strategic Leadership Program Certification

The Global Strategic Leadership Program Certification is an advanced professional certification program designed to equip leaders with the skills and knowledge needed to lead in a global environment. The program focuses on the development of strategic thinking, decision-making, problem solving, and communication skills. It also covers topics such as organizational culture, global business operations, and change management.

The certification takes approximately 6 months to complete and consists of four core modules: Global Leadership Strategy, Global Business Operations, Change Management & Organizational Culture, and Global Communication & Collaboration. Each module includes readings, case studies, lectures, discussion boards, and projects that help participants gain real-world experience in their chosen field.

To get the certification you must first be accepted into the program by submitting an application form along with your resume and a personal statement outlining your goals for the program. Once accepted into the program you will need to complete all four modules within 6 months in order to receive your certificate.

The cost of the program varies depending on which institution you are attending but typically ranges from $2,000-$3,000 USD.

11. International Association of Facilitators Practitioner Certification

The International Association of Facilitators (IAF) Practitioner Certification is a professional certification program for facilitators. It is designed to recognize the knowledge, skills and abilities of experienced facilitators who demonstrate the highest standards of excellence in their practice. The certification process includes an assessment of an individual's experience, knowledge and skills in facilitating, as well as a review of their contributions to the profession.

To become certified, individuals must complete a series of steps which include:

1. Completing an online application form and providing evidence of at least two years’ experience in facilitation;

2. Participating in an IAF-approved training course;

3. Passing a written examination;

4. Demonstrating proficiency in three core areas: facilitation techniques, group dynamics and interpersonal communication;

5. Undergoing a peer review process; and

6. Submitting a portfolio that demonstrates their current level of expertise in facilitation practices.

The entire process typically takes between six months to one year to complete, depending on the individual's progress through each step. The cost for certification depends on the type of training course chosen but typically ranges from $500-$2,000 USD.

Do You Really Need a Strategist Certificate?

Whether or not you need a strategist certificate depends on your specific goals and the type of strategies you want to pursue. If you are looking to become an expert in one particular area of strategy, such as marketing or operations, then a certificate may be beneficial. This certificate can help demonstrate your knowledge and expertise, which can be useful when applying for jobs or consulting opportunities.

On the other hand, if you have general knowledge of many different types of strategies and are just looking to gain a broad understanding of the field, then a certificate may not be necessary. In this case, it would likely be more useful to read books and articles related to strategy, attend conferences or workshops, and speak with experienced strategists in order to build up your knowledge base.

Ultimately, whether or not you need a strategist certificate comes down to what your specific goals are and how much effort you want to put into developing your understanding of the field. A certificate can certainly help demonstrate your knowledge and expertise but is not necessarily required for success in the field.

Related: Strategist Resume Examples

FAQs About Strategist Certifications

1. What is a Strategist Certification?

Answer: A Strategist Certification is an official recognition of specialized knowledge, skills, and experience in the field of strategy. It demonstrates mastery in the practice of strategic planning, execution, and evaluation for organizational success.

2. How do I become certified as a Strategist?

Answer: To become certified as a Strategist, you must complete a comprehensive course of study that includes topics such as business strategy, operations management, financial analysis, and leadership development. After completing the coursework, you must pass an exam to demonstrate your understanding and mastery of the material.

3. What are the benefits of becoming certified as a Strategist?

Answer: Becoming certified as a Strategist can benefit you both professionally and personally. Professionally, it can demonstrate your expertise to potential employers or clients and help open doors to career advancement opportunities. On a personal level, it can give you confidence in your abilities to develop effective strategies for achieving desired goals.

4. How long does it take to become certified as a Strategist?

Answer: The amount of time required to become certified as a Strategist varies depending on individual circumstances such as the amount of prior experience with strategic planning and the level of commitment to studying for the certification exam. Generally speaking though, most people are able to complete their training and pass their exam within six months to one year.

5. Are there any prerequisites for becoming certified as a Strategist?

Answer: Yes, there are some prerequisites for becoming certified as a Strategist including having at least two years’ professional experience in strategic planning or related fields and completing at least 40 hours of approved training courses related to strategy development and implementation.