The Virtual Bubbler Continuing Education Blog

Back to School for Project Managers, Business Analysts and Data Analysts

By Anne O’Meara, Director, Project Management, Business Analysis and Data Analysis programs

Kick off fall 2018 with noncredit courses in Project Management, Business Analysis or a new program in Data Analysis.

Do you need to update your skills? Are you changing careers or looking to move up in your organization?  Do you want new knowledge in a specific area or computer application?

Noncredit professional development programs are a great way to meet your learning needs.

Also, if you have seen job openings that require certifications and some that specifically want PMPs® or CBAPs®, you may be wondering what all those letters mean. You want to earn a certificate or certification, but you are not sure how to do it.

Noncredit certificates, like the Project Management, Project Management Advanced, Business Analysis, and Data Analysis Certificates offered by the UWM School of Continuing Education, are awarded for successfully completing a series of courses that cover the PM, BA and data knowledge areas.  At UWM, our certificates offer several course options to fill the certificate requirements. All are taught by industry professionals.

If you pursue UWM’s traditional Project Management and Business Analysis Certificates, you can take face-to-face classes (most of which are two days long), online classes (which count as two full days), or a combination of face-to-face and online classes (blended).

You will need:

  • 14 days of training,
  • At least 10 days of core courses,
  • Up to four days of electives.

If you pursue UWM’s Project Management Certificate: Online Track, you will need:

  • Six consecutive online courses
  • Each lasts four to six weeks and requires weekly work and interaction with your instructor and other participants.

View the Data Analysis certificate requirements.

Certifications and credentials are designations recognized industry-wide that are awarded by organizations such as the Project Management Institute (PMI®) and International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA®) to people who have proven experience in the PM and BA fields, have taken professional development courses, AND have passed an exam demonstrating proficiency of the practice of project management or business analysis.

The PMP® credential is awarded by Project Management Institute. Before you can even apply to take the PMP® test, you must have either:

  • A secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree, or the global equivalent) with at least five years of project management experience with 7,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education.
    OR
  • A four-year degree (bachelor’s degree or the global equivalent) and at least three years of project management experience with 4,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education. (UWM is a Registered Provider with PMI®. Our courses qualify for the project management education.)

If you do not have the required hours of experience to apply to take the PMP® exam, you may consider the Certified Associate in Project Management or CAPM®.  To apply to take the CAPM® exam, you need:

  • A secondary degree (high school diploma, associate degree or the global equivalent) AND at least 1,500 hours of project experience
    OR
  • 23 hours of project management education completed by the time you sit for the exam.

Similarly, the International Institute of Business Analysts offers the CBAP® or Certified Business Analysis credential.  To apply for the CBAP® test, you need:

  • Minimum 7,500 hours of BA work experience aligned with “A Guide to the Business Analysis Book of Knowledge® (BABOK® Guide)” in the last 10 years
  • Minimum 900 hours in four of the six knowledge areas
  • Minimum 35 hours of Professional Development in the past four years (UWM is an IIBA Endorsed Education Provider.  Our courses qualify for this requirement.)
  • Two references from a career manager, client or Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP®) recipient
  • Signed Code of Conduct

Second, consider your own experience and goals.

You can pursue a noncredit certificate whether you are new to the field or have many years of experience. UWM courses build your knowledge, increase your skills, and demonstrate your commitment to your career.

Earning a certification or credential such as PMP® or CBAP® is a longer-term goal for most people. You need the requisite hours of experience and professional development hours before you can apply to take the exams.  Then you need to study and pass the exam to receive the credential.  These requirements vary depending on the credentials that you seek (see above).  Many people take noncredit courses to improve their knowledge and earn professional development hours while they build the required experience to take the exams.  (UWM’s class, PMP Boot Camp: Intensive Test Prep Plus Study Strategies and Tools, taken approximately six weeks before sitting for the PMP exam prepares you for passing the PMP.)

After earning your credential, you will need to continue your education in the field.  Noncredit classes offered by recognized providers are great ways to fill this requirement. PMI has changed the way Continuing Certification Professional Development Units are awarded. See PMI.org for more information.

The UWM School of Continuing Education’s courses run year-round, making it easy to jump in and get started at any time.

This article is a brief overview of requirements for certifications.  For additional and up-to-date information, visit:

Project Management International

International Institute of Business Analysis

Data Management Association

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