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Everything You Need to Know About BCS Qualifications

If you’re trying to build your IT career, you’ll probably already know about the importance of having some decent qualifications under your belt to support your career development.

Qualifications from the British Computer Society (BCS) are internationally-recognised and highly sought after by employers, making them a great thing to have in your overall skillset. We’ve recently started offering four versatile qualifications from BCS:

But what do these qualifications actually cover, how long do they take and how much do they cost? We take a deep dive into everything you need to know about BCS qualifications.


What do BCS qualifications cover?

As you might expect from the fact that they’re offered by the British Computing Society, BCS qualifications are mainly focused on developing skills and expertise that you might need for a career in IT. That’s not to say that these qualifications are only suited to you if you work in IT though. The skills and expertise you’ll gain from these qualifications are easily transferable to many other careers.

Here’s what each of the BCS qualifications that we offer cover:


BCS Foundation Certificate in Business Analysis

Business analysis skills – being able to examine an organisation’s processes and performances objectively – are increasingly in demand with employers. This qualification is designed to equip you with the fundamental critical thinking and analysis skills you'll need in entry-level business analysis roles. 

This qualification covers:

  • What is business analysis?
  • The competencies of a business analyst
  • The strategic context for business analysis
  • The business analysis service framework
  • Investigating the business situation
  • Analysing and managing stakeholders
  • Improving business services and processes
  • Defining the solution
  • Making the business case
  • Establishing the requirements
  • Documenting and modelling requirements
  • Validating and managing requirements
  • Delivering the requirements
  • Delivering the business solution

BCS Foundation Certificate in Agile

Far from being simply a project management framework restricted to software development, the Agile philosophy is widely used across many digital specialisms – from development through to marketing. Those with skills in it are widely sought after by a range of employers so it’s a versatile qualification that can add a significant specialism to your skillset.

The BCS Foundation Certificate in Agile is give you a grounding in the Agile philosophy and help you understand how the process works so that you can apply it to your own professional practice. The qualification explores:

  • Why agile?
  • Individuals and their interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan
  • The agile mindset
  • Roles in agile teams
  • Common agile practices
  • Agile in practice

BCS Foundation Certificate in Information Security Management Principles (CISMP)

With rising cyber-crime and strict GDPR laws keeping employers on their toes, it’s no surprise that demand for professionals who know how to keep information and data secure is rising.

The BCS Foundation Certificate in Information Security Management Principles (CISMP) will get you thinking about data management from a security perspective, and give you the tools to safeguard it.

This qualification examines:

  • Information security management principles
  • Information risk
  • Information security framework
  • Security lifecycle
  • Procedural/People security controls
  • Technical security controls
  • Physical and environmental security controls
  • Disaster recovery and business continuity management
  • Other technical aspects

BCS Foundation Certificate in User Experience

More and more organisations are realising why it’s important to make sure that their digital services and platforms are completely accessible to their end users – a focus called User Experience (usually shortened to UX). 

Digital professionals with experience in this field are becoming increasingly sought after by employers across a range of different industries. Basically, any business or organisation that relies on digital platforms to some degree will have – and need – professionals trained in user experience.

The BCS Foundation Certificate in User Experience is focused on giving you practical insight into essential UX concepts, techniques and tools. By the end of the qualification, you’ll know how to apply these UX principles to your own organisation in alignment with business goals.

In this Foundation Certificate, you’ll study:

  • Guiding principles
  • User research
  • Documenting user research findings
  • Measuring usability
  • Information architecture
  • Interaction design
  • Visual design
  • User interface prototyping
  • Usability evaluation

How much do BCS qualifications cost?

Most learning providers will give you a choice when it comes to how you pay and when. Whilst payment upfront is generally the default option, most providers (like us!) will offer some type of ‘pay-by-installments’ option. This can make the overall qualification a lot more affordable by spreading the cost out over a period.

Of course, the exact ways that you can pay for your BCS qualification will depend on the learning provider that you’ve chosen to study, so make sure you do your research before deciding.

Here’s how much you can expect to pay for a BCS qualification:


BCS Foundation Certificate in Business Analysis

Generally this qualification will cost you around £750 and £850. At ICS Learn, this qualification costs £799.


BCS Foundation Certificate in Agile

On average the BCS Foundation Certificate in Agile will cost you between £750 and £850.


BCS Foundation Certificate in Information Security Management Principles (CISMP)

Typically, the Foundation Certificate will cost you between £750 and £850. At ICS Learn, this qualification costs £799.


BCS Foundation Certificate in User Experience

Usually, the BCS Foundation Certificate in User Experience will cost you about £750 and £850. At ICS Learn, this qualification costs £799.


How long does it take to complete a BCS qualification?

We offer completely online-based BCS Foundation Certificate qualifications which are surprisingly quick to complete. Unlike classroom-based study, you set the pace of your own study, choosing your schedule and working through the course at your own speed. As a result, the qualification can take as long, or as short, a time to complete as you want to!

Here are the average completion times for each of the qualifications that we offer:


BCS Foundation Certificate in Business Analysis

On average, most students take around 28 hours to complete the BCS Foundation Certificate. If you put in one to two hours of work each day that comes out at about 2 weeks.


BCS Foundation Certificate in Agile

The Foundation Certificate in Agile will take about 18 hours to complete. If you study for about 2 hours a day, it will take you about a week to complete.


BCS Foundation Certificate in Information Security Management Principles (CISMP)

This qualification mostly takes students around 40 hours to complete. Studying for 2 hours a day will take you about 20 days to complete.


BCS Foundation Certificate in User Experience

It will usually take around 18 hours to complete a BCS Foundation Certificate in User Experience. If you were to focus on 2 hours of study a day, it would take you about 9 days to complete.


What jobs can I do with a BCS qualification?

All of these BCS qualifications are focused on developing your competence and the value that you can offer the organisation you currently work for, as well as those that you want to work for in the future.

At their core, they’re designed to build the essential skills that can help you stand out amongst other candidates when it comes to developing your career. They’re mainly aimed at people in the early to mid-stages of their careers – people who are looking to get initial experience or add important skills, abilities and knowledge to their existing skillset.


BCS Foundation Certificate in Business Analysis

After finishing the Foundation Certificate in Business Analysis, you should have a great understanding of the basics of analysing all parts of a business, along with creating business cases and managing stakeholders. That should prepare you for roles such as:

  • Business Analyst
  • Business Manager
  • Change Manager
  • Project Manager

BCS Foundation Certificate in Agile

Once you’ve finished the Agile qualification, you’ll find that you have a good understanding of the management framework that you can put to use in a surprising amount of career settings. Here are some of the main roles that a BCS Foundation Certificate in Agile can lead to:

  • Software tester
  • Developer
  • Business Analyst
  • Scrum masters

BCS Foundation Certificate in Information Security Management Principles (CISMP)

As the BCS Foundation Certificate in Information Security Management Principles (CISMP) covers such diverse topics, applicable to a wide variety of digital roles in organisations, so the world is your oyster when it comes to potential job opportunities.

For example, the skills you gain on this qualification can help you get a job as a:

  • Junior Information Security Analyst
  • Junior Security Officer
  • Information Security Manager
  • Information Security Officer

BCS Foundation Certificate in User Experience

With the BCS Foundation Certificate in User Experience under your belt, you’ll have an attractive skillset with some crucial experience that many employers will be jumping at.

The UX expertise that you develop on the BCS Foundation Certificate in User Experience can help you get a role like:

  • UX Designer
  • UX Consultant
  • UX Researcher

Takeaway

Whatever type of digital career you’re embarking on or developing, there’s always a BCS qualification that would be a useful addition to your skillset.

We hope this blog has effectively answered any lingering questions you may have about our BCS courses, however, feel free to contact us if you’d like to chat further about developing your IT career.


Develop your IT career with a BCS qualification that you can complete entirely online, from anywhere. Download your free BCS course guide now.

Download Your Free BCS Course Guide

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