The COMMON Business Computing Associate, or CBCA, is the first level of certification. As a recent graduate or someone new to IT, CBCA certification provides a means of demonstrating your knowledge and abilities to employers. It sets you apart from other job candidates that are not certified, giving you an advantage.

Online Exam: 92 questions, two-hour time limit

Price: $125/Student, $250/Member, $300/Non-Member

Testing is administered by PSI. Visit its website to find the location nearest you. The CBCA exam also is administered at many COMMON events.

The COMMON Business Computing Associate Study Guide is available for purchase for a nominal price. It is an effective way to prepare for the exam.

Candidate Profile

  • Recent college graduate from a two-year IT program, with at least two years of hands-on work experience in business computing
  • Undergraduate in the final year of a bachelor’s degree program in IT with some exposure or hands-on work experience in the field
  • Non-degreed IT professional with between two and five years of IT work experience

CBCA Exam Topics

The CBCA exam tests your technology, business, and personal skills, as all of these are important for success in the IT field. The test focuses on nine aspects of business computing.

Business Processes

  • General business application workflow
  • Accounting / budgeting
  • Office / productivity
  • Regulations / compliance
  • SWOT analysis
  • Business continuity and disaster recovery
  • Change management
  • ERP

Interpersonal Skills

  • Strong speaking/writing skills
  • Team attitude and teamwork
  • Work ethic
  • Ethical behavior
  • Proper deportment
  • Leadership qualities
  • Project management and participation
  • Social media

End User Support and Tools

  • Problem identification, determination, and resolution
  • End user tools
  • Trouble ticket management
  • End user tools
  • Mac OS
  • Browsers
  • MS Windows
  • Devices

Programming / Databases

  • .NET
  • Java/C#/PHP
  • Methodologies / Concepts / Analysis
  • User Experience
  • System Development Life Cycle
  • Databases

Operating Systems / Platforms / Environments

  • IBM i (OS/400, i5/OS)
  • Cloud
  • Mobile
  • Virtualization
  • Windows Server versions
  • AIX
  • Linux servers
  • Comparison of various platforms
  • High availability, disaster recovery, save and restore, mirroring and RAID

Systems Hardware

  • Power Systems
  • Client devices
  • Servers x86
  • A/C, power, racks, and UPS
  • Peripherals
  • Storage
  • MS Windows connectivity and protocols

Networking / Telephony

  • General network principles
  • Routers, switches, and firewalls
  • Anti-virus, anti-spam, and Web content filtering
  • IP telephony
  • Network security
  • Mobile devices

Security and Regulatory

  • Backup processing and retention
  • HIPPA, SOX, and PCI
  • Database access restrictions
  • Storage encryption
  • High availability
  • Location of data
  • Physical access restrictions
  • Audit

Business Computing Terms and Concepts

  • LAMP stack
  • Unstructured
  • DASD
  • Disaster recovery
  • Profit and loss
  • Quality assurance
  • SLA