During the summer of 2013, the Academy of Competitive Intelligence surveyed its alumni, those certified (CIP™-I and Master of CI CIP™-II) and in the process of attaining certification. Four hundred and five (405) people whose emails could be identified from our database and records responded. About 81% fully completed all questions. The response rate for certified professionals was close to 38% (257 out of 683 worldwide), a high rate for cold surveys in hot summers!

The survey’s primary objective was to profile the factors that affect a successful CI career. Its secondary objective was to assess the contribution of CIPCertification to success in a CI career.

This report is based on the above survey – it is not a scientific study by any stretch of the imagination.

Caveats: This is not a study; it is a survey. Since the sample is not randomized, it therefore may not be representative of the population. Self-selection is always a problem; self-reporting is too. There is no control group. Finally, the findings do not represent cause and effect, just concurrent attributes of clusters. Thus the objective of this survey was to identify a “profile” of our alumni and in the hope of finding distinct characteristics of successful CI professionals as well as their assessment of the value of certification.

That said, if you want to know what factors seem to be correlated with a successful CI career, this survey might provide some clues. But readers should remain skeptical; this survey is a platform for career discovery, not the final word. We encourage you to read through it and have fun comparing your career and answers to the sample. Do you find similarities?