Careers as a business analyst cover a wide variety of positions and specializations. You can be involved in data analysis, business management, IT work, or marketing. There is no defined career path, and you are afforded the opportunity to experience many different types of roles. At its core, a business analyst is someone who acts as a bridge between IT and business needs.
If this sounds interesting to you, follow our guide below to get a bigger picture for why you might want to become a business analyst.
Companies to Work For:
There are many major companies looking to bring aboard business analysts to their team. Tech organizations such as Oracle and Google are always seeking new talent. These types of companies have huge brand recognition and are considered leaders in the industry.
Finance and consulting opportunities are available through major investment firms like J. P. Morgan. Working here means you’ll be providing consultation to a wide spread of individuals and investors.
Finally, you can always join a company that is strictly an analyst firm such as the Digital Clarity Group. Many of these independent groups are contacted by a variety of industries looking for recommendations on business growth.
Skills and Qualifications:
The skills needed to work as an analyst are numerous. You will need to have excellent communication, technical aptitude, understanding of data, and the ability to manage as well. It might seem like a lot for one person, but you will be the source for connecting all aspects of a business together. Having all the above skills will allow you to operate effectively and change roles on the fly.
In terms of education, a bachelor’s education is standard. Some companies will want to see a master’s degree as well. Supplementing a technical background with an MBA or business skills with technical certification can be very helpful.
Working as a Business Analyst Has Its Perks…
So far what we have described might seem like a big investment in terms of time and education. It’s true, it takes a lot to be an analyst, but the career rewards those who are dedicated.
First off, the money you will make. The average salary depending on your concentration can be anywhere from $75,000 to $85,000 a year. With the top-level senior analysts making well over $100,000, and even up to $150,000 at major corporations. This is a field with high level salaries and is expecting continued growth in the coming years.
Second, you will get the opportunity to experience a variety of technologies and roles. It is a great career for those who don’t want to experience the same work every day. You will meet many individuals, and travel to many interesting places.
Lastly, you won’t experience any micromanaging. This is a very independent role. You will often decide how to approach the day, and set priorities as you wish. The levels of authority you will work with will vary from project to project. Thus, you are given the freedom to manage yourself accordingly in these situations.
Business Analyst’s Education Paths:
There are not many undergrad programs available that are built for only training you to become a business analyst. Instead, focus on pursuing a business degree in subjects such as management, accounting, information systems, administration, or analytics. This is what most companies will look for in entry-level candidates.
As you progress, you can consider getting a master’s degree for advancement. Although, work experience can often substitute this, and in some cases is seen as more valuable.
Finally, as you look towards a senior level position, you can consider testing for qualifications. There are two that most people consider. The Certified Business Analysis Professional and the Certified Management Consultant. Both require several years of experience, and are only considered by longtime professionals.