By Anthony Sherick, Director of Technojobs Group
The role of a business analyst is integral for many different industries, as business analysts are often tasked with reviewing structures and processes and identifying organisational efficiencies and cost savings that can be made.
This is particularly pertinent during an economic crisis, and as a result many professionals are considering a change of career into business analysis.
Here are the top ways to kick start your career as a business analyst:
1) Start with a degree
Holding a university degree is an important step towards becoming a business analyst. While there aren’t many dedicated degrees just focused on business analysis, there are many relevant degrees such as Business Studies, Business Management or an IT related degree such as Computer Science.
Many degrees now hold modules which are more focused on business analysis too.
2) Specialist training
Once you have your degree, there are many additional training courses which specialise in business analysis.
If you do decide to go for this option, it’s well worth checking to see if these courses are accredited by the Chartered Institute for IT as qualifications gained from these courses will be far more attractive to prospective employers.
There are also an increasing number of Masters degrees in Business Analysis available.
3) Gain work experience
Business analysts are expected to offer high levels of knowledge and expertise; the role of a business analyst usually involves advising on change management, calculating appropriate solutions and delivering particular requirements which offer improved efficiencies.
For this reason, work experience and genuine business knowledge is vital so that companies will respect your skills and qualifications for the job.
In particular, as you are building up experience you should try and get involved in as many new projects or change processes as possible, as this will provide you with invaluable experience for your CV.
Work experience in industries such as IT will be extremely useful as these companies are highly likely to need input from business analysts, and the continued growth of technology means that there will always be work available for IT related business analysts.
4) Varied career paths
Once you have begun to build your reputation as a business analyst, there are many different options ahead of you. Business analysts can move between departments within the same or different organisations, and can work within different industries.
There are well documented overlaps between the role of a business analyst and project manager, and certainly the skills needed to be a business analyst could be seen as transferable to project management.
But rather than being a step up or step down, there are enough differences between these roles for any future move between the two to warrant plenty of consideration. For example, not all business analysts enjoy or excel in management and leadership, which is a key skill needed for effective project management.
Once you have become established as a business analyst, your experience and reputation will quickly build. A career in business analysis offers excellent prospects and plenty of variety when working for different departments and companies.
With so many companies looking for assistance with change management and increased efficiencies, there has never been a better time to get started.
Anthony Sherick is Director of Technojobs Group, which includes the specialist jobsite businessanalystjobs.co.uk.
Anthony has a background in Business Development and online marketing, including an MA in Marketing.