How to Become a Business Analyst
The role of business analyst recently made it onto Glassdoor’s list of the 25 best jobs in Britain. With an average salary of £40,000 and nearly 3000 job openings, this fulfilling career could be for you if you understand business, thrive under pressure and enjoy working on a variety of projects.
What Qualifications Do You Need to Become a Business Analyst?
While many business analysts have a bachelor’s degree, it’s unlikely to be a degree in business analysis. Relevant degree subjects for analysts include:
If you want to become a business analyst but you don’t have a relevant degree, you could take a postgraduate degree in a related field. Once you’ve completed your course and gained some professional work experience you’ll be ready to move into an entry-level business analyst role. It’s also possible to apply for entry-level positions without a degree if you’ve worked in an IT-related role.
Whether you’ve got a degree or not, industry-recognised training courses will boost your chances of finding a business analyst job. Employers usually look for certification of your business analysis skills from a professional body such as the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) or the Chartered Institute for IT (BCS). Qualifications include the entry-level BCS Foundation certification, which could set you on the path to gaining their International Diploma in Business Analysis
If you’re keen to build a successful career as an analyst it’s also worth working towards PRINCE2 project management qualifications, Lean Six Sigma certifications and ITIL IT service management qualifications.
Why Do Business Analysts Do?
By helping them to understand their problems and requirements, business analysts enable companies to change, develop and plan for the future. If you follow this career path you’ll be able to find work in a variety of industries, from financial services to IT. You’ll also have the option of working full-time for a particular company or being contracted to work for single fixed-term projects. With experience, you could become self-employed or run a consultancy.
Skill Set Required for a Business Analyst
Business analysts need to boast a diverse set of skills – have a look below to see what they are!
Critical thinking skills
Systems and data analysis skills such as SQL
Desktop data analysis tools
Proficiency in Microsoft Office, especially Excel
The ability to adapt your message to different audiences