Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree in accounting, business management, or related fields
Average Salary: $50,000 to $70,000 per year
Job Outlook: Good
Dealing with the technicalities of a business is the main job of a business analyst. More than just managing schedules, facilitating meetings, and understanding process management and systems development, business analysts need to have a special set of skills in order to do the following job descriptions:
Identifying the trends in the business. One of the important things that a business analyst is concerned with is the direction of the company. In order to accurately pinpoint what should be done next for the company, the business analyst has to identify and understand business trends and needs, so that he can implement the appropriate business solutions.
Communicating the business strategies to clients. Just like a liaison, the business analyst has to understand the company inside out so he will know how to market it to the clients. Every solution or suggestion that he offers should coincide with the appropriate procedure. He also has to evaluate the information gathered in order to conduct a thorough analysis of the business. Afterwards, the business analyst has to effectively convey to the external contacts the requirements, including screen and interface designs and GUI. In addition to external parties, the business analyst also has to communicate with internal parties, and he can only do so with the proper and strong set of communication skills.
Understanding the main jobs of the business’s different departments. Since the business analyst has to communicate and coordinate with the different departments of the business, he has to have ample knowledge of how each division functions in relation to the company. This contributes to the business analyst’s understanding of how the company works, and therefore gives him a more complete view of what the company may be lacking.
Education and Training Requirements
A bachelor’s degree in Business, Accounting, Marketing, Economics, information Management, Computer Science, or other related fields is a requirement in order to become a business analyst. A master’s degree in Business Administration can increase the possibility of employment.
This is because a business analyst will need to have a technical background in these fields to keep up with expectations on business process evaluation, business analysis, analysis of IT trends, and business requirements documentation. In this way, they keep up with the growth and development of global businesses and electronics.
Getting the Job
To become a successful business analyst, one has to have a full theoretical and practical knowledge and understanding about the workings, procedures, and activities that occur in a business. An understanding of the different departments would also be helpful, since a business analyst will encounter most, if not all, of these areas.
Strong communication skills are also necessary so that miscommunications and misunderstandings within the workplace will be avoided at all costs. This is especially true for a business analyst because he has to convey messages and strategies to different people from different departments.
An eye for a successful business is also a plus, so that the business analyst can make suggestions and contributions that can propel the business forward and sell the idea to the clients.
Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development
With the rise of technology in corporations and the workforce, business analysts have the advantage of getting more job opportunities. This is especially true for those who have ample knowledge on information technology and business management. Incorporating technology into the company is integral to business analysts’ job description, and given the rapid changes and advances that happen with technology, business analysts can easily take on permanent jobs in corporations.
From being a business analyst, one can also move into information technology consultants or contractual analysts. This would be suitable for those who want to develop their careers and take on new clients.
The good thing about becoming a business analyst is that the field is rapidly growing in size and employment needs. Competitive markets are incorporating technology into their business in order to remain on top of the game. This means that employment for business analysts will continue to expand to as much as 22% until 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Working Conditions and Environment
Business analysts can choose between two possible work areas. One would be an office environment while working in a team. A business analyst is expected to communicate with a variety of workers, managers, and departments, each with their own particular specialization and business.
There are also those who would rather be contractual or per project business analysts. In this sense, a contractual business analyst will have a number of clients who he will be working for. Oftentimes, he will be checking out various businesses to observe and gather information, after which the business analyst can do his work at a personal office or even his own home. The upside to this second option is the flexibility of the schedule and the business analyst’s control over his own time.
Salary and Benefits
On average, business analysts can earn anywhere between $50,000 to $80,000, depending on the experience that one can gain overtime. In some cases, the number of contracts and clients that they can manage, the bigger the fraction their salary can increase.
Those who are willing to become company consultants on information technology can even push their salaries to a six-figure income. As for the benefits, business analysts can get full employment benefits, including paid sick leaves, retirement funds, medical coverage, annual bonuses, and, for others, there may be reimbursement for personal vehicles, and the provision of company-issued smart phones.
Where to Go for More Information
Boston University Corporate Education Center
1 Executive Dr., Ste. 301
Chelmsford, MA 01824-2558
International Institute of Business Analysis
3605 Sandy Plains Rd., Ste. 240-193
Marietta, GA 30066
Modern Analyst Media LLC
26500 W Agoura Rd., Ste. 102-711
Calabasas, CA 91302
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Postal Square Building, 2 Massachusetts Ave., NE
Washington, DC 20212-0001