The business analyst career path is one of the most popular and highest-paying roles in IT. It’s also a great way to use your business knowledge and technical skills
to benefit an organization.
What is a business analyst?
A business analyst works with a business team to understand their requirements, analyze them and translate them into a set of specifications that an IT team can implement.
Business Analyst’s Educational Qualifications
If you want to be a business analyst, there are several educational requirements. To get a bachelor’s degree in business administration, you must complete at least 120 semester credits and take courses such as accounting principles and finance.
You can also earn an MBA in business analytics with an emphasis on data mining and decision-making. Some schools offer specialized master’s degrees in this area if you already have a bachelor’s degree in another field.
If you’re more technically minded, earning an undergraduate degree in computer science or information technology may be beneficial when pursuing your career as a business analyst. Many employers prefer job candidates with strong technical and communication skills since they’ll handle both systems design and user interface design tasks.
7 business analyst career paths
- Data analyst
- Network analyst
- Test analyst
- Business Consultant
- Project manager
- Portfolio manager (portfolio management) and portfolio administrator (portfolio management)
- Quantitative analyst
1. Data analyst
Data analysts use their knowledge of computing and statistics to help companies get the most out of their data. They analyze information, create reports, and make recommendations based on the data they collect from running tests.
- Requirements: A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field is usually required—computer science, statistics, or mathematics are good choices. Experience with programming languages such as R may also be helpful.
- Skills: The ability to problem-solve using numerical methods, familiarity with statistical software like Excel or SAS Statistical Software (a commonly used platform for analyzing large sets of data), and excellent communication skills are all important qualities for this job.
- Work environment: Data analysts usually work in an office during regular business hours.
- Salary range: $50K – $80K
2. Network analyst
A network analyst is responsible for assessing and improving the performance of computer networks. They do this by analyzing a company’s network infrastructure, performing capacity planning, creating a business continuity plan, and developing new strategies to improve efficiency. Network analysts must have strong analytical and communication skills to communicate effectively with other employees in their organization. They also need effective time management skills to balance their workload with other priorities, such as family or hobbies outside work hours, without being stressed out about it.
According to Glassdoor, “The median base pay for a Network Analyst is $80K annually.” Their salary range varies depending on experience level within the field (less than two years makes up 5% while more than ten years makes up 20%).
Educational Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science/Engineering or a related field
Skills required: Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, effective time management skills, and strong communication skills.
3. Test analyst
A test analyst designs, develop and implements software tests. They work with a team of developers, testers, and business analysts to ensure that the software meets the customer’s needs. If you are interested in ensuring that your code works as intended, this job may be a great fit.
Test analysts can work on various projects, from websites and mobile apps to games and other entertainment products.
A test analyst’s job can vary depending on their skill level. Test analysts are responsible for creating and maintaining tests, creating test plans, and reporting on the results. They may also be responsible for designing or updating testing procedures, depending on which type of project they are working on.
4. Business Consultant
A business consultant is a career path for those who want to help businesses solve problems and achieve their goals. Business consultants are hired by businesses to help them solve problems and achieve their goals. They work in various industries, such as accounting, marketing, IT consulting, or manufacturing — depending on their area of practice.
Business consultants can specialize in a certain type of business problem (e.g., technology implementations) or industry (e.g., retail). Some have advanced degrees in business administration; others have master’s degrees in other disciplines, like economics or engineering, that allow them to work with multiple clients across different industries.
5. Project manager
As a project manager, you’ll be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of a business analyst. You’ll monitor their progress and ensure they meet deadlines while communicating with other stakeholders and ensuring everyone is on the same page.
Project managers must have strong organizational skills to keep track of multiple projects simultaneously. They also need excellent communication skills because they’ll manage people across departments who may only sometimes work well together or understand each other’s needs. Finally, project managers need to have excellent problem-solving skills to figure out how to resolve any issues that arise during their projects (or before).
6. Portfolio manager
A portfolio manager manages a portfolio of projects in their organization. They are responsible for the success of all projects in their portfolio and report to a project manager. In addition, they are also responsible for the financial performance of projects in their portfolio; this includes any revenue generated by these projects and any costs incurred by them.
7. Quantitative analyst
Quantitative analysts use quantitative methods to solve business problems. They use their knowledge of statistics, probability, data analysis, and modeling techniques to make critical business decisions. Quantitative analysts use numerical models and algorithms to predict future outcomes such as financial performance or customer behavior. The following are some types of questions that quantitative analysts answer:
- Which products should I sell?
- How many customers do I need for my next product launch?
- How much should I pay for a new piece of equipment?
FAQs about business analyst career paths
What is the work environment for a business analyst?
Business analysts work in a variety of settings. They may work at home or in an office, but most business analyst careers involve working on a team. The amount of time spent with others will vary based on the type of project they’re working on and their level within the organization.
What is a business analyst’s average salary?
Business analyst salaries vary widely based on experience, location, and other factors. The average business analyst’s salary is $92,000, according to PayScale’s latest survey data. The median business analyst’s salary is $88,000 per year.
What skills do business analysts need?
- Analytical skills. Business analysts must be able to identify and evaluate business problems and solutions, formulate recommendations, and predict trends. They also need strong critical thinking skills to consider all aspects of a problem before recommending a solution.
- Communication skills. Business analysts must communicate effectively with stakeholders across departments and need strong writing, listening, speaking, and interpersonal communication abilities.
- Problem-solving skills. As problem solvers who recommend solutions to issues faced by businesses or companies, business analysts should have excellent analytical thinking abilities as well as experience in dealing with complex problems to come up with innovative solutions that meet client needs while also being cost-effective for the company or organization involved in the project at hand.
In conclusion, business analysts are crucial to any company’s workforce. They perform various tasks and often have many opportunities for career growth. Business analysts can find jobs in many industries, although the most common ones include finance, banking, insurance, and healthcare.
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