Interested in launching your career as a business analyst? A little preparation and research go a long way. Read on to discover what it takes to launch a successful career as a business analyst.
Understand What a Business Analyst Does
Before you invest a significant amount of effort into becoming a business analyst, it’s important to accumulate as much knowledge as possible about this profession. For starters, it’s essential to understand a business analyst’s job description involves gathering research and suggesting and implementing solutions. The question is, do you see yourself enjoying the tasks and responsibilities of a business analyst?
If you do, you can go ahead with building knowledge of business analysis. There are many books available on the topic to give you the proper perspective as an aspiring business analyst. Investing your time in learning more will also cement your decision by helping you determine if the career is a good fit for you.
Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree
Building your knowledge of business analytics is only the first step. A common question from aspiring business analysts is whether you need a degree to get into the field. The truth is that most employers will only consider candidates who hold at least a bachelor’s degree in fields such as information technology, business administration, computer science, data science, or any relevant field. At the very least, you can take a relevant course in business analytics.
For instance, you can obtain a business analysis or data analytics course online. That said, a bachelor’s degree will give you a competitive advantage over your peers. With a suitable bachelor’s degree, you can qualify for most entry-level positions in analytical fields. This is especially so if you focus on obtaining additional qualifications.
Build Your Portfolio and Work Experience
Besides having the right qualifications, you also need to build the required skills by building your portfolio and gaining work experience. Some of the hard and soft skills necessary to become an effective business analyst include communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, and technical skills. The best way to start is to find internships and entry-level positions in various fields like accounting and finance.
While you’re putting more years of experience under your belt, you should also focus on building your portfolio. The important thing is to work on projects that develop your business analytics skills and introduce you to the best methodologies. That way, you can demonstrate to future employees that you have what it takes to excel in your assigned role.
Earn a Master’s Degree
Even when you have the basic qualifications required to hold the BA title, you should consider that most employees prefer employees with a master’s degree. For instance, studying for an online MBA Business Analytics program can give you the leg-up to advance your skills, knowledge, and career. This program will prepare you for a career as a business analyst by helping you adopt an analytical approach when solving business challenges or formulating business strategies.
Through continued education, you build a reputation for yourself as a self-motivated professional who understands the importance of continuous improvement and can adapt to changing trends in the business analysis field. With a master’s degree, you can obtain advanced knowledge of business analytics, which provides a much-needed boost along the specific career path you have in mind.
To ensure a successful career in your chosen profession, it’s also important to realize that it’s not just about what you know, it’s also about who you know. This is where networking comes in. One of the best networking tips is to attend as many business analyst events as possible. While there, you have many opportunities to build relationships and find connections. It’s not uncommon for BAs to discover great business opportunities through word-of-mouth.
By meeting the right people and focusing on relationship-building, you can make giant leaps in your career that save you a lot of time and effort. So, it’s essential to view networking events and conferences as a way to find mutually-beneficial and long-lasting connections.
If you’re interested in a career in data analytics, these are the steps to transition you toward your goals. The good news is that the job outlook for business analysts is positive, with plenty of room for career growth.