How to Become a Business Analyst

How to Become a Business Analyst

A business analyst studies businesses as a consultant to give advice on how to improve their structure, systems and efficiency to gain the highest level of profitability.  He or she may do this by studying data relevant to the business and reporting the findings to the business along with suggestions for improvements to make.  A business analyst will help a business to reach its full potential and remain viable in today’s increasingly competitive market*. 

Educational Requirements

Most business analysts have an MBA, which is a master’s degree in business administration.  Some entry level business analysts can get into the field with only a bachelor’s degree.  There is not an actual degree specific to business analysts, as they work in a consultant capacity.  But most business analysts may have a degree in one of the following fields: Business administration, accounting, economics, computer science, engineering or statistics**. 

Although the specific degree can vary, a degree may definitely be required to be a business analyst.  As most businesses today rely heavily on technology, the degrees in technological fields are preferred and IT skills are usually necessary.  Written and verbal skills are a must, as a large part of the business analysts job will be delivering suggestions in a useable format.      

Work Environment

Businesses seeking business analysts may give preference to the candidate with experience relating to the field of the business that needs analysis.  Therefore, a business analyst may be working as an analyst in the same sort of environment in which they used to work as a company employee.  Obviously, the specific environment is going to vary based on the field of business.  It will typically be an office environment. 

Generally, larger companies are in need of analysis, rather than small companies.  Business analysts should be able to work well under pressure, because there will be deadlines.  A business analyst will also spend time with the management of the company to learn about their current systems and inefficiencies that need work. 

Salary

The average salary for a business analyst is $74,000 per year.  Contract analysts, which are a more specific branch of business analysis, earn on average $26,000 per year, and technical business analysts earn up to $89,000 per year***. 

Job Outlook

This is a job area that is expected to grow 22% by 2020, which is faster than average.  As our reliance on technology becomes more and more profound, the need for business analysts with technological skills will be high.  However, this is also a very popular career path.  If you intend to pursue a career as a business analyst, be sure to take your degree to the highest level possible and try to gain real work experience in the field that you hope to do analysis for**.         

 

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*For more information, please visit: http://www.businessmba.org/careers/top-10-highest-paying-mba-jobs

**For more information, please visit: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Financial/Management-analysts.htm#tab-4

***For more information, please visit: http://www.indeed.com/salary/Business-Analyst.html