How Do I Switch My Career to a Business Analyst

Switching careers is never easy and the first recommendation to achieving your goal is to make your action plan after actually doing a SWOT analysis. Let us look at the essential steps involved.
Step-1: Set a goal and a specific time frame
While this may seem simple, place your decisions and goal on the sound basis of research and facts. Evaluate the BA role, its growth prospects, qualifications needed, where you intend to work, certifications, Business analyst course needed and such factual information before doing so.

Business Analyst Role

Primarily, the BA’s role is to provide data analysis and business intelligence while being the buffer between the business in its initiative to improve efficiency and its IT department. Among the many core areas of functioning are:

  • Cost reduction
  • Reporting
  • Monitoring and planning
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Creating new strategic business models
  • Variance analysis and business decision support measures
  • Importing data & understanding KPIs
  • Budgeting, forecasting & financial analysis

If you are already in these roles and are looking to grow into the BA role, here is what you would need to do.

Skills for the Business Analyst Career

Most BAs are graduates with excellent facilitative communication, interpersonal, consultative and oral skills required to understand business needs and stakeholder needs. One needs to think on their feet and be innovative with solutions to recognizing problems in the business structure, engineering requirements, analysis of stakeholders, process modeling and everything in between the IT and business requirements. Understanding the underpinned networks, technology and databases can help in accurate, detail oriented and factual reporting.
You can benefit immensely from boot camps, online resources like free courses and MOOCs of reputed universities like Oxford, Stanford, MIT etc, or do a paid course depending on your time and learning style. Reading books, joining forums and networks and transforming your CV can also help.
Technical skills involved may not specifically need experience in database or programming skills and depend on your job role. Normally, you can expect to use software such as Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel, Access, Google Tableau and Analytics, SQL, visualization and data analysis tools. Presentations are important and knowledge of creating tables, graphs etc. are a plus. If you are a graduate in computer science or data analysis, pursuing your Masters is a good choice for career advancement.
Step-2: Act on your action plan tirelessly
Once the plan of action is in place you will need to get around to doing tasks that will need time, resources, and plenty of determination and effort. Here’s the “Why do it?” question answered.

Salaries and Job Prospects:

According to Indeed, freshers can expect average salaries higher than 17,779/month and without experience. As your experience and capabilities grow the payouts increase. A Senior BA gets an average of 5, 55,792/annum with 1-4 years of experience. Companies like Merck, Fidelity investments, Flipkart and others have recruited BAs.

Demand for jobs:
The BA is assured of ever growing demand as a BLS report in the USA predicts a growth of 14% by the year 2024 for this evolving and much sought after role.

Certifications and courses:
Doing the right course can give you an opportunity to placements, measurable skills and an enhanced resume since skills are the only criteria for the BA role. Organizations like the PMI, IIBA, IQBBA, IREB etc offer certifications that are industrially accepted and valued too.

Although it may seem like there are only two steps to making a switch from your current role to that of a Business analyst career, reality isn’t that simple. Rerouting to take on new responsibilities requires a lot of focus, dedication and determination. One must plan properly before setting goals and maintain a time frame to research the role, demand for jobs, training institutes, certifications and more. The execution of plans will need resources, money, time and a lot of effort. However, the end result is a plum role of BA where the job is satisfying and earns handsomely. No matter what kind of role you are in currently, your present skills count and can be up-skilled with a Business analyst course.

Also Read: Scope of Career as Business Analyst in India

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