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How to Become a Business Analyst

Becoming a business analyst means launching a career full of opportunity on the leading edge of innovation. Business analyst certification and training will give you a competitive advantage, along with the in-demand skills you’ll need to land your first business analyst job. In this role, you’ll leverage your IT, analytical and problem-solving skills to create real-world technical solutions that organizations increasingly need in a complex business environment.

What Does a Business Analyst Do?

Business analysts typically analyze business processes, organizational structure, goals and procedures to identify current and potential problems and determine information-based solutions. Often working as a bridge between management and IT, they develop strategies to improve efficiency, regain a competitive edge, increase productivity, reduce expenses or improve efficiency. Some work as independent consultants, while others are employed by private businesses or multi-national firms. As a business analyst, your career options are almost limitless.

Many Paths Can Lead to Becoming a Business Analyst

There are several typical paths to a business analyst career; to distinguish yourself and increase your chances of success, earning your business analyst certification is an important step. All business analysts typically start out with strong business and IT skills. In addition, an understanding of a particular industry or vertical market can be an advantage. For example, professionals in human resources, telecommunications or manufacturing can take their knowledge of those industries and transition to a business analyst career by enrolling in a business analyst certificate program.

Here are some alternative ways to become a business analyst:

  • Directly out of college: Once you’ve earned a bachelor’s degree in information systems, business, accounting, human resources, or any number of related fields, a good next step to secure an entry-level business analyst job is enrolling in a business analysis certificate program. You’ll gain essential skills and knowledge you can use immediately to transition into a business analyst career.
  • Software developer to business analyst: Many experienced and talented developers reach a point in their careers when they need a new challenge. Their communication, analysis and data mining skills can successfully transfer to the duties of a business analyst, and their in-depth knowledge of the software development lifecycle is a big advantage, too. Add an industry-recognized business analysis certification to this skill set, and you’ll be well prepared to start out on your new career path.
  • Industry professional to business analyst: Changing careers is a matter of course for most business professionals. When you’re ready to leverage the specialized industry knowledge you’ve acquired and take your career to the next level, you should consider enrolling in a professional business analysis certificate program to gain a well-rounded, up-to-date skill set that will impress prospective employers and help you stand out from the competition.

Business Analyst Certifications

Once you’ve completed a professional business analysis training program, you’ll want to move to the next step and earn the respected industry certification that validates your newly-honed skills – and gives you an instant competitive advantage. Passing the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA®) certification exam and becoming either a Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP®) or Certification of Competency in Business AnalysisTM (CCBA®) will give you the confidence of knowing you are completely qualified to handle any business analysis challenge. And because CBAP® and CCBA® certifications are highly valued by employers, your credential will increase your chances of landing one of these coveted positions. 

Five Traits That Will Help You Become a Successful Business Analyst

If you are an analytical thinker, have a knack for puzzle solving, are skilled at matching business problems to possible solutions, get a kick out of technology and enjoy working with people as much as databases, you have a good foundation for becoming a successful business analyst. Explore your options for business analysis certificate programs, keep working toward the goal of earning business analyst certification, you’ll be well on your way to a lucrative, exciting and challenging new business analyst career.