Becoming a Business Analyst
Do any of the following apply to you?
- I want to be a business analyst, but I'm not entirely sure what the role involves and want to know more
- I want to be a business analyst, but I'm not sure I have the right skills
- I want to get some training and/or formal qualification to increase my chances of getting a job as a business analyst
- I'm thinking about a career change to become a business analyst
- I am in a job, but have been asked to take on some business analyst tasks. It's not something I have done before and I am looking for some support
If the answer is yes then you are in the right place. Please keep reading for our advice on what to do next.
What does being a business analyst involve?
Business Analysts are responsible for identifying change needs, assessing the impact of the change, capturing and documenting requirements and then ensuring that those requirements are delivered by IT whilst supporting the business through the implementation process.
Business Analysts are likely to be the key change facilitators within an organisation. They must deliver effective solutions which provide tangible business benefits often within short timescales. You must be a great communicator (both written and verbal), have business acumen and be willing to tackle complex problems head-on while dealing with the challenges of short timescales and demanding business stakeholders.
How do I become a Business Analyst?
We are often posed with the question 'I want to become a business analyst, which training course should I start with?' The answer to this question can be different depending on your current circumstances and past experience, but below are the main options;
Option 1 - BCS Foundation Certificate in Business Analysis - This 3 day course covers the syllabus and exam for the BCS Foundation Certificate in Business Analysis. This certificate provides a very broad coverage of many aspects of Business Analysis for those seeking a high-level understanding of the Business Analyst role and who also want to achieve a recognised qualification. It will help you assess whether being a Business Analyst is right for you.
Option 2 - Fundamentals of Business Analysis includng BCS Requirements Engineering - This 5 day course focuses on learning practical business analysis skills that can be used in the workplace. Course delegates should be able to return to their working environments and work as an effective Business Analyst, immediately adding value and building effective relationships with project stakeholders. The course focuses on learning how to do business analysis in the real world, however it also covers the whole of the syllabus for the BCS certificate in Requirements Engineering, meaning delegates have the option of taking this exam at the end of the course. Our Fundamentals of Business Analysis course is suited to Business Analysts recently placed in the role or who have been performing the role for some time but have never received any formal training. It can also be suitable for those looking to become a Business Analyst and want to bypass the foundation level course.
What are my chances of getting a job as a business analyst?
Having evidence of training and a formal qualification, such as the BCS certificates will increase your chances of successfully becoming a business analyst. Employers will value an individual's commitment to training and qualifications so having these on your CV will help. It is also important that you fully understand the role that you are applying for, can evidence that you have the skills to perform that role and can answer relevant questions in an interview situation. You can start to address these items by attending one of our courses.
Your chances of successfully getting a job as a BA will also depend on your salary expectations and the industry and geographical location in which you want to work. It will also depend on the current opportunities available which meet your criteria. To get an understanding of this you will need to look at the local press, visit your local job office or try some recruitment websites. Many websites now allow you to put in your job criteria, so you can see opportunities that match what you are looking for, or check if your expectations are realistic.
What else can I do to increase my chances?
If you are currently in employment you should try to get involved in any projects or change activities that are going on within your organisation. This could include helping with testing, contributing ideas to workshops or even designing/writing procedure manuals. This may mean that you get to work with business analysts, or understand more the work that they do. It will also provide you with examples you can relate to when it comes to applying for a BA position.
For more information on what being a business analyst involves please go to What is a Business Analyst?