To become a business analyst, you'll need some essential business skills under your belt.
Business analyst skills comprise both soft skills and hard skills. Often people are worried about qualifying the parameters of the latter.
The hard skills a business analyst needs are computer and software fluency, data analysis, and documentation. Now addressing one of the most commonly asked questions:
Is coding required to become a business analyst?
Coding is highly required for an IT business analyst and not particularly for a pure business analyst. For business analysts, a general understanding of how systems, products, and tools work holds much more significance.
Going ahead, we will clear all your doubts regarding how to become a business analyst and land business analyst jobs while answering the following:
- What Hard Skills Does a Business Analyst Need?
- What Educational Qualification Does a Business Analyst Require?
- How Do I Set Foot in the Business Analyst Career Path?
- Which Are the Top Business Analyst Boot Camps in the United States?
- What Are the Commonly Asked Questions in a Ba Interview?
Technical Skills Required to Become a Business Analyst
The year 2021 has brought tremendous success not only for business analysts but also for their employers and clients. However, the aspirants for business analyst jobs are unclear regarding the technical skills that will help them achieve this success.
There are several business analyst skills that professionals need to develop an acumen for accurate and impactful analysis. These include:
- Statistical analysis software
- Database querying languages
- Programming skills
- Data visualization
- Database design
These professionals need to know how to gather, analyze, and report data trends to be able to effectively share the information with subordinates and associates.
Difference Between Business Analyst and Data Analyst
The role of data (business information) is important for both business analysts and data analysts. The difference is in the way it is put to use by both of these professionals.
A data analyst gathers, cleanses, and analyzes all the business and market-related data, and based on that, a business analyst plans to fit that data into larger organizational operations.
To put it in another way, a data analyst gleans meaningful insights and those insights are implemented in business operations by a business analyst.
Also read: What Does a Business Analyst Do?
Educational Qualification Required to Become a Business Analyst
A bachelor's degree in any quantitative field will make you eligible to land a business analyst job as a fresher.
As per a report by Zippia, 29% of business analyst aspirants pursue business majors. Other common majors include computer science, accounting, and finance.
As per the same report, we will state the median annual income according to the educational qualification in the following table:
|DEGREE||MEDIAN ANNUAL INCOME|
Certifications for a Business Analyst Career Path
Obtaining an advanced certification is not necessary to land a business analyst job, but acquiring one will only leverage your chances to attract potential employers.
Stated below are the top 4 certifications that will help you pursue a business analyst career path:
Certified Business Analyst Professional (CBAP): A certification program by the International Institute of Business Analysis which suitable for both freshers and experienced professionals
Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA): Project Management Institute (PMI) offers a solid method-based course on business analysis principles. They usually enroll individuals with some prior experience.
Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA): This certificate is a great opportunity for recent college graduates and professionals transitioning careers.
Certification of Capability in Business Analysis (CCBA): The eligibility criteria for this certification is to have at least two years of experience in business analysis.
Top 5 Colleges for Business Analysis
Zippia has posted an elaborated list of colleges and universities to pursue education in business analysis. We have curated a table displaying the top 5 institutions and the number of students enrolling there on an annual basis on a scale of 20%:
|University of Phoenix||16.39%|
|University of Maryland - College Park||5.96%|
|University of Houston||5.84%|
|Pennsylvania State University||5.58%|
Also read: Entry Level Business Analyst Jobs
Steps to Launch Your Career as a Business Analyst
As discussed, a bachelor’s degree is a good starting point for your business analyst career, but in today’s competitive job market it might not be enough. You need to work through building a solid and presentable profile for potential employers.
For that, here are some proven tips to escalate your chances of getting a business analyst job:
Build a Portfolio
A portfolio can prove invaluable because it offers proof of your capabilities. You can demonstrate your project management skills, from identifying problems to analyzing data combined with end-to-end budget planning, solution development, and implementation.
The best part is you can build a portfolio even if you lack prior experience in the profile. If you’ve taken on the relevant responsibilities in your career, you can document them to show future employers that you have what it takes to perform a business analyst job.
With Hiration’s Digital Portfolio Builder, you can create up-to-date industry-based portfolios with our user-friendly AI-powered tools.
Make a Lateral Career Move
If you hold experience as a data analyst, IT support staff, quality control engineer, or business administrator, it will prove useful in your business analyst job profile.
To procure work experience in these profiles will provide you with an ample amount of practical knowledge in dealing with company data and understanding business needs.
They also polish your analytical problem-solving and communication skills.
Work on Projects
Whether you’re halfway through a business analysis boot camp, a graduate enrolled in an internship or working as a team member in an unrelated field, find opportunities to work on projects that hold relevance to your business analysis career.
This means volunteering for projects that will help you in developing your business skills and practicing them in your daily work.
Grow Your Network
Networking, both online and in-person, is an excellent way to know more about your field. Similarly, making lateral career moves can help you maintain relations with your previous industry experts.
Through developing strong relationships with industry mentors and peers you will understand the workflow, discover potential employers, and find unadvertised business analyst opportunities.
For online networking, LinkedIn is a great medium to showcase your professional achievements and your business analyst career path.
In case you’re looking for a way to make your profile appear more powerful on the cloud, we have got you covered. With Hiration’s LinkedIn Review, you can gain expert opinion on elevating your profile to match the market trends from our in-house industry experts.
Top 5 Business Analysis Boot Camps in the United States
Business analysts are vital to result-oriented organizations, and they help make the most of their data with their analytical skills. Stating top 5 boot camps that will help you advance your career in business analysis by CIO:
Business Analysis Boot Camp: This 4 day program explores the foundational aspects of Business Analysis and delivers it in a rapid fire Boot Camp approach.
Coursera Advanced Business Analytics Specialization: A guided project for both beginners and professionals providing you with the initial know-how of analyzing businesses from a process view and find solutions to existing business problems.
CPrime Business Analyst Boot Camp: A comprehensive curriculum designed to arm business analysts at all levels with the critical skills necessary to become effective problem-solvers for the organization.
Udacity Business Analyst Nanodegree: This course will give you a framework to help organize and plan your analytical approach. They also introduce both simple Linear Regression and Multiple Linear Regression.
Udemy Business Analysis Fundamentals: The curriculam focuses on how analysis is performed in the real world, with plenty of examples, case studies and lessons from actual business analysts on the job.
Also read: Entry Level Business Analyst Salary
Potential Interview Questions for Business Analyst Jobs
The interview is the final step to land your business analyst job, and it requires great communication skills and a strong presence of mind. You need to come prepared for any and every question. Here are a few to think about to get started:
- What tools or systems have you worked with?
- How would you handle a last-minute change to a requirement?
- How do you manage a difficult stakeholder?
- In [x] situation, what methodology would you apply?
- Where do you go when you are researching new solutions for a requirement?
These are some commonly asked questions in a business analyst job interview. To gain a more elaborate understanding of the types of questions that might pop up, we have a panel of in-house industry experts at Hiration’s Interview Preparation segment who can assess your preparedness and update you on market trends.
You can also check out the sample answers along with interview questions to help you prepare for an interview.
- For pure business analysts, a general understanding of how systems, products, and tools work holds much more significance than coding.
- Obtaining a master's degree in a quantitative field or advanced certification in business analysis can help your career more as compared to a bachelor’s degree.
- The University of Phoenix is the most popular university among business analyst aspirants.
- Building a portfolio and enhancing your network can prove beneficial for you to step into entry-level business analyst jobs.
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