Does a career as a business analyst appeal to you, although you’re not sure exactly what it involves? If so, this article tells you everything you need to know about what a business analyst does, the skills you need, and whether it is a worthwhile career, both personally and financially.
The skills and qualifications
In today’s competitive job market, the more skills and qualifications you have, the more you improve your chances of getting a job. So, if you want to pursue a career as a business analyst, you can give yourself the best chance of success by gaining a recognized qualification such as a Master’s in Applied Statistics. Michigan Tech has an impressive track record of delivering this qualification to its students.
All their learning is 100% online, which is perfect if you already have a busy life. You can also choose from three start dates per year, and there is the option of an accelerated seven-week course. So, you could change your career quicker than you think.
In addition to the qualification, the more relevant skills and qualities you have, the more likely you are to be successful as a business analyst. These include the ability to think analytically, being able to use your initiative, excellent communication skills, and the ability to adapt and learn. A strong background in algebra and mathematics is a must-have.
What a business analyst does
The role of a business analyst is complex. In short, you will be working with large amounts of data and translating it so that people can use it to benefit their business and help their customers.
There are so many reasons why businesses need analysts. They are the people qualified to make important decisions based on the information interpreted from the data. This can help the business owners run day-to-day operations more efficiently, reduce outgoing costs, and improve results. Your skills as a qualified business analyst will help you work in a variety of industries, from education and health to financial and cybersecurity. Without business analysts, it would be difficult for businesses to get all the facts needed from the data to make the best decisions.
Because so many things change quickly in the world of business, most owners consider business analysts to be an essential part of keeping things running smoothly. The process of your role would be to uncover problems, validate your discoveries, find solutions, and explain these to your employers and people in senior positions. You may also be asked to contribute to delivering training to other employees. Although each role can vary, this process will be similar in most business analyst jobs.
Do you need IT skills?
You don’t need to be an IT expert to become a business analyst. Although, while you will deal with data technology, you need to have some basic to intermediate knowledge. You’re likely to need experience or be willing to learn how to use software such as Microsoft Excel and SharePoint and have a strong understanding of flowchart software. However, you won’t need advanced IT skills or coding experience, unless you decide to pursue one of the more technical roles. Experience and knowledge of how to decipher data are more important than advanced IT skills for many roles.
Entry-level roles in business analysis are often paid at an above-average rate compared to some other entry-level roles. The more experience you gain, the more in-demand your skills will be, which means you will have access to better-paid roles.
If you do have advanced IT skills, this can enhance your prospects, and you may qualify for higher-paid roles that involve a greater understanding of and ability to use technology. Some of these roles may pay above $100,000 a year. By gaining a Master’s in Applied Statistics or similar qualifications, you can increase your chances of earning more. When you look at it this way, the time and money you spend on gaining experience and qualifications is an investment in your future.
Why become a business analyst?
There are so many reasons why you might choose to become a business analyst. These include job satisfaction from helping businesses succeed, fulfilling a strong interest in interpreting data, wanting a challenging role that varies from day to day, better pay depending on the specific role, and job security.
Because working as a business analyst opens up roles in various industries and business analysts are in demand, you will find that when one role ends, you will always have employment prospects. If you struggle to find work in the location you wish to work in, or a role that fits in with your other commitments, you can even use your knowledge to work for yourself. There are very few careers where you have so many options, making working as a business analyst a tempting career choice for anyone looking for a more stable career.
Is there a high demand for business analysts?
Yes, business analysts in all industries are in demand. This demand has increased in recent years and continues to do so. There are so many businesses in the US and throughout the world with this need. More people than ever are starting business and not all of them have the skills to understand data and grow. This means your skills will give you a greater chance of finding work local to you, or in another state, if you need to move. You could also choose to work anywhere else around the world. Of course, there are other things to consider, such as work visas, etc., but regardless, there are many options.
Business analysts can save or boost businesses by using their data skills. Although you need some natural ability with numbers and an interest in statistics, courses such as the Master’s in Applied Statistics can teach you and assist you to build on your existing skills while developing new ones.