You might be asking, “How do I become a business analyst?” In what follows, I’ll help you discover where you are along the typical transition path as well as address some of the most common special circumstances that tend to come up from aspiring business analysts.
With that out of the way, onward with the 5 steps!
Step 1 – Learn about Business Analysis and Confirm Your Career Choice
Building knowledge of business analysis is an important part of your career change. And there are several ways to accumulate enough knowledge to be successful. We recommend that those new to the profession choose a more accessible text. The BABOK is amazing, but it’s not written to be accessible by aspiring business analysts. it’s written to be a reference guide for working business analysts. Becoming knowledgeable about the role of the business analyst is only the first step. The biggest mistake we see is that many aspiring BAs spend way too much time here. That’s why we recommend learning just enough to determine if a business analysis is the right career choice for you.
Step 2 – Identify Your Transferable Skills and Leverage Points to Develop Your Positioning
Transferable skills come from experiences using business analysis techniques in a non-BA role. Whether or not you have a deep career history in business analysis, it’s likely that one or more elements of your career history give you the expertise to leverage into business analysis. Whether it’s your knock-your-socks off communication skills or your deep experience in a relevant industry domain, you have a quality that potential managers are specifically hiring for. After discovering your transferable skills and leverage points, this is a good time to update your business analyst resume to showcase how your past experience qualifies you for roles within or close to business analysis.
Step 3 – Get Tangible Feedback by Putting Out Feelers
Once you’ve built up your confidence in your career choice and your business analysis skills, it’s time to get some real, tangible feedback. This could mean sharing your career goals with your manager and asking for more opportunities to practice BA techniques. It might also mean circulating your resume to a few recruiters or applying to a few business analyst jobs. (What you do in this step will depend heavily on what path you are taking through the Roadmap.)
Step 4 – Approach Your Work with a BA Mindset and Strengthen Your Positioning
As part of the analysis you did in step 2, you may have discovered some gaps. Add these to your professional development plan and explore opportunities to fill them through volunteer positions or by building on-the-job business analyst experiences
Step 5 – Focus Your Efforts to Find Your First BA Opportunity Plan Your Next Step with a foundation Course
We offer Business Analysis & Requirements Engineering foundation training that will help you figure out your next step. If you are unemployed, focus your efforts on step 2 and use the results of this analysis to update your resume and strengthen your positioning for BA jobs.
But what about certificates and certifications?
First, be sure you understand the difference between certificates and certifications. If after completing step 2, you realize you have 2 ½+ years of experience or more, pursuing an IIBA certification could help strengthen your positioning significantly, but like an MBA, a certification is not a silver bullet, just an extra edge.