How to change careers from software engineer to business analyst?

hi, I completed my engineering in electrical and electronics last year and then i joined a telecom company as a tester.

Only then did I realize that I was not interested in this field. I have heard about Business Analysts and it sounds interesting.

I would like to know what I should do to become a business analyst and a little more info on this field. Please advice.

Can a Software Engineer become a Business Analyst?

Why ever not? A Software Engineer can become a Business Analyst for the following reasons:

1. A background in information technology (IT)/software development is a great foundation for a career in IT Business Analysis.

You don’t have to be an IT person to be business analyst, but IT people make great business analysts!

2. Many business analyst roles involve IT projects i.e. working on business solutions to be implemented in software.

3. IT business analysts need a solid understanding of Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) to perform efficiently in the technical implementation of IT business solutions.

4. Experience using SDLC or the process of developing software gives an advantage over applicants who don’t have that experience.

5. An IT business analyst, who acts as a liaison between the software development team and the business team, is invaluable to ascertaining the business needs and creating the best possible solution to meet these needs.

6. There is a high demand for skilled IT professionals, especially computer programmers, to fill business analyst roles.

A Software Engineer or other IT professional whilst transitioning to business analysis may face the following challenges:

1. Lack of business acumen and management abilities.

2. Lack of business/soft skills such as presentations skills, written and verbal communication skills, diplomacy, facilitation and people skills.

3. Niche expertise. The new IT professional may not understand the business side of their chosen field of work.

How may the new IT Business analyst make up for this lack of business skills?

An MBA will teach how a business is run and that is valuable to the business analyst, but the actual business analysis skills are rarely, if ever part of the MBA program.

To acquire all round business analyst skills, find a training program that will help you learn, understand, retain and apply business analysis concepts effectively on a job.

This type of training program should include a mentoring/coaching option and provide practical training modules.

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One Response to "How to change careers from software engineer to business analyst?"

  1. DaveInSeoul   November 29, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    It actually IS an interesting career field. You don’t have to be a ‘business analyst’ to do the things that this field requires. These jobs are also known as System Analysts, Operations Analysts, etc. What they all have in common is they are known as ‘translator’ jobs. The job of a good analyst is to work with the subject matter experts in an area of business and work with them to figure out what parts of their job can be automated, then define the ‘rule sets’ of the job to the point where the software engineers can then program the software needed to do the job. This can and often does include defining input UIs, database tables and fields needed, and the output reports generated by the application.

    It is a fairly senior position, and you already have a good start being a software engineer. But now you need to focus more on learning the ‘business side’ of what your business does. I work with many subject matter experts in a ‘systems analyst’ capacity, even though I am the development manager, because often I am the one that has to make sure the requirements are clear enough for our developers to code.

    You can work your way into the job in your current position by ‘volunteering’ to work with users on refining requirements. You can also get certified as a certified business analyst professional (CBAP) by attending classes and/or purchasing books that help you become a better analyst and prepare you for the CBAP exam (just google CBAP). After you have your CBAP and are not satisfied with your current position, you should be able to use your software engineering experience and your CBAP to land an entry-level business analyst position. The rest, as they say, is up to you.

    Hope this helps.


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