What are the Job Prospects for Business Analysts?

I have been working as business Analyst for 4 months in a Software Development company.

I would like to know what are the prospects. How do grow? Is there any certification for business analysts?

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2 Responses to "What are the Job Prospects for Business Analysts?"

  1. jdkilp   December 23, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Many BA’s work freelance, for companies like SAIC …

    http://www.saic.com

    I’ve done some work through them, but they only pay about $80 per hour, which is far too low for me to bother with.

    Reply
  2. questioneverything   December 23, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    I am a Business Analyst with 9 years experience working at many of the top hardware and software companies in the Silicon Valley.

    The prospects for Business Analysts are very good as long as you continue to develop your skills and stay connected with the right people. Business Analysts will always be needed as companies grow, improve processes, and install or upgrade software systems.

    One of the primary ways to grow is to understand business processes and how companies operate. Having a bachelor’s degree in accounting or business management is helpful, but a solid and well established work history is critical.

    Stay away from the non-business related jobs and do things that will leverage your career. For example, you might want to work with sales operations now. This could open the door to working with marketing or forecasting groups later on.

    Another goal you should have is to become a functional expert of one or more leading enterprise applications. Learn the standard features real well along with many of the bells and whistles.

    You don’t need to be a technical expert and understand the structure or programming logic. Just be good enough at it so people can go to you for answers to basic questions. For example, if you are going to work in accounting, work with a company that uses Oracle or SAP and learn as many of the modules, reports, and related packages as possible.

    Develop your communication and people skills. Business Analysts must have the ability to write and speak both the business and technical languages well. Additionally you will need the soft skills in dealing with different types of personalities and agendas.

    Your ability to interpret and explain complex situation clearly, work with all kinds of people, and handle messy situations in a diplomatic way will be one key to your success. Read books or take some classes to help you develop these areas. Also find a good mentor that can critic you and challenge you to grow.

    There are some certifications for Business Analysts but I don’t have any or have come across a hiring situation where that was the make or break requirement.

    Later on you may want to move into project management and there you will find many different certification programs. But for now, having a BA certification can’t hurt if you have the time to get one. Here’s one organization you might want to check out.

    http://www.theiiba.org/

    However, if you time is limited I would focus more on skills and establishing good working relationships with people that can help you find new job opportunities in the future. Generally they are directors, hiring managers, and senior technical developers. They usually know where the next projects are starting up and what companies or groups need good Business Analysts.

    Good luck!

    Reply

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