Work experience is usually the most important consideration when business analysts are hired. In fact, since organizations want lasting solutions to their business problems, they always want to hire experienced and knowledgeable business analysts who can give those solutions. Therefore, if you are a professional in a business field, such as human resource, accounting, finance, business administration or economics, your experience can help you to make a quick transition into a business analyst career.
Building the right skills and experiences for a business analyst career does not require you to have a business analyst title. In fact, you can simply serve in a transitional position and grow your income stream while still accumulating the necessary qualifications for becoming a business analyst. Indeed, you can simply seek a transitional job at your current employer or get employment in a new company and work in a position that will help you to gain those skills. Nevertheless, while almost any job in the business field can lead to a career as business analyst, some jobs can help you to move quickly and achieve your career goals more conveniently.
What Skills Should You Gain from Transitional Jobs?
So what skills and experiences should you look for in transitional jobs? Firstly, the right transitional job to becoming a business analyst should give you the chance to work on in-progress business projects, enjoy on-the-job training in a lively environment and put the skills you have gained to use. Indeed, relevant transitional roles should allow you to work in requirements gathering, elicitation and validation, and in requirements management and analysis.
Secondly, the right transitional jobs should enable you to gain experience in Process Improvement Methodologies (such as Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma, Business Process Management, Value Stream Mapping, and Capability Maturity Model Integration). Thirdly, transitional positions should enable you to gain experience in analyzing, documenting and proposing result-driven business solutions for complex and less complex business areas, and to translate core business goals into functional specifications.
Besides, the right work experience should include the chance to write use cases and use stories, and to get involved in test planning, technical design and project implementation. The jobs should also give you the opportunity to organize and run workshops and meetings of different kinds, whether with offshore developers, project creators or business stakeholders.
Such meetings will teach you the importance of communication to project success and to establishing rapport with team members, developers, third-party providers and clients. Similarly, relevant work experience should empower you to create and justify proposed business cases, translate business requirements to set deliverables and work flows, and to maintain seamless communication with key project teams, stakeholders, third-party suppliers, business intelligence and risk assessment teams, and quality assurance and compliance teams.
Transitional Jobs to Consider if You Want to Become a Business Analyst
There are two major classes of transitional jobs that can give you the relevant experience for becoming a business analyst: Easy-to-Qualify for jobs and Difficult-to-Qualify for jobs. The easy-to-qualify for jobs require a few years of professional experience and expertise and do not have very high levels of professional qualifications, yet they can help prospective business analysts to gain the necessary experience and be ready for future roles.
Examples of easy-to-qualify for positions are project coordinator (analyst), test analyst, administrative assistant to technology executives such as chief information officer (CIO) and chief technology officer (CTO), marketing analyst, operations analyst, sales analyst, reporting analyst, customer service, technical support officer, subject matter expert, and assistant roles to senior business analysts.
Difficult-to-qualify for jobs have heavy professional and work experience requirements to join, but they can lead directly to business analyst positions. They include project manager, software developer, systems analyst, technical writer, quality assurance engineer, business manager and functional manager. Nevertheless, there is no single path to becoming a business analyst and your professional experience will determine how soon you achieve your career dreams.
Therefore, if you are currently unemployed, make sure to look for a position that is easier to join and that will expose you to business analyst responsibilities. And if you are currently employed, you should either take up transitional roles or expand your responsibilities to include business analyst tasks.