Do your career plans include becoming a business analyst? If so, it's important to know two things right off the bat. First, business analysts are in-demand professionals who work with clients to identify solutions to their business problems.
Second, you’ll need some training and experience to do well. Mid-career adults who wish to switch and seek employment, or anyone aspiring to become a BA should understand what’s involved:
Duties are varied and challenging
Business analysts work at the very core of what happens inside a company. They understand and can help design short-term and long-term strategies, day-to-day operations, business models, and business processes. They can hunt for inefficiencies and always have an eye out for how to improve and streamline the way things are done.
Getting your degree
Having an undergrad degree is a core requirement. Earning a master's diploma, either an MBA or similar, also offers a solid background for those who want to pursue a business analyst career, though it’s not a prerequisite. The good news is that whether you're aiming at just one or both degrees, getting financial help is as easy as applying for a student loan with a private lender. Whether you are a student or cosigning for someone who is, private loan sources are an efficient approach to the financing question, amongst a range of other options.
Corporate, agency & solo jobs are available
People who make business analysis their career of choice have at least three major options. They can work inside corporations and essentially have only one client - their employer or they can opt for agency positions in which they'll help a large number of corporate clients on an as-needed basis. Finally, some choose the solo consulting track, working from a home office on a part-time or full-time basis.
Be ready to travel
If you decide to work for a management consulting agency with clients across different countries and locations, be prepared to do some travelling, especially during your first few years with the firm. Corporate jobs tend to call for much less travel unless you end up with a very large company that wants to send you to dozens of different locations. The best way to deal with the question is to ask detailed questions during the interview process. Find out how far and how frequently new hires have to travel for their job duties. For some people, this is a major factor in their decision, but for others, the idea of logging thousands of miles on the job is not an issue. The key point is to know the pertinent details before you sign an employment contract. That way, there will be no surprises.