There is a lot of ambiguity in understanding the true role of a business analyst. And even if one has a broad understanding of the role, they will find several viewpoints on how the career progression should be for a business analyst. The business analyst career path is difficult to define, mainly because of the diverse skill sets that can be adapted into many sets of opportunities. A business analyst has many options based on the industry, qualifications, preferences, and acquired skill sets.
To have a better starting point in understanding the career options of a business analyst, let us first broadly define and cognize the responsibility of a business analyst. There are many hats donned by a business analyst. Leaving aside the academics and technical requirements if one has to practically and simplistically put across, a business analyst is a role which bridges the gap between every department, across the life cycle of the development process. They work closely with people within an organisation to understand steps and hurdles, technical or non-technical, translate and document the same for business requirements, provide solutions to the right channels and implement it, with an overall objective to strategically improving operational efficiency and optimizing organisation performance.
A Business analyst can be also coined as management analyst, working across all kinds of businesses. Their job functions could vary depending upon the position, but the overall definition would be the same.
Career Path Of Business Analyst
A career path of a business analyst usually begins with working at an entry level, and gradually with experience and with acquiring a better understanding of how businesses function, growing up the ladder. Maybe settle into a role of a senior business analyst where they might have a team of professionals involved in planning and developing a Business Process Design or working in other complicated and strategic functions.
The good news is that the business analyst career path is very diverse, so based on your interest and qualification one can choose the most suitable path. Some option
- Operations Manager, keeping the fundamentals of the role of a business analyst in place, one can branch out as an operations manager. Here one is responsible for analysing the business need, current products, services, standard operating procedures, and recommend either technical or non-technical solution for overall function improvement.
- Product Owner, if you are a business analyst professional with an IT background and working for an IT set up, then you can explore the option of a product owner or product manager while existing on the business analytics path.
- Management Consultant, as a business analytics one can start their career as a Jr. Consultant and further rise up the ladder as a Management Consultant.
- Project Manager, although becoming a project manager might require a different set of skills, it is considered as a logical and popular move. Here one will be responsible for managing budgets, along with time frames and stakeholder expectation. Known as a fulfilling choice by most business analyst who have opted for this change, it is soon turning out be the most conventional direction for most business analysts.
- Business Competency Manager, Relationship Manager, Subject Matter Expert, Business Architect, Program Manager, and in some cases Chief Operating Officer, Chief Technology Officer, are some other career options that an individual, with sound experience in business analysis, can pursue.
So with so many interesting, promising and rewarding options available for Business Analysts, they need to first get a firm hold about the basics of business analysis. Account the skill sets and academics that they bring to the table, and only after understanding all the options, find a good match to their requirements, and then set out to achieve their specific career goals.
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