I often get asked this question by aspiring business analysts and it’s a fairly easy answer, especially if you’ve got some experience working in a corporate environment. There is a high chance your job has involved some degree of analysis and fact-finding even if your job title is not “Business Analyst”.
Here are some steps you can follow If you want to navigate your career path to becoming a BA. These are the same strategies I applied 13 years ago when I successfully transitioned my career from IT support to business analysis.
1) Do some research, find out what business analysis entails and if it is the right fit for you. If you don’t like interacting with people and facilitating meetings then don’t even bother.
2) Find out what existing skills you have that you can leverage. This will help you get clear on the domain to target.
3) Get some BA knowledge. Textbooks are great to get some formal knowledge but it will make more sense if someone can actually share some real-life scenarios with you.
4) Create your BA resume. Highlight your core skills and competencies. Be sure you are speaking the language of the job description you’re after.
5) Prepare to ace your BA interviews. Do you research, have case studies ready to share and use the STAR method in interviews (Situation > Task > Actions > Results).
6) Get your BA certification – if you choose to. Decide when in your career would be the best time to get one to up-level yourself.
A lot of people make the mistake of getting a BA certification first hoping this will automatically land them a BA job, not necessarily! Your strong understanding of the core BA competencies and how you can relate them to real life scenarios far outweighs any BA certification. The certification is not even a guarantee that you can do the job, and this is what they look out for at interviews.
Becoming a business analyst doesn’t have to be a far fetched dream. Follow these simple strategies and you’ll be sure to land your first BA job in no time. For more tips, tricks and inside BA resources join my FREE facebook group: Career Management Network.