The Business Analysis Gravy Train
“Jump aboard, there is enough gravy for everyone….at least for now!”
I have known for quite some time that to be a Business Analyst is a very good profession because it allows for great earning potential, minimal “real” stress and an interesting and challenging work environment. This includes a very comfortable work/life balance, which allows for a great lifestyle.
What I recently discovered is that on average a qualified or unqualified Business Analyst can earn almost double what a PHD Degree qualified Psychologist would earn (at least this is the case in Australia). Not only do Business Analysts earn much more money, but also they don’t ever have to face any really stressful circumstances like managing a person who is suicidal for example. The Psychologist may also be required to be “on call” which requires them to be available at various different times (after hours, weekends etc.) that must be challenging for many people to maintain. And then of course the Psychologist had to spend about 6-7 years at University to obtain the right to practice as a Registered Psychologist in the first place….
So where am I going with this comparison? Either the Business Analysts are overpaid or the Psychologists are grossly underpaid?
The Business Analysis Profession Trend
There are hordes of people from various backgrounds flocking to become Business Analysts. This is not surprising considering all these benefits. And because it is still possible for a person to get into Business Analysis without needing to have a really strenuous academic profile to support this, the numbers are increasing and consequently the criteria for entering the market is slowly being lifted by organizations.
The demand factor for Business Analysis skills is however the main driver that sets the pace for lifting the entry requirements into the field of Business Analysis. The higher the demand for Business Analysis skills the lower the entry level into the market will be. However, as the popularity of this profession is gaining speed amongst people the pace for lifting the entry criteria is picking up and consequently the supply of more professionally qualified Business Analysts are increasing too. This will increase the demand for more formally qualified Business Analysts in future.
So, the gravy train is not going away but the ticket to get onboard is getting a bit more expensive in terms of time and money invested in professional development and practical experience.
This is also the reason why I believe that a professional qualification, whether this means an IIBA CBAP® Certification or a BCS Certification, or an IREB® CPRE Certification or a Degree is becoming more and more important for Business Analysts to enter the market as well as stay ahead within their chosen occupation.
So is the Psychologist underpaid?
This argument still doesn’t answer the question about whether a Business Analyst is overpaid or whether a Psychologist is underpaid. Well, my personal view is that a Psychologist is grossly underpaid for what they have to do (especially compared to Business Analysts) but I believe this is because they are not typically working in a private sector and often they are working in the public sector within the less profitable government sections within our society. This is unfortunately the capital system in action. For us as Business Analyst’s this is also why we are earning quite good money for what we have to do.
Having a good education in whatever field you are entering is always going to stand you in good stead. Many Business Analysts today do not have a formal education within Business Analysis but they are excellent Business Analysts and are very good and extremely valuable people to have in your team. Then of course there are more and more formally qualified Business Analysts who are also exceptional in their jobs.
The people who are not working very hard to be excellent in their role as Business Analysts and just enjoying the “gravy train” by floating between roles would have to change their attitudes and focus their attention on becoming great Business Analysts with professional development in mind or expect to eventually be kicked off their Business Analyst Gravy Train.