Steps to become a Business Analyst – A simple guide
The steps to become a Business Analyst is relatively straight forward when you compare it to many other professions in the market. It is still possible for people with different work experience to change their careers to become a business analyst. There are a few considerations when it comes to working out how to become a business analyst coming from your individual background. Let’s have a look at some of those considerations and practical steps for you to embark on.
What do you need to consider?
Your main consideration is previous work experience – The closer your work experience relates to that of a Business Analyst’s the easier your transition to become a Business Analyst will be. For example: If you have software development or testing work experience already, you will already posses some understanding of what it means to be a Business Analyst and you would most likely have some actual Business Analysis experience already gained as part of your previous role. However, if you have a completely different type of background – like let’s say you were a Dressmaker or a Dentist, you may need to do more homework on what it means to be a Business Analyst and dig a little deeper in your previous experience to find some common ground.
However, it is still possible to become a Business Analyst!
So what are the actual steps to become a Business Analyst?
STEP 1: Start at the beginning..
Learn what it means to be a Business Analyst. You can do this in a variety of different ways. Ideas include:
- You start by simply doing some research on the internet and watching YouTube videos on the topic of Business Analysis.
- Depending on where you are working at this time you might be able to start keeping an eye open for junior Business Analysis opportunities.
- Join networking groups, such as ‘Meet-Up’ in your city and get to know other Business Analysts. This is a great way of learning about the profession but also to meet Business Analysts who may have been on the exact same journey of becoming a Business Analyst before you. They can be a very valuable source of ideas and inspiration.
STEP 2: Ideas of how to gain that first practical Business Analysis experience
- Ask your line manager to help you get a Business Analysis role within the current organisation you are working for. Don’t be afraid to make your intentions of becoming a business analyst clear to your line manager and other key people. People loves helping other people and if you keep asking and focusing on these types of opportunities, you will find something opening up.
- Volunteer in your current role to do tasks which is really Business Analysis type duties. An example of this could be doing some requirements gathering tasks by suggesting you will go along to meetings and assist you current manager to understand the needs of the person you are going to meet with. This can then be treated as requirements which you can the document as proper business requirements. Learn more about the different tasks that a Business Analyst performs and use that in your current job.
- If you are not currently working or have some time available, consider taking on a volunteer Business Analysis role. If you can find an opportunity to volunteer either in a Business Analysis role for a company or even for a Professional Business Analysis organisation (such as the local IIBA Chapter in your city) it is a valuable source of gaining practical business analysis experience for your BA Resume. These types of roles can be quite rare to find but they are out there and you might want to also try searching for these types roles on large charity company websites.
STEP 3: Do a Fundamentals or Beginner Training Program
You should as part of your initial steps consider doing a Beginner Training Program. This will help you to learn some specific practical skills and build your knowledge of Business Analysis. A good fundamentals course will also teach you practical techniques and tools which is currently in demand. The most important reason for doing a Beginner Training Course is that you can put this on your newly created Business Analyst Resume! This will show potential employers that you have some formal training to support your Business Analysis Resume. There are some important things to look for before choosing the best online Beginner Training Program.
- Find a program where you will have someone to guide and help you formulate your specific plan of action on how to become a Business Analyst.
- You can even consider getting a career coach to help you with your plans and touch base with you as you progress. The idea would be that the mentor or coach is someone with a lot of Business Analysis experience themselves.
STEP 4: Create your Business Analysis Resume and Cover Letter
You must rewrite your current resume to be focused on your goal of becoming a Business Analyst. This means you must look at example Business Analyst Resumes, get familiar with the Business Analysis terminology and use those words when describing your previous experience as much as possible. When you apply for junior Business Analysis roles you must make sure that you write a specific Business Analyst Resume Cover Letter for each and every job application and again use the same word they use in the job role advertisement. Read more about Business Analyst Resume Writing here.
There is a lot of opportunities out there to become a Business Analyst from many different backgrounds and I hope that this article have provided you with some ideas of what to do and where to start. Good luck!