A business analyst works in company's in various fields and is responsible for providing assistance with managing and implementing business plans and future business goals. Their various duties include analyzing user data to better understand and improve upon business plans, its services and products, and the systems and processes which run the company. They are similarly responsible for consulting on these changes and helping staff members understand how to make and implement them.

Summary. We reviewed real candidate profiles to learn the best path to become a business analyst. We'll guide you through the education, experiences, and skills hiring managers look for in a business analyst.

  • Most companies require a business analyst to have a bachelor's degree degree in a related field, such as business or computer science.

  • It's important to have relevant work experience, with typical job requirements ranging from 2-4 years in related fields.

  • Common job titles before becoming a business analyst include project manager, consultant, and internship.

  • Hiring managers expect a business analyst to have soft skills such as creativity, analytical skills, and communication skills.

  • Once you have all the required skills and experience, it takes an average of 6-12 months of job training to become a business analyst.

  • Getting a certification as a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) will help you to earn more as a business analyst.

How to become a Business Analyst in 5 steps:

  • Step 1: Explore business analyst education
  • Step 2: Develop business analyst skills
  • Step 3: Complete relevent training/internship
  • Step 4: Research business analyst duties
  • Step 5: Prepare your resume
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Key Steps To Become a Business Analyst

  1. Explore Business Analyst Education

    If you're interested in becoming a business analyst, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 70.5% of business analysts have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 18.3% of business analysts have master's degrees. Even though most business analysts have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

    Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a business analyst. When we researched the most common majors for a business analyst, we found that they most commonly have business, computer science and finance.

    Business Analyst Degrees


    70.5 %


    18.3 %


    7.5 %

    Business Analyst MajorPercentages
    Computer Science9.90%
    Other Degrees45.40%

  2. Develop Business Analyst Skills

    It'll be a good idea to develop business analyst skills before applying for a job. Here are some skills commonly requested in business analyst job descriptions:

  3. Complete Relevent Training/Internship

    Business analysts spend an average of 6-12 months on post-employment, on-the-job training. During this time, new business analysts learn the skills and techniques required for their specific job and employer. The chart below shows how much time it takes to gain competency as a business analyst based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data and data from real business analyst resumes.

    Average Amount Of Time At Training


    Less than 1 month

    1-3 months

    3-6 months

    6-12 months

    1-2 years

    2-4 years

  4. Research Business Analyst Duties

    When you decide to become a business analyst, It's important to know what duties and responsibilities are required for this position. Some common responsibilities are a part of most business analyst jobs. Here is a list of the main duties that define the role:

    • Lead the implementation of a web-base application in an UNIX environment for an organization that manages pharmacy claims data.
    • Lead CRP sessions during implementation, design and testing.
    • Manage the resolution of forty plus software issues with PeopleSoft's design and development teams.
    • Used ALM as the requirements management tool to capture, prioritize, and manage requirements.
    • Complete updated version of website and provide CMS system to internal staff to manage website content.
    • Manage PeopleSoft security audits, end-user support for security issues, and security changes to role and permission lists.

  5. Prepare Your Resume

    Finally, when you already have checked the skills and responsibilities for this role, you can start creating your resume. Everything that goes into creating a perfect resume can take hours, days, or even weeks. No worries, we created a resume builder to make this process as easy as possible with tips and examples of skills, responsibilities, and a summary.

    Choose From 10+ Customizable Business Analyst Resume templates

    Build a professional Business Analyst resume in minutes. Browse through our resume examples to identify the best way to word your resume. Then choose from 10+ resume templates to create your Business Analyst resume.

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  6. Apply For a Business Analyst Job

    With your ready resume, it's time to start searching for a new job. Consider the tips below for a successful job search:

    1. Browse job boards for relevant postings
    2. Consult your professional network
    3. Reach out to companies you're interested in working for directly
    4. Watch out for job scams

    Business Analyst Jobs

  7. How To Become a Business Analyst
    How To Become a Business Analyst Career Overview

Becoming a Business Analyst FAQs

How To Become A Business Analyst With No Experience.

To become a business analyst with no experience, you need to earn a bachelor's degree or master's degree, obtain technical certifications, and get business industry experience.

For more details on these steps and others you can take to become a business analyst with no experience, reference this guide:

Earn a bachelor's or a master's degree. Most employers of business analysts will require at least a bachelor's degree to be considered for the position.

Degrees in computers, management information systems, information technology (IT), and computer programming, are all relevant degrees for aspiring business analysts.

You might also want to consider obtaining a master's degree in one of these areas, certain employers will prefer a master's degree for the business analyst role, and some may even require it. A master's degree in information technology, business, or computer systems will give you a much more advanced education in the field, increasing your expertise.

This will make you a more appealing job candidate and will help you develop some essential skills for being a business analyst.

Master's degrees also open you up to more roles and higher-paying job opportunities.

Acquire the relevant skills for the role through education and experience. To land a job and really succeed as a business analyst you must develop skills in the following areas:

Technology. Business analysts spend a lot of their workdays using computers and other technical equipment. This is why you must be well-versed in technology. Strong computer skills are a requirement for any business analyst role.

This includes knowledge on how to utilize proprietary analyzing software, as well as business industry standard programs, like Microsoft Office.

Communication. Business analysts need well-developed written and verbal communication skills. Business analysts often have to interact with other team members, supervisors, and executives.

They must be comfortable and expert at making recommendations for new technology at a company, explaining objectives, and detailing how to improve a company's business processes.

Project management. Business analysts often have to multitask and may have multiple projects going at the same time. These projects will be in different states of completion and you must know how to delegate and prioritize different tasks for different projects.

Strong organizational and project management skills help you to develop, maintain, and complete essential projects. Business analysts often are tasked with things like creating a training program for a specific department or team or managing the installation of new technology to improve business practices.

Teamwork and team building. Business analysts need strong skills in these areas. Most work alongside other computer technicians, such as programmers or data analysts, as well as executive staff.

The ability to coordinate and work well within a team is essential to ensuring that a company effectively transitions according to your recommendations on its technology systems.

Obtain technical certifications. Technical certifications can help you stand out as a business analyst, however, these are not strict requirements.

Certifications in proprietary software programs and computer programming can greatly benefit your career as a business analyst. They increase your chances of being hired and can help you stay at the top of the pack in terms of competition.

Get business industry experience. Most business analyst roles will require you to have industry experience. While getting your bachelor's or master's degree it is important to apply for internships.

Internship programs in the business allow you to gain hands-on experience and work alongside professional business analysts. They are invaluable learning and networking opportunities in the industry. This also helps to enhance your resume when you are looking for business analyst jobs after you graduate.

Aside from internships, you'll likely need full-time job experience in the field as well. The specific kind of experience and how much you need will depend on the industry in which you want to be a business analyst.

For example, business analysts in the financial industry may need experience working for financial firms or investment banks in some capacity before they can be considered for a business analyst position in the industry.

Similarly, if you want to work in the healthcare field, you will likely need experience that will help you gain knowledge about healthcare software and systems. If you are looking to be a business analyst in the area of government, you might need a foundational understanding of certain government programs.

If you have a strong idea of what industry you want to work in, it is also a good idea to take additional classes relevant to this field while obtaining your bachelor's or master's degree.

How To Get Into An Mba Program

To get into an MBA program, you need to research different MBA programs, take the GMAT or GRE, and prepare your MBA application. Here are some details on these steps and others you can use to successfully get into an MBA program:

What Is The Career Path For A Business Analyst?

The career path for a business analyst includes jobs as a business analyst, IT business analyst, and business analyst manager.

A business analyst is tasked with leading and supervising a set of employees to ensure the productivity and efficiency of operations. They provide guidance on how best to handle different tasks while maintaining customer satisfaction. Business analysts also provide feedback and give recommendations to clients, and gather and analyze financial data.

The business analyst career path is not as straightforward as you might think. There are a number of divergent avenues you can pursue in a business analysis career, this depends on the industry you work in, if you specialize in a specific area, and what company, or companies, you work for.

Before embarking on the business analyst career path, you need to do the proper prep work, in terms of research, and determine what type of business analyst you want to be. Most business analysts either have a strong business background or a good background in information technology.

Most entry-level business analysts have at least a bachelor's degree in areas such as business management, accounting, finance, economics, information technology (IT), or another related degree.

The good news is that business analysts are in high demand in many industries. Here is a quick look at the six most in-demand business analyst career paths:

  • Business Analyst Manager. These professionals are often in charge of large and small teams of business analysts, and also perform recruitment and hiring duties. They define best practices at their company and execute their company's objectives.

  • Data Business Analyst. Data business analysts work with data sets, and attempt to identify trends, create charts, and develop visual aid presentations to assist managers, executives, and stakeholders in making key business decisions.

  • Data Analysis Scientist. This is one of the more difficult business analyst career paths, as these professionals need to extract meaning from gathered data. They then interpret this data, and formulate actionable insights based upon it. This role typically involves the necessity of having strong knowledge with machine learning and statistics.

  • Information Security Analyst. This is a business analyst role in cybersecurity. Cybersecurity professionals broadly are in extremely high demand because of cyber crimes and hacking companies face in the modern world. Information security analysts help protect companies by extracting and interpreting security data. They also monitor IT networks and other important company systems.

  • IT Business Analyst. This position involves developing more substantial business processes, while also usually working on several other projects, and operating systems. If you love statistics, and math in general, this is a great business analyst career path.

  • Quantitative Analyst. This type of business analyst professional develops, implements, and gives presentations on certain kinds of math models that give weight to financial decisions. This includes areas like risk management, pricing structures, and investments.

Here's a look at the typical business analyst career path:

  • Education. Earn a bachelor's or master's degree in business management, accounting, finance, economics, or another related field

    You should also try to gain an internship while in your last years of college or immediately after you graduate. Securing an internship is a great way to gain experience and start to fill out your professional resume.

  • Get an entry-level business analyst role. There are many different roles at this level and job titles may vary depending on the industry you are breaking into.

    Some examples include developer, industry expert, and quality assurance engineer.

  • Become an expert in a certain area of business analysis. You should review all the career paths we just went over, and decide which is most appealing to you.

    Once you have chosen a specific business analyst career path, you should seek to become an expert in that field. Some tips for accomplishing this include seeking out a mentor in your area, networking as much as possible with similar professionals, and attending industry events that relate to your role.

    You can also take additional online courses to hone your specific skills. Business analyst certifications are also strongly encouraged ( we'll go over some good ones later), these can help exhibit your qualifications and skill sets in business analysis.

  • Gain a number of years of professional experience in your area. The amount of time it takes to move up, again, depends on your particular area, industry, and company, but most business analysis promotions can occur in the range of two to four years.

    Hands-on experience is the only way to move up on the business analyst career path. You should try to be a strong team player, ask questions often, and gain as much professional knowledge and skills as you can during your initial years in the profession.

  • Move up into a more senior business analyst position. These roles include job titles like IT business analyst, product manager, senior business analyst, lead business analyst, and several others depending on your company or specific career path.

    It is worth mentioning that most organizations prefer business analysts with advanced degrees for these types of roles, such as an MBA.

  • Reach the pinnacle position. This includes roles like Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Chief Strategist, or even becoming an independent consultant.

    Achieving these top-tier positions, takes a lot of hard work and many years of professional experience. Most of these roles require at least 10+ years of experience; sometimes more, depending on role-specific factors.

You should seek to develop or hone different skills and qualities when pursuing the business analyst career path. Here are some of the most essential areas you should focus on:

  • Strong communication skills. This includes both written and verbal.

  • Active listening skills. You not only need to know how to communicate effectively, but it is just as crucial to also listen effectively.

  • Teamwork. You are likely going to be collaborating with a number of different professionals, and you need to be able to work cohesively as a team member.

  • Adaptability. You must be prepared to deal with abrupt changes and keep your momentum.

  • Multitasking is a critical skill to have in all business analyst roles.

  • Prioritizing is also key. This often needs to be done based on multiple stakeholders' needs.

  • You must be able to identify specific opportunities that give way to improvements in efficiency and overall output.

To help you progress more quickly on the business analyst career path there are certain certifications you should consider obtaining.

Here are some of the best and most common business analyst certifications:

  • Academic Business Analysis Certificate (ABAC). This certification is offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). The ABAC is an entry-level certification that can be obtained from a college or institution that partners with the IIBA. This is an excellent certification for prospective business analysts who want to start their journey on this career path.

  • Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA). This is another certification that is offered by the IIBA. Obtainment displays to employers that you have a foundational knowledge of best business analyst practices. To earn this certification you need at least 21 hours of professional development. You must also pass an exam. This certification helps establish you as a step up from entry-level business analysts.

  • Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA). Also offered by the IIBA, this certification displays your ability to utilize business analysis methods in real-world business scenarios. To earn this certification the IIBA requires you to have at least 3,750 hours of professional business analyst experience. You must also provide references and complete 21 hours of professional development and pass a test.

  • Certified Business Analyst Professional (CBAP). This is the highest competency-based certificate you can earn from the IIBA. Obtainment exhibits a mastery level of business analysis and qualifies you to lead others in the field. You must have at least 7,500 hours of business analyst experience. You also must have 35 professional development hours, and pass a test.

  • Agile Analysis Certification (AAC). Agile project management framework is gaining popularity in the business world. This certification displays your knowledge of the Agile techniques and how to perform work with those methods. Gaining this certification requires you to pass an exam.

  • Certified Foundation Level Business Analyst (CFLBA). This certification is offered by the International Qualification Board for Business Analysts (IQBBA). This is another entry-level certification that shows basic competencies concerning business analysis practices. You must pass an exam to gain this certification.

  • Certified Advanced Level Business Analyst (CALBA). This certification is also offered by the IQBBA, and adds depth to the CFLBA certification, while also having a focus on business analysis process management. You need to pass an advanced exam for this certification which will test your knowledge of engineering requirements, strategic analysis, and management.

  • Professional in Business Analysis (PBA). This is a great certification if you work closely with project teams when doing your business analyst duties. To gain this certification you need to pass an exam of 200 multiple-choice questions. Business analysts who receive this certification must submit for renewal every three years. This includes submitting proof of 60 professional development units completed.

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