What Education Is Required to Be a Business Analyst?

Review the job duties of business analysts, who analyze the processes of companies in order to help them improve. Check the education required to enter this career field, and explore some degree and certificate programs you might pursue. Schools offering Business Intelligence degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Education

While you can qualify to become a business analyst with a bachelor's degree in business or a related field, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) stated that many employers prefer candidates with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. MBA programs typically consist of two years of graduate-level study. In your first year, you might take courses in strategic management, economics, data analysis, financial accounting, and marketing management. In the second year, you'll usually be able to customize your education and choose electives pertinent to your career path.

Important Facts About a Career in Business Analysis

PrerequisitesHigh school diploma
Online Availability Programs available online
Key SkillsCommunication, math, detail oriented, decision making, problem-solving, analytical, time management, interpersonal
Possible OccupationsBusiness analyst, financial analysts, cost estimators, operations research analysts, budget analysts, accountants, auditors, financial managers, economists
Median Salary (2019) $59,466*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 14% growth (for all management analysts)**

Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Certificate in Business Analysis

As an alternative or supplement to undergraduate or graduate education, you could earn a certificate in business analysis. These one-year programs are available at several universities, technical schools, and community colleges. You can expect to take courses in business process analysis, testing and solution development, project management, and business planning.

Additional Requirements

Along with formal training, you could see more opportunities and higher wages with business experience. To gain the experience, you could work in related, entry-level positions, such as project coordination, business research assistance, or accounting. Since business analysis also includes technology assessment, gaining a background in computer support or administration might also prove helpful. Business analysis is similar to a consulting job, so a solid grasp of the elements of company processes is essential.

Whatever your level of education, it's important to recognize the fast-paced changes of the corporate world. You might be required to complete continuing education to adapt to changes and advancements as they come. Additionally, since this career involves project management and correspondence with various people, business analysts must have strong communication and leadership skills.

Career Overview

In today's competitive market, business analysts are becoming more of a necessity. As a business analyst, you'll evaluate various aspects of a company, such as its efficiency, daily processes, procedures, and staff, and develop strategies to strengthen the overall enterprise. This can involve researching and gathering information as well as preparing your findings for use by management. Your assessments and recommendations assist managers in making decisions about changes to the company.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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