What Is a Certified Business Analyst?

Business analysts work in the fields of business and technology to solve problems and improve operations. Read on to learn more about the duties and certification requirements of a business analyst. Schools offering Business Intelligence degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Defined

As a business analyst, you'll assess the needs of an organization and design plans to meet its requirements utilizing information technology (IT) strategies. To do this, you'll review the company's structure and operations with an eye to streamlining its processes and improving profitability. You'll then connect with other IT and management professionals to make recommendations for improvements.

Important Facts About Business Analysts

Median Salary (2019) $59,466*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 14% growth (for all management analysts)**
Key Skills Clear communication, problem solving, business acumen, analytical and critical thinking, time management, leadership, adaptability
Work Environment Technical consulting firms, computer systems design and services organizations, government agencies
Similar Occupations Management analysts, budget analysts, economists, financial managers, financial analysts, survey researchers, market research analysts

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

Education Requirements

In order to work as a business analyst, you'll need to start by earning a bachelor's degree in business administration, management, accounting, information technology, or a similar field. This may be all that you need to find an entry-level position; however, if you're interested in higher-level career opportunities, you'll likely need to earn a master's degree in business administration or a related area.

Additionally, if you'd like to obtain targeted career training in the field, business analyst certificate programs are often available through continuing and professional education divisions at universities. Some of these are geared specifically to help you attain certification in the field. Courses generally cover project management, requirements elicitation, and communication topics, as well as business process management (BPM). BPM is an approach to management that focuses on increasing efficiency and innovation by utilizing technology.

Certification Opportunities

The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) offers the Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA) and Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) designations; to qualify to take the exams required for these certifications, you must have completed a specified amount of work experience as a business analyst - a minimum of 3,750 or 7,500 hours, respectively - and give two references from qualified business professionals (www.iiba.org). Work experience must be in alignment with standards established by the IIBA in its Business Analysis Body of Knowledge Guide. In addition, you must agree to adhere to a code of professional conduct and ethics. Both members and non-members of the IIBA are eligible to take the exams.

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