What does a business analyst do?
Also known as management analysts, these individuals can either be employed on staff for a larger company or may work for a consulting firm. Either way, the aims of a management analyst are very similar, no matter where they work or what type of business they are assessing.
The overview of the typical business analyst job description is to look at the company as a whole, examine the management structure and the lines of internal and external communication. By doing this, the analyst can find where gaps in productivity may exist or discover positions and tasks that may be redundant in the overall functioning of the company. With this knowledge, the business analyst will make recommendations to increase productivity and reduce waste.
Often, business analyst work involves exploring a specific issue as requested by upper levels of management. They may be asked to find ways to reorganize the corporate structure as a cost-saving measure or research the best technological upgrades given the company’s budget and needs.
What kind of training does a business analyst need?
While some entry-level business analyst jobs require as little as a bachelor degree, many positions demand applicants with a master degree or higher due to the in depth of understanding of all aspects of business required by such a position.
There are few degree programs specifically geared toward business analyst training, so employers will often look for candidates with a strong educational background in business, management and statistics, among other things. Applicants be highly motivated and organized, as well.
What are the prospects for a career in business analysis?
The growth in management or business analysis jobs is expected to skyrocket over the coming years, due to the current focus on corporations by government and the public. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2016, jobs in this area will grow to 827,000, which is a large 22% increase from numbers in 2006. This growth is expected to come in a variety of fields, including everything from information technology to health care. (1)
How much do business analysts make?
Jobs in business analysis pay very well, with entry-level positions currently paying between $38,966 to $62,310 per year. There are excellent opportunities for advancement in this area, and the pay scale goes up considerably for those who have more training and achieve higher level positions. A mid-range business analyst salary can go up to $80,000 and more. (2)
A business analysis career is a smart choice for self-motivated individuals who can both see the big picture as well as focus on the details. This career offers business-minded people the chance to put their critical thinking skills to the test as they tackle a wide range of problems in the business world.