The Sky Is the Limit – The Top 5 Career Paths for a Business Analyst

#1 Business Analysis practice is my passion; let me be a Career Business Analyst

The nature of this profession allows for a career path in simply becoming a professional BA. This is because the profession consists of a set of skills which are highly specialised in itself and can be applied to any industry and to any knowledge area successfully. This transition between industries becomes more seamless as you gain more and more experience as an analyst. The sky really is the limit with the endless possibilities of being challenged. This is what often attracts BA’s to becoming highly skilled in delivering a skill set within more challenging knowledge areas or industries. The other key dimension of the job is that it allows for activities at various levels of the organization to be practiced – from the enterprise level analysis right through to defining detailed system requirements. This career path suits Business Analysts who love the rush of the project environment and the need for solving more and more complex business problems.

#2 I love managing people, let me be a Business Analysis Manager

The BA Practice Manager is a great option for an analyst who loves managing people and who would like to provide leadership to teams. This is the ultimate team based role and has further potential to climb up top the traditional corporate ladder. If corporate hierarchical levels are what you are after, then focus on achieving this role! The Business Analyst who really enjoys a varied role with resource planning, managing people with line management activities will flourish as a Business Analysis Practice Manager.

#3 I love talking to people, let me be a Relationship Manager

In its simplest form this role is all about talking to, understanding, persuading and negotiating with people. One of the foundation behavioral competencies of a Business Analyst is the ability to build strong stakeholder relationships throughout their roles within the System Development Life Cycle. This makes Relationship Manager the perfect career path for a Business Analyst who wants to branch out into another specialism within the corporate world and progress and develop their careers to the next level. If communication and relationship building is your passion, then focus your career path in this direction.

#4 A popular career path, I want to be a Project Manager

Now this path is a popular one for Business Analysts to aim for because it is familiar to them and they often have a working example in the form of a Project Manager to learn from on a daily basis. It is however worth noting that the Project Manager’s role requires a whole different set of skills and the focus is completely different from that of Business Analysis. However, it certainly is a good career to aim for if you would like to change direction and skills completely then start managing budgets, timeframes and stakeholder expectations instead. This can be a very fulfilling and highly rewarding career path to follow and is certainly a traditional direction that a lot of BA’s head into.

#5 The Competency Manager

The last but certainly not the least option is for those Business Analysts who are passionate about playing a part in establishing this growing profession within organizations. The focus with this career path is on the development of Business Analysis competencies (competency frameworks, processes and tools) to support the Business Analysis growth. This is very well suited to people who would like to embrace the theoretical and developmental aspects of Business Analysis rather than the practical and hands on application. This role is often highly sought after but there are more and more organizations who are rather embracing Business Analysis as a profession. This makes this path a necessity and it is becoming a more regular one available to ambitious Business Analysts.

So it is fair to say that with these great career options, Business Analysts really do have a lot of alternatives to strive for.

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