Why Should You Become a Business Analyst?
I could take the classic parent stance, but “because I said so…” doesn’t quite have the impact I am looking for – or the proof you’re in search of! Instead, let me explain what drew me to a career as a Business Analyst and why it is even better now than when I first started those years ago.
Here Are My Top 7 Reasons Why I Became a Business Analyst and Why You Should Too!
#1 – One Title, Many Professional Hats
Believe it or not, many years ago I was on a career path in law enforcement. But I found that it wasn’t a good fit for me, and discovered that I needed more flexibility in my career. What I found was that, while the title of Business Analyst is commonly utilized, the roles and responsibilities of that title can change drastically in each company.
There are many different titles that fall under the Business Analyst role umbrella, and each specialize in different areas. Some Business Analyst roles are very technical in nature, while others strictly focus on the business side. Some are focused heavily on defining and adjusting process flows, while others are designing technical solutions to solve business needs. Aspiring BAs can find what they’re passionate about and carve out a rewarding and successful career in that niche.
The sweeping range of possibilities intrigued me and made me feel comfortable that, regardless of my future interests, I could find a Business Analyst role to keep me enthused. Looking back years later, I was right!
#2 – Job Market is Set to Explode
Each year, more organizations are realizing the benefits that dedicated Business Analysts provide and are creating new positions to bring that value to their teams. Because the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics doesn’t track ‘Business Analyst’ occupation by that specific title – and because business analysis role titles vary widely – it’s difficult to put exact numbers to the growth of our occupation. But a deeper dive shows substantial growth in specialized areas under the broader BA umbrella.
More traditional BA roles are expected to see continued growth over the next decade, with Financial Analyst roles expected to grow about 6%, Budget Analyst roles expected to see 5% growth, and Computer Systems Analyst roles expected to grow around 5% as well. But BA roles that are tied to emerging technologies and trends – such as Market Research Analysts (expected to see 22% growth), Operations Research Analysts (expected to see 25% growth), and Information Security Analyst roles (expected to grow by 33%) – are seeing much faster growth than the average role within the next decade.
With that type of growth, companies around the world are already competing for every Business Analyst they can find. Some, such as the behemoth distributor Amazon, are even investing millions in their current employees to train them in analyst roles. There is no better time to get into the Business Analyst career than right now!
#3 – The Great Pay
It was a shock to my senses when I first found out that the average Business Analyst makes over $104,000 per year! Then when hearing that the top 10% of Business Analysts make nearly $180,000 per year, I almost fell over!
Business Analysts are compensated very well for our work, and with the job market demand outpacing the entry-level candidates, the salary for the Business Analyst is expected to continue to rise.
#4 – The Independence and Flexibility
Never in my life have I met anyone who told me they wished they were micromanaged more. Having someone constantly looking over your shoulder and checking your work demotivates employees.
The great news for Business Analysts is that since their work often involves working with all levels of management and with no set-in-stone repeatable process, they need to be given the trust and flexibility to accomplish their tasks independently. This allows employees greater freedom and creativity to meet and exceed their customers’ expectations.
#5 – It’s Never a Dull Day
I, like many people, tend to get a bit bored when set to do the same tasks repeatedly day after day. I learned this about myself when I was younger and I spent my summer working at a local factory. The job of putting stuff on and taking stuff off of a paint line was one of the easiest jobs I ever had, and it paid pretty well, but I couldn’t do it.
Each day I felt like my brain was melting from the inactivity of doing the same monotonous tasks over and over. I lasted a whole two months before I hung up my factory steel toe shoes and took a different job that paid considerably less, but was more unique each shift.
Being a Business Analyst is incredibly different. Not only do you get to schedule your own tasks for a given day, but the way you carry them out is also entirely up to you. If you feel like being a social butterfly eliciting requirements one day and a hermit completing “busy work” tasks the next, the flexibility to do so is yours. It is your puzzle to put together and every day, as well as every project, is different.
#6 – Utilize Your Past Experiences and Knowledge
The most successful Business Analysts have a wide range of knowledge and experience gained from various odd jobs, previous careers, and their education. Whether you were a teacher, worked in finance, sold door-to-door, owned your own business, are just graduating from college, or virtually any other background, your experiences and knowledge gained can and will be utilized as a Business Analyst.
Your experiences may help you identify a problem the business is facing, gain rapport with business team members, design a solution to solve a problem, reconfigure a process, conduct user training, and more. The possibilities are endless!
Regardless of where you worked or what degree you received in college, it can all aid you in being a successful Business Analyst.
#7 – You Enjoy Helping Others
Much of what a Business Analyst does is solve complex business problems. At a high level, Business Analysts are understanding the pain points, getting the full picture of the current “as-is” state, breaking down the problem into solvable pieces, designing the solution, and helping to test and implement the solution, which in the end, should solve the initial pain.
While getting through this full process can have its difficulties, in the end, hearing how you were able to help a person, a business unit, or the company save money or do things easier, makes it all worth it.
Looking at the final product and realizing what you have helped to achieve is incredibly gratifying. My all-time favorite moment is when users say, with a huge smile, “You can really do that? That will save me so much time!” Being able to help others by solving problems and making their jobs easier makes me extremely proud to call myself a Business Analyst.
The Perfect Career Trifecta
The Business Analyst career has what I like to call the Perfect Career Trifecta: financial stability, continued professional growth, and personal satisfaction. Whether you’re graduating from college, are professionally lost on what to do, or are bored in your career, you need to give a serious look at becoming a Business Analyst.
To get started, take a look at my recommended learning tools. Here you will find courses that I have personally created. Here you can build the foundation of Business Analysis knowledge or expand your knowledge into new and exciting areas!
The best preparation for tomorrow is to learn something today!
– Written by Jeremy Aschenbrenner, The BA Guide