Is An MBA Required For Business Analyst Jobs?

Part 13 of 21 in the Series: Career Advice - Ask IT Career Coach

MBA - Laid Off and Looking For Work!

MBA - Laid Off and Looking For Work!

[Ask IT Career Coach] is a Career Advice Column for Information Technology (IT) professionals looking for answers to their most challenging career situations.

This question was submitted by a reader who would like to know: “If An MBA Is Required For Business Analyst Jobs“.

Here Is The Question on Educational Requirements for Business Analyst Jobs:

… I will be working for one year then I have plans to go for a one year MBA program.

Will this plan help be to become a business analyst? And in this one year of working period before going for an MBA, i would like to load myself with extra courses like SAP or SAS or any other relevant courses.

Kindly let me know which part time course will be suitable for me to in this one year working period to become a business analyst.

I am not from computer background so do i need to do some computer programming related courses like c++ or java which will not be so easy for a beginner?

Thank you

Is An MBA Required For Business Analyst Jobs?

Here is the answer to the question: is an MBA required for business analyst jobs?

Business Analyst Jobs Are Not Traditional

Your question is based on the premise that Information Technology (IT) jobs are just like other traditional careers (law, medicine, education, etc.) … but they are not!

The IT Industry is fundamentally different from other sectors of the economy. For one, it is in a constant state of change and it is also in its infancy.

The Business Analyst Career has its roots in Systems Analysis, Software Development and Business Process Engineering amongst others.

So, business analysis as a profession is still in its infancy and it is still evolving and unlike other non-IT industries, there is no degree required for a job in business analysis or any of the other information technology fields.

So the answer to your question is: NO, an MBA Degree is not required for a Business Analysis Job.

Which College Degree Is Required For A Business Analyst Job?

Neither an MBA or SAS or SPSS or any one degree is required for a business analyst job … that is old school thinking!

Any degree will work for you because hiring managers are more concerned about your actual performance on the job than on your paper qualifications or credentials!

As a matter of fact, even if you get a job based on your paper qualifications, you are bound to lose the job, if you don’t understand the roles and responsibilities of a business analyst and perform accordingly.

Information Technology is a performance driven, prove-it field and business analysts are not exempt from that culture.

Your college education only goes to prove that you are literate and that you can be trusted to converse or discuss on workplace issues, intelligently.

Your college degree by itself does not qualify your for a business analyst job.

What Are Hiring Managers Looking For?

Hiring managers are looking for functional business analysis skills because business analysis skills are different from MBA skills or SAS or SPSS or any other body of knowledge.

In other words, getting an MBA degree does not convey functional business analysis skills.

To start with, business analysts gather, document, validate and manage requirements using specific processes like UML or Use Cases.

So, you can’t expect to get that from an MBA program or bypass this skill requirement by learning another course like SAS or SPSS.

In addition, employers often view business analysts as domain specialists because they are looking for subject matter expertise and previous business knowledge in their industry.

This is why you may see job postings for CRM Business Analysts or Sales & Marketing Business Analyst or IT Business Analyst.

Understand How To ACE IT Jobs / Principles of Success in IT Careers

My goal in this community is to get you started down the path that leads to career nirvana and stop you from forking over thousands of dollars in hard-earned money or waste time chasing down self-imposed limiting beliefs or myths supplied by others.

So, I would advise you to do just this:

  1. Don’t analyze Business Analyst jobs the way you would analyze jobs in other industries because that won’t work :-) .

    Don’t assume that an MBA degree pre-qualifies you for a business analyst job the way that a medical or law degree places you in the direct path of becoming a doctor or a lawyer.

  2. Don’t try to bypass the requirement for business analysis skills by taking non-business analysis courses.

    Learn business analysis first and then if you need to get an MBA or any other degree to fulfill your personal educational ambitions, do so afterwards.

  3. Take the shortest path to becoming a business analyst and give the hiring managers what they want.

    Learn business analysis, get hands on business analysis experience and bring you resume to market as quickly as possible.

  4. Focus your learning on business analysis techniques, skills and practices.

    You may learn business analysis in an online class because that fits in more conveniently with your hectic study schedule.

  5. The most impressive thing on your resume is your handson experience.

    So either get handson experience as an IT business analyst or get domain / subject matter expertise relevant to the domain you may want to specialize in.

Take a direct path to becoming a business analyst and don’t spend your time chasing rabbit trails … that is the [IT Career Coach's] ACE (Affordable, Convenient, Effective) :-)




20 Discussions for “Is An MBA Required For Business Analyst Jobs?”

  1. md

    hi,

    I have 1yr. 9 mnths of banking experience and looking forward for Business analyst specially in banking domain as future career. how many years of banking exp. is required and is it necessary to do any certification for that?

    • There are no required years of experience to transition into a banking business analyst position nd there are no required business analyst certifications either.

      What you need to do is:

      Find a good representation a banking business resume and see what the gap between your resume and that of the model resume is.

      Don’t worry about the years of experience … focus on the skills and ask yourself this question … “what can I do to get those skills in the shortest possible time”.

      The answer to this question is the solution to your challenge :-)

  2. Balachandar

    Hi,

    I’m a MBA graduate having 3 years experience in industrial sales and marketing. I want to become a Business Analyst.. what is required to become BA..what extra qualification needed for BA…

    Please advice me…

  3. kanika

    hi,
    I have been working in the IT sectors for teh past 5 years now.I have worked on multiple roles at cient locations as a System Analyst, Business Analyst and now as a Data Analyst. Could you please guide which field should be more preferable in terms of growth when compared to Business Analyst and data Analyst. I am kind of confused right now and any certifications that would help in future job prospects.

  4. Anit (Australia)

    What specialization is helpful in MBA if I want to do Business Analsysis / PM Job in Banking ?

    I am coming from an IT background and done my bachelor and masters in IT 3 years back

    • No MBA specialization is related to becoming a business analyst.

      A Masters in Business Administration is not a Masters in Business Analysis.

      Business Analysis is not Business Administration. I just sent you the Business Analyst Boot Camp curriculum.

      Review that as an example of what you need to learn to become a business analyst.

      Then simply market your resume to your potential employers. don’t try to correlate an MBA to a Business Analyst job because they do not refer in any way to each other.

  5. Rhaja Bhatt

    Hi,

    I have an IT background with a computer science degree. And I have four years of experience as a software developer.

    Recently I completed an MBA (International Business) from UK. I also passed the ITIL v3 and and soon will be passing IIBA foundation certification.

    And It has been more than 6 months and still I could not enter in BA field.

    Even though I am having experience in UML, Use Cases, Requirement gathering and having knowledge of SDLC and RDBMS. The problem is that I have performed many roles of BA during job but didn’t get the BA designation.

    I believe the companies are only looking for experienced BA as my experience says, what you think.

    Now I am not looking for the job in development & coding.

    Could you please advise me how should I go ahead, Is there any thing I am missing.

    Should I follow the Indirect path?

    Please offer your advice. Your suggestions are always welcome.

    Regards

    • If with an Information Technology (IT) background, a Computer Science degree, an MBA in International Business, an ITIL V3 Certificate and an IIBA Certificate, you cannot get a business analyst job, here is what you may still be doing wrong.

      • Do You Have The Personality Of A Business Analyst?

        A computer science degree, an MBA, an ITIL certificate and an IIBA certification will not change or fix your personality especially if you look and act more like a technical software developer than a business analyst at the job interview.

        Read This Post: Why Your Personality Should Match Your Career

      • Do You Have Excellent Interviewing Skills?

        There is an art to Acing All Job Interviews. As your Career Coach, I will advice you to start by rehearsing and preparing exhaustively and intensively for the job interview, at a minimum 2 months, before you start taking the interview.

        It is even better, if you get someone else to actually judge or interview you and give you some feedback as to how you perform at interviews. It will of course be better for you to get assistance on your interview performance from a skilled interviewer, technical recruiter, etc.

        One really good tip that I will advice you to start practicing now, if you are not already practicing it is this: “Ask Each Employer To Tell You Why They Decided Not To Hire You After The Job Interview”. Then collate all that information and use it to figure out what you are doing wrong at job Interviews.

        How To Answer Business Analyst Job Interviews

      • Does Your Resume Really Reflect Your Business Analysis Experience?

        If you have UML, Use Cases, Requirement Gathering, SDLC and RDBMS experience and yet, you are still having challenges with getting a business analyst job, answer this question:

        Does your resume paint a picture or where you are going instead of where you are coming from?

        In other words, is your resume written professionally and in such a manner that it portrays you not as a “software developer” or a “wannabe business analyst” but as a ‘Bona Fide Business Analyst”?

      • Have You Completed Entire Projects As A Business Analyst?:

        Do you have projects that span some considerable time (3 months, 6 months, 1 year), that you worked on and completed from inception to the launch as a business analyst?

        If yes, are these projects clearly and convincingly documented on your resume … in such a way that an employer can compare the business analysis projects under your belt to those in their organization?

      • Are You Targeting The Right Industries For Employment:

        There are industries, sectors, skillsets and backgrounds / experience that are considered HOT!

        This Type Of Experience Can Jump Start Your Career!

  6. Sahoo

    I am a software engineer trying to change my profile to that of business analyst after completing my MBA.

    I have been trying for a long time but I am not getting anywhere.

    I applied for a new job but I am not getting any response.

    I have good knowledge & understanding & capability but I am not getting the platform for to start.

    Need some guidance on how to change my profile.

  7. Nehal Dave

    I am a MBA finance working as a banker having 8 years of experience.

    I want to shift to BA profile. I want to know the required skills for the profile. And whether I am suitable for this profile or not.

    Regards

    • Does your profile match that required for business analysts?

      Do you have a roadmap or curriculum or at its most basic form, a typical job description that represents the skills, education, experience required for the business analyst career?

      Even a typical job description for the business analyst career will do. You can get a typical job description by analyzing jobs posted on a portal like Dice.com for business analysts.

      … You may download a business analyst personal development curriculum from here, so that you can see for yourself, if the business analyst career is right for you

      The skills & requirements for a business analyst profile typically include:

      1. written communication skills, technical writing skills, presentation skills, note taking skills, documentation skills

      2. verbal communication skills: meeting facilitation skills, presentation skills,

      3. requirements gathering and analysis skills,

      4. inter personal skills: conflict resolution skills, negotiation skills

      And more …

      But really, you have to take a detailed look at the business analyst training curriculum and at the scores of articles on this website about the roles and duties of a business analyst.

      Based on all that information, use a skills gap analysis to figure out if you are suitable or ready to become a business analyst or not.

      A skills gaps analysis will help you compare your current skills to those generally required in business analysts and then highlight the gaps you need to close if any!

  8. kartik sharma

    Hi

    I am MBA Graduate in finance working as a functional tester of banking software in Oracle Financial Services Ltd. and i want to pursue my career in the field of business analyst . As i have read a lot that in order to become business analyst one needs to have a IT knowledge/Experience .

    As i belongs to Commerce Background , what extra course in IT should i do in order to get eligible for business analyst job.

    Will IT courses make me eligible for business analyst job. If not then please provide me with some suggestions to get eligible for BA.

    I will be kind for your suggestions.

    • IT Courses can increase your eligibility for IT Business Analyst Jobs. Just keep in mind that there are two types of Business Analysts … “The IT Business Analyst” (Information Technology Business Analyst) and the Domain Business Analyst (Telco, Pharma, Healthcare, Marketing & Sales, etc.)

      If your intention is to work as an IT Business Analyst, then getting more background knowledge / training / experience in Information Technology or Software Development will help you.

      Also, realize that even within the Information Technology (IT) Business Analyst World, you have several other classifications like “User Interface Business Analyst”, “E-Commerce Business Analyst”, “Web Business Analyst” ..

      Thanks

  9. Rifat attar

    hi sir,as discussed earlier about my career. am a bba graduate.presently working with hdfc life as financial consultant. i have applied for a position of tax analyst at ernst and young bangalore. could you please guide me how to amswer a few questions in interview which will impress the recruiter
    1.tell me about yourself
    2.why do u want to work for financial company(tax analyst)
    3.what are your career goals?

    could you please guide me about basics of us and uk taxism.how it works and how&what type of service do ernst and young provide them.

    • Tell Me About Yourself: Talk about your education, training, background and experience. Focus on those bits of information that would be considered relevant to the Interview … in other words, don’t go into a long spill about everything that has ever happened to you in your career … only talk things that may be relevant or interesting to the interview at hand

      Why do you want to work for financial company as a tax analyst Go ahead and talk about the services, solutions or work that you hope to do as a Tax Analyst. You must be genuinely interested in working as a Tax Analyst for reasons other than making money … otherwise, you don’t have a very good reason for wanting a Tax Analyst Job. And remember to talk in terms of the work, benefit or solutions that you will offer your prospective employer as a Tax Analyst.

      What Are Your Career Goals Don;t talk about how you want to be promoted or how you want to get a better job or a better pay. Talk about what the different areas of Tax Analysis that you would like to learn or master over the years. For example, in the first year, you would learn … and in the second year you would learn … and then give examples of how you will become a better Tax Analyst or provide better solutions to your prospective employer by developing yourself in these areas

  10. Rifat

    Thanks again for that wonderful precious support.

    As discussed i would like to go for crm business analyst or sales and marketing analyst jobs. as advised by you i need to have some handful experience in analysis field rather than having an additional degree on paper..

    What are the requirements, skills that a company look for in a candidate to hire him as a crm business analyst…

    If i can get to know this, then i can get some experience in the relevant field and prepare myself for the big one…

    And also let me know … what kind of job role will give me relevant experience for a crm analyst position..

    • Data analyst jobs, sales & marketing positions, project management positions and business analyst positions can help prepare you for a full-time CRM Business Analyst Job.

      You need to know how to analyze data and you need to understand the sales & marketing process and then, you need to fully understand how the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) process works.

      CRM work involves using specialized CRM software and it also requires understanding specialized CRM metrics. There are a number of CRM tools out there … some of them are free and some of them are expensive … with this in mind, find the best CRM tool that you can learn on your own or even implement for a friend or company and get your hands dirty with it.

      Thanks for appreciating our precious support :-)

  11. Patrick

    Hi Sir/Madam,

    Im interested in becoming a business analyst as a career.

    I did a 3 YEAR COURSE in IT, where i had a previlege of learning something concerning this course.

    Now as a graduate i want to do it as a post graduate course, can you help me.

    Regards

    • Patrick … it is time to get productive and getting a graduate course in business analysis is not the way!

      Let me ask you a question: are you looking for a business analyst job or are you really more interested in getting more college degrees because you think that you will feel more secure?

      Unless you are looking at educational credentials purely as an ornamental / decorative exercise … don’t expect to learn business analysis in a graduate program

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