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How To Get An IT Business Analyst Job

On of my readers needs help with finding a business analyst job, so I am posting the information I provided to him in this article.

If you have any questions about this or about your business analyst career, post it as comment at the end of this post and I would also answer or address it for you.


Here is the business analyst career question posted by my reader:



Hi - my greatest challenge is the fact that I've never held an IT Business Analyst position.

I'm convinced I can do the job based on my experience, but I have not had any interviews outside of my current employer.

I had a few interviews in my current company but was being sabotaged by my former boss so I never got the job.


As the economy has dived over the last few months, I am not getting any offers for interviews. I've given up trying to get into the IT Bus Analyst field for now.


What do I need to do to get back into the 'hunt'? And, how do I convey to potential employers that I am the man for the job?



Here is how this business analyst can address the situation facing him:


Why Do IT Managers Hire Business Analysts?


IT Managers hire business analysts with skills, training and experience matching specific jobs.

IT Managers list a wide range of business analysts skills in job postings including UML, Use Cases, Requirements Elicitation.


IT Managers Are Looking For Hands-on Business Analysis Experience


The Key to getting a business analyst job is to find out what employers or hiring managers are looking for and then give it back to them.


This sounds quite easy and simple, but believe me, it is not that easy. There is a lot that goes into following this straightforward advice.


What are IT Managers hiring for? IT Managers are looking for hands-on skills, experience and expertise in specific knowledge areas.


You may already have some of the requisite skills and experience based on your previous or current job experience.


Some of the most frequently asked for skills are included in the business analyst course curriculum listed here ...


Tailor Your Resume To Business Analyst Jobs


You may already be able to do a business analyst job based on your current experience so, why not also work on improving your current resume so that it reflects the experience or skills you already have in business analysis?


Begin by highlighting and expanding on the business analysis tasks you have performed in the past.

Put more spotlight on the skills you utilized, the business analysis roles and responsibilities you held (formally or informally) and the results you achieved.


You want to joggle your memory and bring out every relevant detail. Imagine that you are making your case in front of a skeptical judge.

Your prosecutor is the list of job candidates that would make a better presentation than you. The arguments in your favor is your resume.

Your business analyst resume has to be very convincing for you to get the job.


Improve Your Business Analyst Resume


The strongest argument that you can make will be along the lines of experience, resume and skills.

So, you want to marshal all your arguments forcefully on your resume because if you don't, you may never get a second chance.


If your resume is not convincing, you may not get a second chance or a follow-up phone interview or a face to face interview or the job or an offer or the ability to pay your mortgage ... you get the picture?


Add More hands-on business analysis experience to your resume!


The fastest way to get hired for an IT business analyst job is not your educational qualification or your business analysis certification but your hand-on business analysis experience!Are you surprised about that?

IT Managers know that certifications can sometimes be gamed!

There are horror stories about job candidates who have the perfect certifications and the perfect scores and then fail to perform on the job after they are hired!


These sorts of candidates have damaged the credibility of the certification market! But experience cannot be gamed


It either you have experience or you don't. Because IT Managers are looking for hands-on experience, your can cut to the chase by getting a lot of hands-on business analyst experience such as that offered through the business analyst boot camp online training here:


There are other ways to gain hands-on experience and I discuss this next:



  • Start again by volunteering for non-profit organizations. They are plenty of them around and in this recession they will be needing your help even more!


  • Do a good job and ask the non-profit organization to provide you a reference for for the work you've done for them.


  • Use your spare time in the evenings and weekends to rack up your experience and references.


  • Then go on a job hunt. Start by sending your resume to multiple recruiters (not just one or two recruiters), telling them that you are in the market for a business analyst job. Then just sit back and wait for them to line up business analyst job interviews for you.


  • That is all you need to do. Take massive action towards landing your dream business analyst job and while you are on it, forget about the economy or the recession or your manager who denied you the opportunity to move ahead.



FYI: Stephen Covey in "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" mentions that proactive people do not worry or focus on factors or things over which they have little or no control ... instead they focus on their "Sphere Of Influence" ... those factors or circumstances over which they exercise control.


So, while you may not be able to change the past or the economy or the recession, you can dramatically improve:


  • Your Business Analyst Resume


  • Your Business Analyst Hands On Experience


  • Your Business Analysis Job Interview Skills


If you have any question or challenge about your business analyst career, go ahead and post it as a comment at the end of this article and I will address it for you.

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I did not intend to be IT BA, sorry, maybe give u wrong information.
What I want to do is Business Analyst, I have no experience about BA, so can u tell me how to get it start?
Maggie:\n\nI can definitely tell you how to get your BA career started.\n\nCan you tell me why you want to be a BA and not an IT BA?\n\nWhat differences do you see between a BA Career and an IT BA Career?\n\nThank you
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Can you specify different non-profit organizations or places to inquire about volunteering to get hands-on experience?
I am trying to break into this field but even by reading and not doing, I can easily get stumped in interviews and the hiring manager quickly decides I am probably incapable of the job.
I need hands on but don't know where or how to get it.
Thanks.
GJ:
1.)Self Study: reading business analysis topics alone will not provide you with the hands-on eexperience that hiring managers are looking for.
2.) Business Analyst Training: Just getting business analyst training will alone will not help either because even though you will get an in-depth knowledge from a business analyst training program, you won't get hands-on experience or practical business analysis skills from most training events
3.) Certification: Getting business analyst certification is not the same thing as getting handson business analyst experience either. This article explains why: http://www.it-career-coach.net/2009/03/09/which-comes-first-certification-or-training/
You need a training program like our job search training program or our business analyst boot camp training that is specificaly designed to help you get hands-on business analysis experience or real-world skills.
The information that you are looking for is actually covered during our job search coaching and the practical skills is covered during our business analyst boot camp.
Please let me know if you have any questions about either or these programs
Hi,
Thanks for the great post. I am having an interview tomorrow for an IT BA position. Hope I get it!

I have the same question as GJ: Can you specify different non-profit organizations or places to inquire about volunteering to get hands-on experience?
Thanks!
Hi,
I am currently in my third year of school and I am interesting in becoming a business analyst.
I recently took a computer class and it caused my interest in databases. My major is in finance.

I am looking for ideas on how to improve my resume and get hands on experience while I am still working towards my degree.

Do you have any ideas? What type of non-profit organizations or places would be good to inquire about volunterring to get hands on experience?
Theresa:
Your background in Finance and your interest in databases matches that of a \"would be business analyst.
It is also a great idea to gian hands-on experience before you finish from college. I did the same thing more than 15 years ago, and it helped me greatly.
I have written articles on this site on how to get hands-on business analysis experience. You are welcoem to take advantage of those articles.
Right now, I don't have a list of non-profit organizations. You should be able to compile that and perhaps share that with the members of this site.
On the other hand, I may put together a more professional, internship program for business analysts. If I do, be sure to sign up for the news and to take advantage of that.
Let me know if I can be of service in any other way.
Best Wishes

What are some suggestions for the unemployed and those that cannot afford paid training?

GJ:
That is a really good question. Your question \"What are some suggestions for the unemployed and those that cannot afford paid training?\" has been on my mind for a while, but I must confess, I haven't done something to address it.
So, I am going to give analyze the options carefully and then get back to you perhaps today or next week.
But thank you for asking :-)
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When attempting to volunteer at a nonprofit for hands on experience, what type of position/area should I ask to be placed in?
Nikki:
When volunteering at a nonprofit for hands on experience, ask to be placed in the Systems or Information Technology (IT) department or area.
Thank you
Hello!
Is this the right kind of market to be looking for BA jobs?
I am a Comp Sci + Econ major, working as IT developer since 4-5 yrs.
I am planning to make a switch to BA. Most of my duties revolve around getting with the user to support in house apps.
My question is, is this the right time to be looking for this kind of opportunity?
Appreciate your time and comments in advance!
Hi:\n\nIt is a competitive job market ... but what are the options?\n\nWhat are your options if you don't go for a business analyst job?
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the right time to switch to a BA job is now because there will always a challenge in front of you.
Asking the question makes it sound like you don't have a genuine reason, strong motivation or good enough reason to become a business analyst.
There is no good time or bad time to become a busines analyst or switch your career to business analysis.
If you say that the economy is recovering or improving and because of that, you should become a business analyst, you would be facing competition from others switching careers to business analysis.
if you say that this is not a good time to switch careers and become a business analyst, it means that others wanting to switch careers are going to be thinking the same thing ... this is not a good time to switch careers and become a business analyst. Because of the lower competition, your resume will receive more attention as well.
There is no right time or wrong time to do what you love.
Besides, if you start now, you will figure out what you have to do to switch your career earlier.
So, decide if you want to switch careers to business analysis and then become a business analyst ... if this is the right time for you based on your readiness and not based on how good or bad you think the job market is!
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Hello sir,
I'm interested in pursuing a career as a BA. I have an undergraduate degree in finance, and I'm thinking of doing a 1 year Business Analyst postgraduate program at a community college. I have 1 year project management experience, and 1 year technical support experience. (recent graduate)
My question to you:
1. is it worth doing the 1 year postgraduate program at the Community College?
2. what is the job market for this profession?
3. can I get work sponsorship in the States?
Hi
I have 17 years of experience in project and operations management, but in a non IT field.
In my current job as an operations manager my main responsibility is to gather requirements from different departments and suggest process improvements.
i have a good knowledge of excel, VBA and have developed many user interfaces for transaction processing and manifest planning. can i make a move into a BA role and how?
I have 7 years technical experience in Oracle development. I have lead numerous projects in the past. I got a job offer for Business Analyst for Oracle. I was wondering if this holds a good future in my career. Could you enlighten me?
Hi!
I am an engineer graduate in electronics & telecommunication.
Can you tell me how can I perceive my carreer in business analyst.
My percentage is very less so i need to know how to overcome to get a job.will be awaiting for your reply
thx & regards
jyotsana
College degrees or majors have little to do with becoming a business analyst.
Employers do not expect you to learn business analysis in college. Even if you did, they won't pay attention to that because they are looking for your hands-on business analysis experience or training.
Notice that I said hands-on business analysis training or experience because ... you can get hands-on business analysis experience even from a training program like the \"Business Analyst Boot Camp\".
So in the real world, your academic training has less of an impact on your career than what you actually do with it!
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IM A MS(CHEMISTRY) DEGREE HOLDER WITH INTERMEDIATE COMMUNICATION AND MS OFFICE SKILLS.
CAN I BECOME A BUSINESS ANALYST?
#businessanalyst : your BA career prospects is not tied to your education or lack of it. You simply have to learn what business analysts do, get some handson experience and then rewrite your resume with that information.\n\nSo, yes you can become a business analyst with an MS in Chemistry and MS Office Skills!
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Hai,
I Have an experience of 13 years of experience in Sales of Banking, Insurance and Investment products. Will I be fit for Business Analyst.
#businessanalysts #jobs you are fit for a business analyst career when you take the time to learn business analysis and you take the time to get hands-on business analysis experience.
As a Sales, Banking, Insurance and Investment professional you can focus on becoming a Domain Business Analyst by getting some BA Experience, Training and then look for to leverage your current domain experience doing business analysis.
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I want to know the non-profit organizations in TX who would give me hands on training to learn BA.I have no IT background that why I want to become just BA and not an IT BA.I dont know anything about technology.
Where do I find such organizations and how do I approach them??
#texas #nonprofit non-profit business analyst training does not exist.
You need to stop looking for companies that would train you for free becase that the chances of you finding a needle in a haystack is better than that.
First get the training and then look for companies that would employ you or hire you because you are a trained and competent professional.
Twenty years ago, the norm was for companies (non-profit or for-profit) to train you after the hired you. You were promised a plethora of training and career advancement opportunities and the burden was in the employer to take care of you.
These days, the burden is on you to get trained and competent and then hire yourself out for wages.
It is a completely different mindset!
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Hi.
This is jyoti Bhadoria from Pune.
I am working with life insurance co. and total work exp of Insurance in 4 & half yrs. but now i want to work in IT sector as a business analyst.
I asked so many friends they are working in IT sectors But not as abusiness analyst.some of friends are saying that learn UML& MS-visio.
But in pune I am not finding these courses so please suggest me what should i do?
I am not having any exp of Business analyst.
Thanks
Learning UML & Vision does not make you into a business analyst! Sofftware Programmers and Testers as well as Technical Writers use Visio & UML and yet they are not business analysts.\n\nDon't be Tool-Minded. I know that a lot of people are because they can learn a specific Software or Tool like Java, SAP, Microsoft.NET and then get a job based on that.\n\nBut becoming a business analyst has nothing to do with learning a software or tool. It has a lot to do with learning business analysis concepts like UML (the proces and nto the tool), Use Cases, Requirements Elicitation, etc.\n\nI suggest that you take the time to famililiarize yourself with the skills requirements for business analysis jobs as discussed in the business analyst curriculum here.
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I have a degree in Economics, buti have not be able to work in my area of knowledge, i have a interest in Business Analyst, What do you think i can do.
Learn business analysis from scratch. A degree in Economics, an MBA or a business degree are good starting points but are not required for a business analysis job.\n\nA business degree (economics, MBA, etc.) does not qualify you for a business analyst job because the educational requirements are specialized. By that I mean that they are not transferable from other industries or occupations.\n\nThis may seem hard to you considering that you have already spent so many years in college which is a good thing by itself ... just not what you need to transition into a business analyst career.\n\nWith that in mind, it doesn't matter if your first degree was uin economics or social sciences or computer science,. And no you should not pl;an on going back to college again to learn business analysis :-)\n\nIf you are interested in learning more about the educational requirements for a business analysis job, I suggest that you download the curriculum provided here
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hi,
I do have 4 yrs experience in medical insurance( wrkd as a subject matter expert). Because of my masters programme i left my job and now i've completed my masters.(i do have a gap of 16 months). I would like to go as a BA in medical insurance. Please advice whether i can go as a BA or not.
is my master's going to help me. if yes, how.
if possible pls post a few sample medical insurance sample resumes
Thanks a lot
I have done B.Tech (E.C.) and MBA (Marketing and IT) .
I am pursuing career in to sales for the last 2 years but I'm mnot satisfied so I would like to switch to the BA Domain.
Please assist me with this.
There is a FREE e-book on How To Start A Business Analyst Career here: http://www.it-career-coach.net/2010/07/27/free-coaching-on-how-to-make-a-career-change/
It provides you with a number of tools or processes for making a career change.
What part of the career change are you having issues or challenges with?
Sir, in one of the earlier posts you have mentioned 2 basic career paths
One being \"domain business analyst\" and other \"IT Business analyst\".
I could see what is \"domain business analyst\", but I am still not able to get job description of \"IT business analyst\" in terms of work an IT business analyst has to do in the company. How different is it from \"domain business analyst\" post ?
I am planning to apply for IT service or IT consulting companies as BA. Which one of the above role comes under them ?
Hello,
I am struggling to place myself as a Business Analyst. It just seems like I am in a circle trying to find a corner ... Most of the requirements are unique and specific and ask for Business Intelligence skills or Data Analysis which has become a very big challenge /struggle for any beginner in the BA/IT field.
It would really help if you could link us to some Non Profit Organizations who would hire us based on our interest and knowledge in the BA field or else it would practically be impossible to achieve a goal in becoming a BA.
Also one of your blogs mentioned that employers are not looking for Junior BA's but BA's who are specialist --- so does that mean one needs to manipulate their resume or lie in their past experience to succeed ?????
Please help....
Some BAs start in the IT field by working on business systems as 'testers'. A senior BA writes the test cases (use cases) and shows you how to execute them and verify the expected results.

Testing provides you with the opportunity to fully understand how a particular business system works.
For example, if you are testing changes to interest rates in a Credit Card system, from the expected test case results you will get 'some' business experience in how the interest is calculated and applied in the credit card field.
You might also be asked to test how outstanding balances are aged. But you are not yet an expert in the credit card business. However, if you were to apply for a BA position on a mortgage business system then you would match your problem solving skills and business experience to what the job description vacancy is asking for.
Since mortgages deal with interest rates and delinquencies, chances are you could be a match based on your ‘business’ exposure to testing but you would still have to learn the mortgage business from scratch.
Another avenue is to become a Customer Service Rep. I have trained CSRs to become BAs. The CSR knows a great deal about business systems as they are trained to answer front line questions.
I have trained co-op students from the IT discipline during their work terms to become BAs. Job searching is about the needs of the employer (not you).
Whether it is government, professional organizations or corporations, employers want to know that your skills, knowledge and abilities will add value where they need it – to solve glitches in software, broken hardware, broken machinery, damages to premises, dissatisfied customers, or the not so visible – decline in market share.
As a BA, you solve problems, yes, you do. Companies are looking to solve their problems quickly, that's why they are looking for people with the right blend of business experience and the problem solving skills to help them.
Keep two things in mind: becoming a BA is like becoming a CA or even a lawyer or MD - after college you have to 'article' because you need hands-on experience, but companies no longer train because of the ROI.
Secondly, the title BA in one company will carry different responsibilities from the same title in another company, so read the job descriptions carefully.
I suggest that you consider 2 or 3 industries that interest you and research the businesses in them for which you feel passionate. For example, if you are passionate about finance, the banking and insurance have similar business models. Their BAs will have similar but not exact roles.
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I do not understand how to start a career as a Business Analyst. Even Entry Level BA positions ask for 5-6 years of BA experience ... Either they are fooling themselves or they think others are fools in the market..
Can someone please suggest how to find a first job in BA if one has just undergone training without work experience?????
Hi all,
I am working as Implementation consultant in marine company based in Bangkok . I am interested to work as BA . Currently i am working as an interface b/w users and s/w developers. Writing documents, FS, Test cases,preparing User manuals, Understanding and analyzing user's requirements . Report analysis based on the requirement provided by users etc..
I want to know whether i will get a job in India . I have 1.5 yrs experience ( on-site) and i am looking for a change.
Kindly let me know whether i need to learn anything new or what skills should i learn to improve in this field. I dont have much experience in technical side since i didn't get that opportunity in this current company.
Please clarify the points which will be useful for me to improve
Hello IT Career Coach,
I am interested in making a career change from working currently in 1st & 2nd Level Support Client Service with additional duties as team leader and occassional duties as Project Management and QA Tester in a Gift and Loyalty Card technology service provider for over 3 years to becoming an IT Business Analyst or IT Service Delivery Analyst.
My Education background is a degree in Business Management and I am currently working on ITIL v3 Foundation Certification in IT Service Management.
As I do not have a \"proper\" education in IT, I am also planning to take on a course that will help me gain a certificate in CompTIA Strata IT Fundamentals.
Can you advise if the job title IT Business Analyst and IT Service Delivery Analyst are of the same role?
Aside from my currenty work experience, will getting the certifications be essential in making the career change?
What is the best way in obtaining an entry level IT Business Analyst or IT Service Delivery Analyst Role?
Hi , I am currently working as 'Data Analyst' in Oracle India Pvt lmtd. from past 1 and half year. I want to get into the Business Analyst career. How can i get into that? Does my experience works for business analyst career? What are the certifications or courses i should take for that? Kindly educate me on this.
Hi.., can you please tell me some of the entry level jobs (their designations) that doesn't ask for previous experience but helps to gain experience in Business systems analysis field?
Thanks