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[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".
... 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?
Here is the answer to the question: is an MBA required for business analyst jobs?
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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) :-)