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Career Possibilities for Business Analysts-expanding your horizons

You have achieved your short term BA goals. You want to expand your horizons and see what else is out there and how you can progress in your career and gain knowledge and keep your career up-to-date as well. What are some of the possibilities out there that won't force you to re-learn something new from scratch? Some possibilities for career and knowledge expansion in areas related (or of possible interest) to Business Analysis:


Project Management:  The PMP (Project Management Professional) certification from the Project Management Institute ( is valued by many employers.  Business Analysts, I believe, are well-suited for project management, which aims for successful completion of projects from inception to closing, while managing (juggling?) competing constraints of time, cost and scope.  The PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge), which is similar to BABOK, is a framework used in implementation of best project practices regardless of industry or project scope.  The concepts used in PMBOK would be familiar to anyone who knows BABOK - for example, processes in the knowledge areas have inputs, tools and techniques and outputs. The PMP certification is valid for 3 years and may be renewed by obtaining training or other credits known as PDUs.


Information Systems Security:  The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification from the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium Inc - "ISC2" for short ( - is also in demand for professionals catering to security related aspects of Information Technology - from IT systems architects to developers to Audit, Compliance and Risk managers.  The CISSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) covers 10 domains - Information Security Governance, Security Architecture and Design, Cryptography, Physical Security, Access Controls, Applications Development Security, Legal-Regulations-Compliance and Investigations, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning, Operations Security.  The aim is to instill a comprehensive overview of the various aspects of the IT environment and how they all relate to security and best practices. Like the PMP, the credentials need to be renewed every three years through training, volunteering in ISC2 programs or other related knowledge.


Some other certifications from ISC2 that may be of interest:


Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP) ( :  As the name implies, the certification is for those involved in the software lifecycle and is concerned with building security into the entire Software Development Life Cycle. It deals with secure software knowledge in the design, implementation/coding, testing, acceptance, deployment, operations, maintenance and disposal domains.


Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) ( According to ISC2, this title is good for Network Security Engineers, Security Systems Analysts and Security Administrators. So Business Analysts who want to learn more about the security area and become experts may consider this.


The CISSP certification can also be obtained, in addition to the general CISSP described above, in specializations ("concentrations") below:



Pasted from <>


Other certifications currently in demand include:


ITIL ( -  (Information Technology Infrastructure Library)  which is a set of concepts and practices for Information Technology Services Management. It deals with management , delivery and support of IT services to business - which would be ideal, for say, managing a hosting area, data center, software as a service, change management and get the idea.


Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) from ISACA (originally Information Systems Audit and Control Association, now known by its acronym only)


For Business Analysts who think they have a knack for probing IT systems and ensuring that process conform to policies and want to pursue an IT audit/Compliance career, the CISA might be a good bet.


Other certifications from ISACA in a similar vein include:

  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) - for those who design, build or manage IT security programs.
  • Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT) - for those involved in IT governance.
  • Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) - for those involved with risk assessment/evaluation/monitoring/response etc.


Information on the above certifications can be found here:


There are many other paths to expand one's career horizons, depending on interest, time and inclination - Solutions Architects, Enterprise Architects, Database analysts and Network specialists are only a few - business analysts, due to the detailed nature of their work, are well positioned to transition or acquire new skill sets.


The emerging field of Wireless application specialists - mobile apps, application security (wireless protocols, app security design etc) is also lucrative. As mobile technology and gadgets (smart phones, tablets etc) get more mature, more business functions will add on mobile functionality.


If there are other interesting accreditations, certifications or knowledge programs that I have missed, I would love to hear about it…Thanks



This entry was published on Nov 17, 2010 / HSantanam. Posted in Project Management, Soft Skills, Leadership & Management, Career as a Business Systems Analyst. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
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TanyaB posted on Monday, November 22, 2010 11:00 AM
Another area of interest and growth for a senior-level BA may be to an Enterprise BA or a Business Architect.

The Enterprise BA is usually capable of leading projects that cross multiple business areas/units and can be most helpful when an organization is trying to launch a new product or service or sales channel.

A Business Architect is also capable of enterprise-wide and strategic analysis for an organization. There is a lot of information about Business Architecture here: including certification (CBA).

Both paths are great ways for a practicing BA to stay near the business analysis they love with the opportunity to expand into more strategic projects and initiatives.
HSantanam posted on Monday, November 22, 2010 4:23 PM
Yes - thank you for the information and URL, I will check it out.
kanak posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 1:28 AM
Hi All,

I am working as a BA in the BFSI domain for last 4 years. I need advise on any certification/courses or training programmes which can be done to hone my BA skills and more from career standpoint.

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