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New Post 2/8/2009 10:08 AM
User is offline Recourse
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Student looking for any info and guidance. <<< 


I am currently a second year student in South Africa (Age 20) studying Bsc BIT (Business Information Technology) through the London School of Business and Management, I kind of stepped into the course not knowing what I was going to do one day choosing the degree since IT has been a passion since I was a kid and the business management aspect of the course kept my dad happy who is a banker by the way (go figure), this covers my background...

Earlier today I went on some job search sites under the IT / Telecomms topics and did some browsing. I figured I'd do programming after completing my degree since I do have .net skills (C#,, and because I excel at it, but after having some talks with people who have been in the development sector for some time I grew a little anxious about the working environment, I'm a very social and outgoing person and enjoy public speaking and figured I’d be wasting some of that potential. I then came across numerous applications for BAs and SAs, having only read about their roles in text books, I wiki'd that shit to look at some of the requirements and it sounds like an absolute dream job!

I'm thinking of either doing my MBA or MSC in information systems management (which sounds perfect) after completing my HONS degree.
The job applications are quite vague on the actual skills required and seem to vary tremendously, however skills such as programming (.net, java and C++), SQL, UML skills and a broad IT knowledge seem to be common among most.

My essay is drawing a close,

I would like to know where I go from here if I wish to pursue this line of work. Are there skills I need to learn on my own time? And how do I get into this career path as even the Junior Applications require 1 - 3 years worth of Analysis experience???

Thanks and sorry for the lengthy read!

Wessel (Pronounced "Vessel" - The English seem to have trouble pronouncing it ;D )

New Post 2/9/2009 2:55 PM
User is offline Alex P
13 posts
10th Level Poster

Re: Student looking for any info and guidance. <<< 


You need to decide where you want to end up - is it business analyst or systems analyst? If you want to be purely business-focussed then you should be a business analyst and technical skills regarding C++, SQL etc are not relevant. (UML is to some degree but is modelling notation rather than hardcode technical)

However, they may be useful for systems analyst to some degree - this is a more technically-focussed job.

I come from a development background and I think that experience is useful to understand the developer's mindset but it is not mandatory.

If you're interested in the BA role and would like to have more detail over what it involves, have a look at some introductory articles on my blog:

What is business analysis?


The big picture


If you find these useful, email me and I'll point out further articles that will help. 

Feel free to explore the site for more helpful articles

In terms of experience, I would just keep looking although the current environment will make it difficult. Also, you could offer your time for free to a charity that has IT development to get some experience under your belt.

New Post 2/10/2009 12:47 AM
User is offline KJ
243 posts
6th Level Poster

Re: Student looking for any info and guidance. <<< 


I'd say complete your course. Since youre only 20 you'll definitely have more than one career, in fact, plan to have 5-7 careers. Thats the nature of the beast with Gen-Y. (Non-english So luister mooi!).

Doing VB, C#, JAVA is a bit of a gamble as these languages will disappear and new ones will emerge - just ask oldies who did COBOL, RPG, PL/I, APL, C etc. However, business will always be business. A bit of industry or domain knowledge would definitely help so pick one: Banking, Manufacturing, Logistics, Telephones, Social networks  etc.

Coding is not that Bad. Bill of Microsoft fame was a programmer; and so was Marc Shuttleworth!

All the best mate!

warm regards,





New Post 2/10/2009 11:08 PM
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Re: Student looking for any info and guidance. <<< 
Modified By Recourse  on 2/11/2009 1:11:10 AM)

1st off, thanks for the replies,

@ Alex

I would prefer to become a business analyst as the unique challenges it offers excite me, however Systems Analysis sounds awesome too.
I took your advice and I’m currently volunteering at a local charity and a small audit firm, I get to come up with ways to improve their efficiency and I have the opportunity to develop some programs and since I’m not getting paid I get enough time to really learn something.

Your blog is quite an interesting read by the way!

@ kmajoos

Haha you have to be, or had to be South African at some point? Or maybe Namibian?

I have no problem starting out as a developer, we only seem to learn the basics at varsity but a few books and I should be fine working in C# and and I hear once you’ve mastered a language or two it’s easy to migrate to new ones as they come along. Although I was under the impression that .net is quite a young technology and still has quite some shelf life left.

But I get what you’re saying with regards to choosing an industry, it’ll probably depend on where I start out right? In South Africa you really can’t be picky when it comes to work ;D


Thanks again



New Post 3/9/2009 8:44 AM
User is offline www.BusinessAnalystBootCamp.COM
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Re: Student looking for any info and guidance. <<< 

Every IT Career requires some years of experience ... yet every has to start somewhere.

The trick is to focus all your attention on getting hands-on experience using internships, etc. even if you have to work for free.

I got hand-on experience for a next to nothing slalary when I started ... from college and that was a one-time investment.

It is also better to actually get hands-on expereince so that you can decided early if you like the career track or not and make appropriate adjustments.

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