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New Post 1/28/2008 4:37 PM
User is offline Adrian M.
741 posts
3rd Level Poster




Re: What is best way to become a Business Analyst? 

Hi Jason,

Hmmm... great question.  If you are planning on working for a management consulting firm once you finish your MBA then go with you gut and pursue an MBA with a concentration in finance as it would give you the flexibility of going either way: finance or business analysis or both. 

My thought process is that most of the big consulting firms look for the more business centric MBA from a reputable school and then they put their new hires through a training process which includes technical topics such as programming, etc.  So, if in addition to the MBA you also take one or two BA specific courses and maybe even an introduction to programming course then you should be in great shape.

- Adrian


Adrian Marchis
Business Analyst Community Blog - Post your thoughts!
 
New Post 2/7/2008 11:19 AM
User is offline Tiffany
3 posts
No Ranking


Re: What is best way to become a Business Analyst? 

Jason, Adrian has given some great advice.  I definitely encourage you to pursue your passion; however, there are times when our passion is not what we will enjoy doing for 8 or more hours a day so definitely follow through with the advice Adrian has given.  As for obtaining an MBA that is a great goal; however it might or might not open the doors for you to become a BA or FA immediately.  I definitely think you have the right idea about obtaining a co-op position while in school.  I know I was able to become an BSA (business systems analyst) when I took a job as a process engineer.  I had worked as a process engineer for about a year and a half before the doors opened up for me to move into the position as a BSA.  I'm thankful it did; I really like my line of work.  

I would continue to communicate on forums such as this to get to know more BAs in the industry and asks questions.  I know I am more than willing to share about my experiences.  By the way, I have worked for some top tier Fortune 100 companies and I can say that I have experienced different styles and approaches when it comes to business analysis.  I now work for a non-profit and it too has a different take on business analysis.  So to let you know, there is not yet a firm industry standard amongst business analyst; some practices but not all.

Tiffany

 
New Post 1/30/2008 12:40 PM
User is offline Chris Adams
319 posts
5th Level Poster






Re: What is best way to become a Business Analyst? 
Modified By Chris Adams  on 3/3/2008 6:02:04 PM)

 Jason wrote

Adrian,

Thanks for more thoughts on the best way for me to go about it.  Would you recommend getting an MBA in Decision and Information Science or get an MBA with any focus as long as I take the BA courses at a training institute?   I am wondering because I also have interest in Finance and thought maybe MBA in Finance plus the BA courses would allow me to kill two birds with one stone.  Perhaps I could get myself into Financial System Analysis in the future.

I really appreciate your help.  This is a great place for people like me to want to know more about BA.  I definitely would refer friends who are interested in becoming a BA to this place. 

Jason

Hi Jason,
 
Just to give you someone else’s perspective, I would agree with everything Adrian has said.
 
First, you seem to clearly know that becoming a Business Analyst would interest you, even if you haven’t decided for sure on the focus of that work. If you were unsure about the Business Analyst profession then I would definitely recommend a BA course or two first. But since you are fairly certain the MBA route is the way to go. Without the MBA, few companies will see your potential for this type of career shift. So get your MBA from a decent school.
 
Next, you are wondering about a focus on Information Systems or Finance. If you want to focus on systems analysis, i.e., doing analysis for systems that make business processes more productive and efficient then focus on Information Systems. If you want to do more business analysis on the strategic development, operations, and workflow of the business, then focus on Finance.
 
My two cents, if Finance is where your heart is then you should follow that route.

Chris Adams
Core Member – ModernAnalyst.com
LinkedIn Profile
 
New Post 2/17/2008 10:17 AM
User is offline Jason
3 posts
No Ranking


Re: What is best way to become a Business Analyst? 

HI Adrian, Chris and Tiffany,

Thank you so much for your great advice on the best route for me to make a career change.  I attended the chapter meeting of IIBa in my area last week and got to talk to some really helpful BAs and have a much clearer idea what business analysis is all about.  So far so good, I totally like what I see!  I would like to see what your opinions are on some of the advice those BAs gave me regarding talking BA courses.  Several of them told me that the better route for me would be to take BA courses first and apply for a job so I could get into the role a lot sooner and gain experience.  In addition, the new organisation could pay for my MBA.  Of course some thought that MBA first, then BA courses is a better route.  My concern is without any experience in business analysis, even if I have BA courses under my belt, it would still be hard to find an employer that would hire me.  Even if I got hired, I'd  probably be working for a small company where it may not have the environment for me to learn as much as I can.

What do you all think?

I am thank you for meeting so many people who have been so sincere and helpful.  This has been really encouraging.

Jason

 
New Post 2/17/2008 12:44 PM
User is offline Adrian M.
741 posts
3rd Level Poster




Re: What is best way to become a Business Analyst? 

Hi Jason,

For most career changers, taking BA courses and then trying to look for an entry level business analyst position is the most viable option.  This is because most cannot afford the cost of an MBA program nor are able to take 2 years off for complete their MBA.

I get the feeling that an MBA degree is what you want to do... If your personal circumstances allow you to pursue an MBA then go do that.  On my side, I always wanted to go get an MBA but then started a family, had kids, and now it would be much harder for me to go back to school.

Ultimately, you are the decision maker and nobody can make that decision for you; but I'm sure you know that!

I stand by my original advice: MBA 1st Year -> Internship -> MBA 2nd Year + BA Courses -> Great Consulting Gig!

;-)  Adrian


Adrian Marchis
Business Analyst Community Blog - Post your thoughts!
 
New Post 2/21/2008 12:19 AM
User is offline 687002
1 posts
No Ranking


Re: What is best way to become a Business Analyst? 

Hello all,

I was very much impressed by this post and sincere advise/suggestions. I really go with adrian's advise as it turns out to be a win-win situation. One thing I would like to get clarified is to know how much wise it is for a person like me having done my Master's in Computer Applications and 3 years of ERP functional and multiple domain experience trying to climb BA ladder.

Thanks and regards,

Prasad

 

 

 
New Post 3/3/2008 12:58 AM
User is offline Claude Buitendach
1 posts
No Ranking


Re: What is best way to become a Business Analyst? 

Hi.

The first thing is everyone that commented here is right, no one is wrong… but take all the comment s and form your own opinion. (Lesson number 1) then I will give you something else to think of as well.

I don’t think an MBA is necessary to be a great business analyst. Being a business analyst is a passion and a mindset, nothing to do education. Of coarse there are the opportunities that may arise by having an MBA, and the business knowledge (Educational) that might be beneficial, but a great business analyst needs a logical and questioning mindset and need to be able to analyze communication in gathering requirements. Any of the experienced analysts in this forum will probably see the value of experience in evolving into a great BA. It is sort of like looking at a bunch of roses, the average person will see the pretty gift gesture as a whole, and a great analyst will look at it as a flawed gift in terms of the thorns on the stems, a flawed gift because of the unsustainable and short lifespan, and the questions will pop up, HOW HOW HOW can I make this better, more sustainable and how can value be added. If those questions cannot be answered then it is not a viable gesture. This example of mindset is flawed due to the emotional and societal influences, thus popping in and out of character is key. Firstly bypassing all external or personal emotional influences and becoming a clean slate for requirement gathering, then using your experience as well as your personality for the analysis of those requirements.

Master this concept and education will be a slim part of striving to become not the average (I have an MBA) type of analyst, but a great addition to any team and to add value towards any organization.

 
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