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New Post 3/2/2010 2:12 PM
User is offline Messinger
1 posts
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How transferrable are skills acquired in U.S. to other countries? 

What advice can be given, and are there any specific online resources, to give a business analyst in the U.S. information about how the profession may be different in other countries?

I am tempted to consider becoming a U.S. expatriate, for a time, and would like to know to what degree skills acquired in the U.S. might be transferrable overseas. Fundamentally, the trick would be to ascertain whether I can fairly readily bring my current earning potential with me, as I am the sole breadwinner in my family.

Thanks for any suggestions folks may have as to topic areas or specific resources I should explore.

New Post 3/9/2010 1:14 AM
User is offline Adrian M.
764 posts
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Re: How transferrable are skills acquired in U.S. to other countries? 

The core skills of the business analyst are applicable regardless of country: analytical thinking, problem solving, facilitation, planning, etc.  The BA standards are international.

There are business analysts all over the world who use the same skills and disciplines outlined in the IIBA's BABOK.

But don't take my word for it!  Take a look at business analysis job openings in the countries you are interested in visiting for a while and see what type of skills they are looking for.  My guess is they are the same as in the US.  Of course - trying your luck in an English speaking country like the UK, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa, might make things easier for you.

Don't forget to also check the unemployment rates - since the entire world is still in a deep recession.

- Adrian

Adrian Marchis
Business Analyst Community Blog - Post your thoughts!
New Post 3/14/2010 2:34 AM
User is offline Craig Brown
560 posts
4th Level Poster

Re: How transferrable are skills acquired in U.S. to other countries? 

 I'd say Australia and the UK are the same in practice, with some minor variations related to the predominance of PRINCE2 over PMI as a project management approach.

New Post 3/26/2010 4:14 AM
User is offline Kimbo
454 posts
5th Level Poster

Re: How transferrable are skills acquired in U.S. to other countries? 
Modified By Kimbo  on 3/26/2010 6:23:01 AM)

G'day Messenger,

Firstly I'll make the assumption that you're an experienced BA with good BA skills (a la BABOK as Adrian mentioned). Perhaps you are a generalist with multi industry experience or you have experience in a particular vertical market. You'll need a relevant degree unless you have enormous amounts of particular experience in what someone needs.

I've moved country from Australia to UK to US and back to Australia so I hope I can speak with some authority. Firstly you'll probably have to take a bit of a backward step in order to get a job in Australia. It is very important here to have local experience to get hired. Don't ask me why, its just true. If you have good insurance or banking experience you'll get more money and it will be easier to find work.

The next thing to consider is the relative strength of the currencies. The AUD has risen about 50% against the greenback in the last few years so you may end up with a pay rise even after excepting a lower job. Which is good. The market for BA's in Australia since February is booming. So now is a good time to come.

Next thing is the cost of living because more money is no use if it costs more to live anyway. I think the US is probably a bit cheaper than Australia at the moment - depends on where you live of course. A house in Sydney in striking distance of town with three bedrooms probably starts at $600 per week but I'm not really sure about that cause I don't rent.  In my experience what costs $AUD1 costs GBP1 or $US1. Melbourne and Sydney have the best work opportunities but are more expensive to live in.

You'll need to be sponsored by a local firm unless you're married to an Aussie or have some other connection. Don't know how easy or hard that is cause as an Aussie its obviously something I've never looked at.

Dave mentioned Prince2 and PMP which are both widely used in Australia. Prince2 and variations of it are more commonly used in larger more bureaucratic firms like insurance companies (including the one I work in). Neither are important skills for a BA to know - as long as you get the difference between waterfall, iterative, agile.

Skills in high demand are UML / use cases (sustained demand for this), agile is becoming huge (in terms of demand rather than successful use thereof), financial services (insurance, banking), etc.

Next steps:

1. check out the web site which is the major job board in Australia. This will give you an idea of what you're worth here.  Lots of jobs will specify permanent residents only so if its possible see if you can get a transfer with your company in the US? 

2. work out your visa status and plan for what you need to do.

3. get on the web and try to work out where you want to live - might depend a lot on the jobs

4. Moving country is hard. Don't underestimate how hard it will be.

I always think that moving country is about life style so I strongly recommend you aim for that and then work out what job you can get.

Post more specific questions if you wish.


P.S. I'm in Sydney btw. 

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