How To Become A BA With No Experience


Thanks for asking ( for whatever it’s worth). I am at a stage in my life where I seriously need a career change /advice

Career Brief

I am an Accounting /Finance graduate, proficient SAP user with more than 5 yrs experience in Accounts Payable Processes / systems. Within this period, I have been involved in a  lot of analytical roles

Though not officially called a “business analyst.” I worked with consultants in setting up a new payment system, involved in a bit of process mapping.

Studying the payment process and making some recommendations / inputs to a new blue print.

Creating / customizing reports to monitor performance in the ACC payable process- using Excel / Powerpoint.

Due to relocation, I left that job, but  was only able to get another job as a purchase ledger clerk in my new location.(UK)

Truth is that as a result of my previous experience / exposure to Process improvement and Reporting, I earnestly desire to go into “Business / Financial / Reporting and Analysis”.

But it’s getting a bit difficult in switching jobs from a “Purchase Ledger officer/Clerk” to any of these because :

1) I am not an IT professional – (Though have Advanced Excel & good IT skills, )

2) I Have not officially worked as a business analyst- as such cannot respond to jobs that require 1 or 2 yrs experience in Business Analysis.

3) I do not have any formal Business Analysis Training.

In conclusion, I would very much appreciate your advice on the best way of getting into “Main  Business Analysis” Career.

Would just the training without official experience do the magic?



How To Become A BA With No Experience

Start by Rebuilding (Rewriting) Your Resume:

When a historical building begins to need repair, you don’t just tear it down and start over.

You build upon the framework and the foundation that is already in place to ensure it remains strong enough to stand and support its many visitors throughout future centuries.

Do the same with your career. Begin with your resume’. Think of it as restructuring your framework. It’s time to look at your resume’ and give it a rewrite.

Even without “formal” business analysis training or experience, you have done plenty to show your hands-on work in areas related to the work of a business analyst.

As an Accounting/Finance graduate with years of SAP Power user, Business Process Analysis and Accounts Payable experience, you already have many skills that indicate you have done and can do the job as a Finance/Accounting Business Analyst. Restructure your resume’ to reflect this.

Focus your resume’ on Business Analysis roles you have already taken on and how your experience relates to other roles which a business analyst will be expected to perform such as:

Problem Solver
Project Manager
Project Manager
Strategic Planner
Business Expert
Checks and Balances
Business Modeling

Strengthen the Foundation – Get Business Analyst Training

A beautiful building without a strong foundation will not last. Even a masterpiece, such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, has had work done on its foundation to ensure it will endure.

Once you’ve spruced up your resume’, let’s shore up the foundation. When shoring up a building’s foundation, the architects and construction workers look for weak points or areas that need to be stronger to support the rest of the building.

Now that your building is redesigned and looks nice, let’s get to the base and make sure you are standing on solid ground. You already have a bent toward the financial workings of a company.

Now it’s time to get formal business analysis training to gain proficiency in more than one area and make sure you have a complete, well-balanced, understanding of every aspect of what a business analyst does.

One focal point should be Information Technology (IT). While a business analyst does not always work directly in the IT field, many do.

And, at the very least, you’ll want to be able to communicate with members of the IT department when working a project as a business analyst. Even though you may not be required to create complicated program code as a business analyst, you will be required to communicate with, or speak the language of, an IT professional.

It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the basics of HTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), PHP, JPS, JavaScript and ASP which are all commonly used by web developers and IT workers.

Dig in and get your hands filled with experience in this regard. Since companies are constantly upgrading their website, the easiest place to jump into Information Technology to gain experience is in a Web Development project.

The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony – Get The Job

When a building has been built or restructured and is ready for the public, there is a ribbon cutting ceremony where it is officially unveiled as something of wonder and pride to behold.

The same is true with you and your hunt to become a business analyst. Once you have reworked your resume’ and shored up your foundation of experience, you can present yourself with confidence to a hiring manager.

Never become discouraged when a company lists years of business analyst experience on their job qualifications. Once you rewrite your resume’ and fill in the IT experience gap, you will be sufficiently qualified to land a business analyst job. Don’t hold back.

Even job-seeking is a skill in and of itself. If you are not offered the very first job you apply for, move on and view each attempt as a way to polish your presentation and interviewing skills, and to fine tune your resume’ even more.

The more job opportunities you respond to, the more likely you are to get hired as a business analyst. With proper training and a well-written resume’, it will soon be time for your own ribbon cutting celebration where you will unveil your assets as a business analyst.

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One Response to "How To Become A BA With No Experience"

  1. Business Analyst Coaching & Training   March 30, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    Start by rewriting your resume to highlight skills and experience that highlight your experience as a business analyst even though you do not have formal business analysis training or work experience.

    For example, your educational background in Accounting & Finance, your SAP Power User Experience (5 years of SAP), Business Process Analysis Experience, Accounts Payable experience etc. already provides you with experience that you can use in a finance / accounting business analyst position.

    Get your resume to focus on business analysis roles that you have worked on in the past that match the typical roles of a business analyst. Click here to read more about the roles and responsibilities of a business analyst.

    The next thing you need to do is to augment your business analysis experience with formal business analysis training. This is necessary because you want to have a full-understanding or training in all the areas of business analysis and not just to those that you are used to based on your previous experience.

    You also definitely want to try and get more exposure to Information Technology. Start by looking into Web Development Projects since those are more in number than other types of software projects … because companies are always upgrading or redesigning their website and opportunities to get handson experience are always available.

    Finally, do not every think that you cannot respond to jobs that require one to two years business analysis experience because that is not true. As a matter of fact, the more of these you respond to , the more likely you are to get hired.

    Best Wishes


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