Which Credentials Are Needed for Entry Level Business Analyst Positions?

 
How Do I Start A Business Analyst Career?
How Do I Start A Business Analyst Career?

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Question

What credentials are needed to aquire an entry level postion as Business Analyst?

How does one get their foot in the door? Since experience is one of the prequisites to getting your CBAP.

How does a person get a BA position in the first place to gain needed experience?

Answer

Credentials are a set of criteria that will establish you are qualified and will get you in the door. The three best credentials to gain in becoming a business analyst are knowledge, skills and experience.
Knowledge.

Your first and most important step in becoming a business analyst is to seek after gaining the most important credential you can offer – The knowledge that you bring to the job.

Communicating what you know demonstrates that you understand the knowledge. Before you visit a foreign country, you learn enough about the location to “fit in”.

This means learning to talk like you belong. The same is true with becoming a business analyst. Learn to talk like a business analyst. Know what terms like elicitation, SDLC, stakeholder, UI and validation mean.

Discover as much information as you can about how a business analyst interacts with business users. Learn how business analysts use communication skills in their speaking, presentation during meetings and report writing.

Gather as much information as you can by reading every pertinent book, article and professional document you can find on the topic of what a business analyst does.

Include overall business knowledge about general business analyst duties. Learn information about requirements (planning, management, assessment, validation, analysis, elicitation, documentation), UML and Use Cases. Also gain knowledge about specific domains, such as banking, finance, telecommunications or healthcare.

As a business analyst you will most likely be expected to have a good basic understanding of the IT department and how to integrate technology into your problem-solving tasks.

Begin now by sinking your teeth into technical knowledge about tools and techniques used by a business analyst.

These include information about requirements gathering, analysis and user acceptance testing.

You will also need basic understanding of Microsoft Word, Excel or Visio along with collaboration tools, requirement management tools, use case management and prototyping tools.

Skills
Your second, most important credential as a business analyst is the skills you bring to the job.

It is important to apply the knowledge you have learned to prove to a hiring manager that you can actually do the job of a business analyst.

Skills are different from knowledge because while you can gain knowledge and comprehension by reading books and articles or by watching educational videos, skills are developed when you repeatedly perform a business analysis task successfully.

The best way to develop a skill is by practicing the task and actually doing it. For example, if you want to gain the skill of writing Use Cases, the best way to go about it is to practice writing a Use Case.

Keep practicing these skills until they become second nature to you. The more Use Cases you write according to standards, the better skilled you will become at writing Use Cases.

Sharpen your skills by finding an online training program. Business Analyst Bootcamp is online and allows you to practice and gain hands-on knowledge while you learn. Apply this to every skill needed to become a business analyst.

Experience
Business analysis experience is the third most important credential to establish when attempting to enter this career field.

There is no getting around the fact that experience takes time. Business Analysis Experience is developed as you practice solving larger business analysis tasks over longer periods of time.

Gain the experience you need to become a business analyst by working on a project over the course of several months or years. Begin where you are right now before you even have the title of Business Analyst.

Certifications
When you first think of becoming a business analyst, your first thought may be that gathering the most and best certifications available is the most important step.

While certifications can help experienced senior business analyst professionals advance from one position to another position after they are hired, they are not the primary qualifications for getting hired as a business analyst.

In many certification bodies, you cannot apply unless you already have several years of documented and proven experience as a business analyst or senior professional.

Some require at least 7,500 hours of experience before you even qualify to take the test. Certified or not, hiring managers prefer to use experience and job interviews to select who they hire rather than certifications.

Follow the steps to obtaining these three most important entry level credentials in becoming a business analyst (Knowledge + Skills + Experience). Soon you will find yourself on your way to a business analyst career.

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    One Response to "Which Credentials Are Needed for Entry Level Business Analyst Positions?"

    1. Business Analysts Training   April 25, 2012 at 7:18 AM
      1. Knowledge

        Your first and most important credential as a business analyst is the knowledge you bring to the job.

        This includes business knowledge about the specific domain (banking, finance, telecommunications, healthcare, etc.), technical knowledge of business analysts tools and techniques (e.g. requirements gathering and analysis, user acceptance testing, etc) and knowledge about how to interact with business users (how to write or speak professionally, how to present well, etc._

      2. Skills

        Your second, most important credential as a business analyst is the skills you bring to the job.

        Skills are different from knowledge because while you can gain skills just by reading books or watching educational videos or reading blog articles, skills are developed when you repeatedly perform a business analysis task successfully, for example, writing Use Cases.

        The more Use Cases you write according to standards, the better skilled you become at Use Cases …

      3. Experience

        Business Analysis Experience is developed as you practice solving larger business analysis tasks over longer periods of time.

        While you develop skills by practicing the solutions to a task or problem repeatedly, you develop experience by working on a project over several months or years …

      4. Certifications

        While certifications can help senior / experienced business analyst professionals advance from one position to another position after they are hired, they are not the primary qualifications for getting hired as a business analyst.

        In many certification bodies, you cannot apply unless you already have several years of documented and proven experience as a business analyst / senior professional. Futhermore, hiring managers prefer to use Experience and Job Interviews to hire rather than certifications.

        Please read this post for more information: http://www.businessanalystbootcamp.com/which-credentials-are-needed-for-entry-level-business-analyst-positions/

      So, here you have it: the three entry level credentials you need as a business analyst … Skills, + Knowledge + Experience

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