The field of business analytics has been driven to new heights by the astonishing explosion of data now available to businesses – and the analytics tools that give companies the ability to leverage that data to great benefit. A recent study on Big Data says that more than 85% of survey respondents report that they have started programs to create more data-driven cultures.
Sadly, technological growth has surpassed the supply of qualified individuals. A McKinsey study predicts that by 2018, the number of data science jobs in the United States alone will exceed 490,000, but there will be fewer than 200,000 available data scientists to fill these positions. Globally, the demand for data scientists is projected to exceed supply by more than 50 percent by 2018.
It falls to business analytics professionals, and more specifically, the highest-regarded role of data scientists, to aggregate data and then determine how their company can leverage that data to not only operate more efficiently but also more effectively. The data scientist has been rated #1 in Glassdoor’s Best Jobs in America.
To keep up with rising demand and bridge the talent gap, universities and colleges have come up with pioneering master’s degrees in the field of business analytics, which are perfect for recent graduates with quantitative backgrounds like science, math, business, or engineering. A student’s chances of landing a job as a business analyst have been shown to increase significantly if they acquire a master’s degree.
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How to Launch a Career in Business Analytics
There are many ways of becoming a business analyst. To gain a competitive edge and increase your chances of success, you must learn Business Analytics. Business analysts typically start with robust IT and business skills, but a deep understanding of a specific industry or vertical market is an added advantage. There is increasing demand for effective and faster accessibility of data across industries like healthcare, finance, retail, manufacturing, banking, and biotechnology.
Following are a few starting points for launching a business analyst career:
Straight From College
After earning a bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, information systems, or related fields, the next step to securing a business analyst job is to enroll in a business analysis certificate course. This will equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge that will immediately transition you to a business analyst career.
From a Software Developer to a Business Analyst
If you are an experienced software developer and you have come to a point where you need a fresh challenge, you might consider transitioning to a career as a business analyst. Software developers have data mining and analytical skills, which make them ideal candidates for becoming business analysts. Also, their deep understanding of the software development lifecycle is an added advantage. By merely adding a business analysis certification to this skillset, a software developer can go a long way.
It is not uncommon for people to change careers multiple times. When you feel ready to take advantage of specialized industry skills that you have acquired and move your career to a new level, you may want to consider enrolling in a business analyst certificate course to give you well-rounded and up-to-date skills that will make you stand out from fellow job-seeking individuals.
Business Analyst Certifications
A business analyst certification validates your newly-acquired skills and gives you an immediate competitive advantage. By passing the IIBA certification exam (International Institute of Business Analysis), you can become either a CCBA (Certification Competency Business Analyst) or a CBAP (Certified Business Analysis Professional). Training and certification give you added confidence as you take on new challenges in the field of business analysis. The CCBA® and CBAP® tend are also highly regarded by employers and can raise your visibility and qualifications during the interview process.
What Else Can You Do to Improve Your Chances?
If you are currently employed in one field and would like to transition to a business analyst career, consider getting involved in business analytics-related projects at your company. Examples include helping out with testing, designing or writing procedure manuals, and contributing other ideas in workshops or other discussions. This way, you get a chance to work closely with business analysts and begin to understand the nature of their work and how it is done. It also gives you real-world examples that you can relate to when applying for a position in business analysis.
Of course, not everyone is cut out to be a business analyst. Remember to take a moment to see if you have what it takes.
If you happen to be good at analytical thinking, have a knack for solving puzzles, are excellent at matching organizational problems to solutions, and are not afraid to take technology head-on, you possess many of the skills to become an accomplished business analyst. You can start exploring the available options for business analysis programs. Also, remember to continue working towards your target of acquiring Business Analytics certification, and you will be on your way to joining this lucrative and exciting career.
With this shortage of business analyst professionals in the industry, you have a huge chance of becoming a successful business analyst if you start taking the steps now.