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How to apply for a job as a business analyst?

Want to become a business analyst? Then you should also know how you can apply for the job role. Here, we will give you an idea of the common requirements asked for in job listings for Business Analysts in a variety of fields, so that you know which areas you may want to touch up on. We also have some of the most in-demand certifications which employers may expect you to have, as well as helping you to identify which passive skills you may already have that will help you perform well in the role as you progress further in your career.

Although the requirements will vary based on what industry the position is in, a few universal requirements that we have come across are communication skills and a familiarity with project management methods such as Agile. Other common requirements are good time management skills, reporting skills, a degree and a certification in BCS.

Business Analyst – Insurance

No matter what other qualifications are needed for you to become a Business Analyst in the Insurance field, and the most common requirement that we have seen is for the applicant to have previous experience in the Insurance field and to have excellent communication skills. Another requirement we have seen prioritised by employers is the ability to work on their IT infrastructure and to be able to manage stakeholders to produce great results. Apart from these, many listings require a degree standard of education and a proficiency for documentation as well as gathering requirements.

Business Analysis – Finance

When it comes to the financial sector, employers usually look for Business Analysts with some experience with their finance systems, good software skills and the ability to work with Excel. In this case stakeholder management is important in this field, as is being able to compile financial and statistical data into comprehensive documentation. There is also a focus on processing mapping and data analysis, as well as excellent reporting skills.

Business Analyst – Software Development

The software development sector often operates within an Agile environment, with many listings seeking Business Analysts with Agile experience to hand. In this specific field, a Business Analyst is often positioned as the connection between the development team and the business stakeholders and users. This makes communication and stakeholder management a valuable skill, as these different teams will need you to explain concepts to them which they may not have a good understanding of and no matter how complex they are, your job will be to explain them in a manner where it is easily understood. A strong familiarity with IT and software development is also favoured in this category of job listing, as you will need to understand the processes which are taking place.

Who is a Business Analyst?

A Business Analyst is adaptable and able to handle whatever tasks are required of them. Given how many different industries value the Business Analyst role, what is asked of you as a Business Analyst may vary quite significantly depending on the industry in question. Either way, having complementary secondary skills which you can draw upon to help you perform your duties as a Business Analyst will definitely increase your value to the organisation.

Foundation Certificate in Business Analysis

The Foundation Certificate in Business Analysis (BCS) is an introductory course for aspiring and existing Business Analysts. While no previous experience is required to study this course, if you are working in a similar capacity or in a change environment, you will find this certificate a good fit for your career. The course provides an extensive coverage of all aspects of business analysis to gain a higher understanding of the role of a Business Analyst.

The course will cover a wide range of fundamentals required to perform as a Business Analyst. Learn key topics such as roles and competencies, strategic analysis, investigation techniques and delivering the business solution. If you want to enjoy strong job prospects and high earning potential, this course is a stepping stone to progressing to the next level.

The Foundation Certificate in Business Analysis will boost your CV and enhance your value in a project team. It is a practical course that provides the opportunity to develop your skills and knowledge in the field and demonstrate your understanding in business systems.

What other skills are needed?

Technical skills
if you have a technical or computer science background will have an advantage when it comes to tasks relating to both analysing and documenting data, as well as working with IT systems in general. Many functions within organisations today are carried out through IT systems and as a Business Analyst, you may need to recommend innovations to these IT systems. In addition to this, having a technical background will also help you to better grasp and understand the situation of your technical department and what they hope to achieve if you are in a technical field. Some Business Analysts use basic programming language skills in order to fully utilise their data systems.

Software skills
These skills are very closely related to technical skills but are worth mentioning on their own as they require less overall IT experience. Business Analysts make use of a variety of software and tools, some of which you are probably familiar with already such as Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Some of the software a Business Analyst might use is more specialised. 

Documentation skills
Drafting documentation is a must for Business Analysts, and you will be tasked with creating requirements, specification and analysis documents, among other important documentation. This makes it vital for you to be able to concisely communicate your meaning in writing, with no room for misinterpretation. Therefore work on your documentation skills as much as you can.

People skills
The skill of analysing and reading people can be thought of as a layer within the core communication skill that is important for all Business Analysts to have. In order to perform effective requirements elicitation, you need to be able to not only coax the requirements of the organisation from stakeholders and users by asking the right questions but also get to the bottom of what they actually mean by what they say.

Methodology skills
Being familiar with the methodology used in your organisation will also give you a step up. Where your organisation is based and what industry it’s in can sometimes give you an idea as to the methodology that may be in use. Different methodologies are more popular in different areas and are more effective in certain industries. This is not a hard and fast rule, however, so it is always worth researching which methodology is used by the organisation that you hope to work with. Being familiar with your organisation’s chosen method of operations will help you to integrate with the way things are done.

Now that you have an idea of where you lie in regards to the requirements for Business Analyst roles, you can determine if you’re at a level where you can begin applying for Business Analysis positions or whether you need to further your skillset or certification level.

If you need more information on our accredited business analysis courses you can contact our team on [email protected]

October 29, 2020

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