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What is the Career Path for a Business Analyst?

The role of a Business Analyst (BA) is pretty vague from a common man’s perspective. This is mainly because there is no definite set of duties a BA performs. A Java developer does coding in Java, a Selenium Tester develops test cases on the Selenium tool. But, what does a BA work on? How is the career progression for this challenging role? However, if the role of a BA excites you enroll for the best BA online courses and foray into the path unfailingly.

Who is a Business Analyst?

Business analysts are more or less common in businesses, non-profit, and government organizations. They operate at every level of business – for processes, software development, or any other solutions. However, for every BA, there is one common factor. It involves studying the business process in-depth. Then the next step is to suggest or recommend improvements where necessary to the stakeholders. Argue, negotiate, and convince them of what competitive edge the changes could bring if they implement them.

The BA has pretty big shoes to fill in. Listed below are a few important responsibilities the BAs are expected to perform:

  • The juniors BAs often work on project level providing software enhancements. They often lean on senior BAs to understand the techniques appropriate for a project.
  • A business analyst with 5-7 years experience should have the ability to assess the needs of a project, recommend the approach strategy. They should know how and from where to gather information, what techniques should be implemented, and how long the project is likely to take.
  • On a senior level, they are the key persons to facilitate change to drive improvements, reduce costs, and achieve profits and better results.
  • Few businesses often also employ BAs to assist them in the planning and execution of a business project. For instance, venturing into a foreign market, launching a product, or developing an e-commerce strategy.

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What are the educational qualifications of a BA?

As a junior-level BA, a bachelor’s degree should suffice. However, to become a great BA, industry/domain knowledge is imperative.

Some companies prefer a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or a business degree.


The International Institute of Business Analysis offers a Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) felicitation to those who have completed 7500 hours of qualifying work experience in the past 10 years.

They should also complete 35 hours of professional development training in the past four years along with passing a written exam.

This certification is essential for career advancement to senior-level positions in the field.


The Institute of Management Consultants USA also offers a Certified Management Consultants (CMC) designation for experienced business analysts who work as consultants.

The criteria include a bachelor’s degree with 3-9 years of management consulting experience along with at least 5 successful evaluations of past clients’ projects. Getting through oral and return exams are mandatory to obtain this designation.

How is the career progression for a BA?

Once a junior level BA progresses as a senior BA, a multitude of options are laid in from of them. The frequent trend followed by business analysts as they mature in the position are:

  1. Project Manager – This is the next obvious step. The PMs manage projects.
  2. Business Process Architect – This role is for the business side BAs who have had experience in multiple functional areas.
  3. Enterprise Solutions Architect – This role is for technically oriented BAs.
  4. Functional Business Partner – This role is most likely to be a point of contact between the technical side and the business side.
  5. Management Consulting – These are BAs who wish to continue as consultants and are often hired by Capgemini or Accenture.

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