3 Directions to Take Your Business Analyst Career Path

By Robert Half on April 13, 2015 at 5:13pm

Skills, experience and the desire for a new challenge: That's what you'll need to take your business analyst career path in a different direction. Consider exploring one of these three options when you’re ready to make a fresh start — and build on your current strengths and abilities.

1. Business analyst consultant

If you enjoy the types of responsibilities you have now, but want to increase your reach and possibly your salary, consider remapping your business analyst career path to take a consulting route.

Business analysts and other experienced professionals with specialized skills are choosing to become consultants because it provides them the opportunity to take on diverse projects, earn competitive compensation and enhance their skill sets. It's also a way for senior-level professionals to expand their network.

Consulting can be a logical move for a business analyst who wants to work in a particular niche, such as business systems (see more below) or process analysis. Through consulting arrangements, business analysts also can enhance their market value by gaining exposure to companies of different types and sizes across various industries.

What salaries are business analysts commanding right now? Visit our Salary Center to download a free copy of the latest Robert Half Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance.

2. Business systems analyst

Organizations increase operational efficiency by optimizing business processes and working to get the most value from their information systems and other key technology investments. Business systems analysts play an important role in helping executive management to achieve these goals; they serve as a “bridge” between the business and service providers to the enterprise.

There is strong demand for business systems analysts in the current hiring environment. If you have functional expertise in one or more traditional business processes, such as payroll, treasury or financial reporting, to list on your resume, your business analyst career path could lead straight to a business systems analyst position.

Knowledge of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems is vital for this role, as business systems analysts are often called on to help assess capabilities for existing or new ERP systems. When hiring for this position, many employers often look for business analysts with IT expertise, such as software or application development.

3. Enterprise business analyst

Many companies have created enterprise business analyst roles in recent years, enabling skilled business analysts to add value to the organization beyond helping to optimize a particular function or guide a specific project.

An enterprise business analyst evaluates new ideas or initiatives that the business would like to pursue, and considers whether those objectives align well with the company’s overall business strategy. For example, management might ask an enterprise business analyst to assist with the risk assessment and cost/benefit analysis prior to making a major technology investment that will impact the entire organization, such as a cloud computing solution.

These are just three ways to steer your business analyst career path in a new, but related, direction. Continue adding new skills, certifications and knowledge as you advance and you’ll likely enhance your marketability for new positions and projects.

Looking for business analyst positions? Explore our site to find employment opportunities in your area.

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