How to Become a Business Continuity Analyst

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Business continuity analysts are in demand, and it's in large part because IT security is on everyone’s minds.

It seems like a major retailer or online site suffers a data breach that exposes the personal information of customers on a regular basis. And the fallout for these businesses isn’t pretty.

These events are causing companies to revisit their IT security, disaster recovery and business continuity policies, which translates into an increased demand for business continuity analysts. 

These skilled professionals work with various business units across an enterprise to plan for disaster and minimize the disruption and damage to the business should one occur. That means, in addition to technical prowess, communication and interpersonal skills are important on-the-job must-haves for a business continuity analyst. Salary ranges are highest for individuals who have strong hard and soft skills.

Business continuity analyst salaries are increasing

Business continuity analyst salary ranges are headed in one direction: up. Starting compensation for these professionals in the United States is expected to rise 5.6 percent this year, to between $97,250 and $140,000.

Use the Robert Half Technology Salary Calculator to find salary information that is specific to your city.

What does it take to be a business continuity analyst?

If you are interested in a business continuity analyst salary and position, you need to have what it takes to get the job done, including:

  • Excellent analytical, organizational, communication and documentation skills
  • Experience in project management or business or systems analysis
  • In-depth knowledge of a business sector such as finance or securities
  • Five or more years of experience in IT-related positions, along with several years of business continuity planning experience
  • Bachelor’s degree or better in computer science or a related field

What to expect on the job

As a business continuity analyst, you can expect to analyze critical business functions and define the scope and impact of disaster scenarios, as well as design, plan and implement an enterprise-wide business continuity plan.

You will also analyze existing systems. Business continuity analysts recommend redundant, fault-tolerant solutions to ensure business continuity and duplication of all critical data. Business continuity analysts also devise, schedule and implement business continuity tests, and then analyze the results. They document business continuity procedures and present their findings and recommendations to senior management.

The business continuity analyst ensures the company and its data systems are in compliance with regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act in the U.S., or Multilateral Instrument 52-109 in Canada.

How to become a business continuity analyst

Some industry-specific domain knowledge is helpful in determining what data is essential to the continuity of operations. Ideally, the business continuity analyst will have experience as a system administrator or storage architect, or have knowledge of enterprise backup solutions. 

Look to Robert Half Technology’s latest Salary Guide for business analyst salary figures, as well as job descriptions and starting compensation trends for a wide range of other IT jobs.

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Note: This post has been updated. It originally appeared on 6/2/14.